Cheap Travel Deals Guidelines: Ways to Get Affordable Airfare, Accommodation, and more

You do not have to blow your budget on the next trip. It is not necessary to spend more than what is needed on travel expenses. Cheap travel arrangements are always available from airline ticket booking to shopping. Tourist sites make it easy to find cheap accommodation in the desired area. You can filter the type of flight if you are interested in.

Whether you want to go on a cruise, a great city trip, beach break, skiing, etc. Here are some things you can do to get cheap tourist deals:

• Try to mix and match your flights. Some online reservation sites provide flexible search tools that allow users to experiment with destinations, departing cities, dates, and stop numbers. It is sometimes cheaper to book flights that include a stop or two. You will need more time to arrive there, but it is often cheaper than direct flight.

• Always consider alternatives. This includes alternative airports, neighborhoods, ground transportation options and so on. Even if there is an airport within minutes of your home, you may be able to save more money by flying from another airport. Also, you do not have to stay in the middle of a popular tourist spot; consider staying in a hotel or inn in the other neighborhood.

• Consider renting the apartment. Over the last few years, it has become very trendy for travelers to opt for accommodations in non-typical hotels. You may find a better offer for renting a small apartment or even just a private room. Do a little research on the owner and read the reviews in advance.

• Discover whether you can use any connection for cheap travel deals. Students, civil servants, senior citizens, military members, members of certain groups or organizations etc. They are often able to get discounts from airlines and hotels. Check with your employer whether your organization's members are eligible for any travel discounts. Take advantage of any travel reward points you may have with credit card companies.

• Pay attention to last minute offers. Cheap travel arrangements are not always available in the last minute so if your travel dates and the itinerary are already set in stone, this is probably not the best idea for you. However, if you have flexibility, it's probably worth checking out the "Last Minute Deals" section on your favorite travel site or sign up for newsletters and notifications.


These are just some things to keep in mind when trying to find cheap travel deals.

Many people want to start their search on the Internet. The travel websites work with many airlines, cruise ships, car rental companies, hotels, B & Bs and other travel companies to bring favorable deals for both tourists and business travelers. If you are looking for cheap tourist offers, you can use online coupon code to get extra savings.

How to Start a Home Photography Business in North Carolina

After years of pursuing photography as an avid amateur photographer, I decided to finally take the plunge and become a professional. I already owned all the necessary camera bodies, lenses, flashes and other assorted equipment, and having my own business meant future photography purchases would be tax-deductible. A smart decision, right?

The short answer, for me at least, was “yes.” The long answer, however, was, “It depends on how much time you want to spend running around and researching the requirements.”

Fortunately for you, I’ve done it already in North Carolina and am willing to share the results (for this state, at least!).

For the purposes of this article, I’m assuming the following things are true:

1. You will be operating this business in the state of North Carolina.

2. You already have the photography expertise to qualify as a professional photographer (that’s another article all by itself).

3. You’ve done the necessary research to determine whether you have the time, energy, potential customer base, and business plan to ensure your new venture succeeds (again, this topic is another article on its own).

The first step was determining what kind of business entity to be. After doing much research online, I was a bit confused, until a CPA explained it to me: there is a difference between your LEGAL status and your TAX status. She recommended that my photography business be an LLC (limited liability company), but file taxes as a sole proprietor.

As with all the different options, there are positives and negatives to each option. LLC status would protect me from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit, which was important to me. The paperwork is very easy to prepare and submit, which is also good because I wanted to take care of everything myself.

Filing taxes as a sole proprietor would be very simple: just attach a Schedule C to my personal tax return each year. Although this filing status is easy enough, sole proprietors pay a slightly higher tax rate than S-Corporations.

Filing as an S-Corp, however, means more paperwork and filing quarterly taxes instead of a Schedule C with my annual return. I wasn’t interested in that much paperwork, so sole proprietor status is fine with me. If and when my business starts making so much money that I’m interested in a lower tax rate, I can always change my status to an S-Corp.

Now that I’ve determined my legal status and tax status, I had to file for my LLC with the state of North Carolina. This involves sending a check for $125 to the Secretary of State, along with Articles of Organization, which can be downloaded and filled out from their web page.

It takes about 7-10 days for your status to come back confirmed, although if you include a note and your e-mail address, they will e-mail it to you which will save a few days.

The state of North Carolina considers photographers to be one of those lucky professions that require a State Privilege License. This is an annual license granted to the person, not the business, so if you end up working for a different photography business in the future, you don’t need to get a second license that year. A privilege license is $200, from the North Carolina Revenue Office. This must be done in person, but the Revenue Department has offices all over the state, so there’s probably one in a city near you.

While I was there, I also received a State Tax ID. This is (fortunately) free, and it will come in handy because armed with this important number, I will no longer need to pay sales tax when purchasing items for my business (assuming I’m purchasing from a North Carolina vendor; obviously you don’t pay sales tax at all when purchasing from an out-of-state vendor, such as when I buy lenses online).

The friendly and helpful NC revenue employee explained to me that two forms will need to be mailed into the NC Revenue Office each quarter. One is a form explaining what your revenues for the quarter were and how much tax you charged your clients. You will need to include a check for the tax amount. The other form shows what equipment you purchased for your business that quarter and didn’t pay tax on. You will need to include a check for 1% of the total (hey, at least it’s lower than paying the full retail tax on your purchases). This includes everything from cameras and lenses to printers, computers, paper, ink cartridges, etc.

Charging my clients sales tax is a bit confusing in North Carolina. The law is not clear, and lawsuits that have been argued in state court have conflicting results. It appears that you do not need to charge sales tax on services such as session fees, UNLESS the client ends up purchasing prints from the session. Of course you always hope and assume the client will purchase prints, but you never know for sure. To be safe, you should go ahead and charge them sales tax on the session fees up front, assuming they will buy prints.

You always need to charge sales tax for tangible goods sold. So any prints, albums, or other products that you sell to your clients must always include sales tax.

The tax rate that applies depends on where the client took possession of the goods. If the client lives in Gaston County and asks me to mail her the prints, the Gaston County rate applies. If the bride decides to swing by my house in Charlotte to pick them up personally, the Mecklenburg County rate applies.

Tax was by far the most complicated part of the business-formation process. Fortunately the employees at the NC revenue office were very helpful, and gave me several “cheat sheets,” sample forms, and (best of all) their phone numbers for me to call with questions.

If you want your NC State Tax ID to be in your business’ name, instead of your own name, you will need a Employer Identification Number from the IRS. I was initially confused by this, because I wasn’t planning on employing anyone other than myself, but as it turns out, the Employer Identification Number has nothing to do with employing anyone. Luckily it was free and handled easily over the phone while I waited in the lobby of the state revenue office.

Now there’s the matter of where you live. I’m a resident of Charlotte, so I’m in Mecklenburg County. Fortunately, Mecklenburg County recognizes the State Privilege License, so I wasn’t required to get an additional County business license.

I was, however, required to get a Customary Home Occupation Permit from the Zoning Office. This is a one-time permit that allows me to work from home. This is a lifetime permit; however, it only applies to this particular address. If I decided to move to a different house in a few years, I will have to get a new permit. It cost $125.

Next, I needed a business checking account. I went straight to Wachovia, since they already handle our personal bank accounts and I wanted everything in one place for convenience. Wachovia needed copies of my privilege license, my EIN, and my state tax ID, as well as the normal documents for a new account like my driver’s license. In about a week, I had received my check card and checks for the account. This is highly recommended by the CPA I visited, in order to keep business and personal expenses separate.

The final thing I needed was business insurance. This is recommended in addition to any homeowner or umbrella liability coverage you may already have. It’s not too expensive (less than $200 per year) so go ahead and get it. Any insurance agent will be able to go over the options with you. Business insurance will not only cover your equipment in the event any of those expensive lenses or cameras get damaged, but will also help in case a guest trips over one of your lightstands at a wedding, for example.

A few side notes: if your business is an LLC, you are legally required to have the initials “LLC” or the words “Limited Liability Company” in your business name. This makes it clear to all customers and potential customers that you are an LLC. Also, if you do not keep your business and personal expenses separate, you lose the protection of an LLC (meaning your personal assets are vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit). DO NOT RISK THIS — keep everything well documented and separate!

Best of luck with your new business venture! I recommend visiting the North Carolina State business development website and calling their hotline; they gave me a lot of tips the CPA didn’t mention, and it was free to boot! Fortunately there is a lot of support out there for people starting their own businesses. It’s free, and these people know what they’re talking about — please take advantage of it!

Flights from JFK to Tokyo – a tourist guide to finding air tickets and flying to Nariti or Haneda

If you have to fly all the way to Japan from the US, NYC is one of the most popular cities to go. Today there are dozens of airline companies offering flights from JFK to Tokyo. Whether it's business travel, family vacations, romantic vacations or personal holidays, discounts on airline tickets are available online.

The distance between JFK and Narita International Airport is incredible 6,728 miles. You will be on a long flight, no matter which airport you choose. It is in your best interest to choose one that will help you feel as comfortable as possible. The fastest plane ride for this route is only about 14 hours. There is also a difference in the time zone of 14 hours.

This is a very busy route so you will have many options. Some of the many airline companies currently offering flights from JFK to Tokyo include:

• British Airways

• China Airlines

• Aeromexico

• Malaysia Airlines

• United Airlines

• American Airlines

• Swiss International

• Cathay Pacific

• Japan Airlines

• Delta

• Korean Air

Of them, American Airlines offers the most flights, although their prices are not always the lowest. Philippines Airlines and China Eastern Airlines offer a fairly cheap airline ticket.

You can usually reduce the cost considerably if you choose a one or two stop flight. Pudong (Shanghai) and Taipei in Taiwan are two popular connecting flights. Some flights stop at the US west coast in Los Angeles to connect.

Other airports in the airports from JFK to Tokyo

Not all international flights to Tokyo land at Narita Airport. You might find a better job if you want to get to Haneda. No matter what airline and airport you choose, the cheapest flight time to Japan is in January, September and October. Rates increase considerably in June and December.

It is usually cheaper to go on an evening flight than on a morning flight. You need to book at least two weeks in advance to get your flight ticket below the average.

Arriving at a hotel from the airport can be very confusing if you can not read the Japanese characters. It is best to carefully review the airport map and find out more about transfers to the center of Tokyo. There are several hotels offering complimentary airport / airport transfers. Think about booking a hotel at an airline ticket at the same time to make things more convenient.

Use the search tool above to find out the flights from JFK to Tokyo and compare the prices of cheap flights from JFK to Tokyo.

Where will you find the cheapest flights from JFK to Tokyo? In Expedia, the # 1 travel directory in the world. Just look for flights and check prices, taxes, terms and conditions. When booking a trip. Use Expedia Promotional Codes to save even more money.

Travel insurance does not always mean coverage

At that time of the year the sun is still laughing again, the school is out there and the wide, wide world of travel is just a flight.

So you will do some research on vacation options. Book a flight. Book a hotel room. And last but not least, call the insurance agent for the appropriate travel policy.

"Ah," you mean to yourself. "I'm covered from all angles."

Not so fast, sir or madam!

While others like you can see the insurance they have bought as a ticket for peace, that's not always the case.

It will not cover every scenario of loss you can imagine.

In this article deals with questions that may arise as a result does not plan ahead or education itself properly about insurance issues.

Some instances when travel insurance does not cover losses

1. If you think you are smart to buy travel insurance when you hear that your radio is talking about the future storm, consider it again. Travel policy does not cover cancellation of your trip after the published information on the storm.

2. If you think that travel insurance will provide a reimbursement for common problems, stop dreaming. Your insurance will not compensate you for the usual inconvenience or lack of pleasure.

3. Do not plan coverage for losses that you can not prove. You will need to show sales confirmation to help your loss be substantiated.

4. Be aware that your insurance policy is unlikely to cover the incidents that occurred while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

5. Before you go on a trip, include your doctor or you can not get health insurance within your travel insurance. If you can not prove to be in good health before getting on a plan, you may run into problem coverage if you need medical care while on vacation.

6. Do not assume that each activity you are participating in is covered by your travel plan. If you get injured and participating in something that the insurance company considers dangerous you may not see a fee. Review your policy to determine which activities your insurance provider includes and which are considered dangerous.

As in any form of compensation, travel insurance has limitations and deductibles as well as exclusion. You owe it to yourself and your vacation to make a proper research in front of the game. Talk to an independent agent to help you decide which policy is best for you and how to avoid denying the right application.

Expedia Hotel Coupon Info – everything you need to know about this tourist destination and its affordable bargains

If you are looking for hotel deals, why not start with Expedia? It is one of the world's largest tourist sites and helps millions of tourists and business travelers plan and book. Get the best technology at your fingertips to find the lowest hotel prices, as well as cheap airline tickets and cruise itineraries. Usually there is a type of Expedia hotel coupon for any destination.

Coupons can be easily applied to your booking form when booking. Depending on the type of link you click, it can be applied automatically. If this is a promotional code, there is a box in which you enter it. If the discount is denied, check the expiration date and terms and conditions. Usually there are more than one available at any time so you can easily try with each other.

With so many travel companies out there raising prices, it's nice to know that there is at least one web site that strives to offer the most affordable deals possible. An Expedia hotel coupon can really go a long way in helping to expand your vacation budget. There are also corporate discounts if you plan to travel for business purposes.

You may want to join Expedia's award program to have access to exclusive benefits such as Hotel Price Guarantee. If you plan to travel regularly, you will easily accumulate reward points, which can turn into even more savings on hotels, aircrafts and more.

Some extra features for Expedia hotel coupons

There are parts of a company website that will be checked by all users, such as "Deals for less than $ 99" and "Last-minute offers". These offers include some of the most popular destinations around the world, including beach resorts, major cities, mountain huts, amusement parks, etc. to thousands of hotels, inns, hostel, resorts and other accommodation options.

Why is Expedia Cheap? Why are hotel arrangements so big? The company is able to provide affordable travel accommodation as it has developed partnerships with hundreds of thousands of hotels, airlines, car rental agencies and shipping lines.

No matter which Expedia hotel coupon you use, you can always count on the excellent customer service. You will also have access to "My Trip" tools where you can plan the entire itinerary after booking your fight and hotel. Look for additional coupons for dining, shopping, activities, and more.

Where would you like to go? What type of vacation are you interested in? Or do you travel business? All you need to start is an Expedia hotel coupon or promotional code. Nowhere else you will find better deals or services for users.

Pet Friendly Getaways in North Carolina

Summer is right around the corner, and perhaps you’re already planning your vacation. If you’re like most pet parents, it’s probably difficult to imagine going on vacation without your pet. So don’t even consider that thought for a moment. With so many pet friendly accommodations, it’s easy to plan a trip that includes your pet. After all, your pet is part of the family and deserves a vacation, too.

Whether you’re planning a relaxing getaway at the beach or an adventurous trip to the mountains, North Carolina offers a vast array of experiences for you and your furry companion. Not only do many pet friendly accommodations provide all of the amenities that you expect when you’re away from home, but they also offer special amenities for your pet. Although North Carolina has many pet friendly lodging options, the following are just a small sampling of this beautiful state’s pet friendly accommodations.

  1. Barkwells Vacation Retreat – Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mills River, Barkwells features seven pet friendly luxury rental cabins on more than eight acres of fenced meadows. You and your dog can play in the meadows or simply relax on the porch, which overlooks a pond. Don’t worry: Your dog is welcome to splash around in the pond, swimming and playing to his heart’s content. Each cabin has a gated porch, dog door and fenced yard, so your dog can play or nap in a safe environment if you’re away for the day.
  2. Brindley Beach Vacations – Conveniently located in Corolla on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Brindley Beach offers more than 130 pet friendly vacation homes that welcome dogs. Play on the beach with your dog and watch as he frolics in the sand and surf, swims in the ocean or chases crabs. After a day at the beach, unwind with a relaxing walk on one of the nearby biking/jogging trails that are ideal for dog walking.
  3. Fire Mountain Inn – This secluded mountaintop retreat, situated a few miles outside of Highlands, features luxury pet friendly cabins with magnificent views. You and your dog can run and play on more than 50 acres of open pastures and meadows. If you’re feeling more adventurous, explore the hiking trails, located on top of Fire Mountain at an elevation of more than 4,000 feet.
  4. Hidden Creek Cabins – These pet friendly cabin rentals, located in the Great Smoky Mountains in Bryson City, offer fantastic experiences for you and your pet. It’s no secret that dogs love taking walks, so put on your walking shoes and explore the hiking and walking trails designated as pet friendly. Or visit Island Park, located in the heart of downtown, and enjoy a picnic. Hidden Creek Cabins also welcomes cats.
  5. William & Garland Motel – This small, family-owned, pet friendly motel on the Salter Path Dunes Natural Area in Salter Path is located in the middle of Bogue Banks on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. Enjoy a leisurely day on the beach, playing with your four-legged friend, or take a walk at one of the motel’s pet-designated areas. The motel also welcomes cats.
  6. Duke Tower Hotel & Condominiums – Located in Durham, this pet friendly hotel is minutes from Duke University. Enjoy the sights in this beautiful area, and after a day of fun-filled activities, take your dog for a walk across the street from the hotel on the American Tobacco Trail. You can also explore the walking trail on Duke University’s East Campus, which allows dogs. Cats are also welcome at the hotel.

Planning a vacation with your pet requires some preparation, so do your homework to make sure that the pet friendly property where you want to stay is a good fit for you and your pet. To learn more about these and other pet friendly hotels & accommodations in North Carolina, visit Doing a little research will ensure that you and your pet have a fun and safe vacation, and you’ll create memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Why would parents allow their teenagers to travel with their friends?

More often, you will encounter parents who are prepared to create a protective wall around their children – never allowing the child to behave independently. While protecting your child from what you think is not necessary, it is important to ensure that your child becomes a responsible person.

Since adolescence is the right age, a child learns a few things, including the importance of responsibility for his own affairs and actions. This is also the year when parents who are too protected may not be the best thing – so let your child tie their own shoes, pack their own bag, do homework, and talk to their friends – even if it means conversation during the holidays.

This article summarizes the main reasons why parents should allow their teenagers to travel with friends –

It opens the door to their knowledge "You always taught your child the right things and did almost everything you could to transfer knowledge, because once a trip is their parent. When you allow your child to travel with their friends, remember even if they are for a while but they will speak meaningfully – they will share the right information, and this is exactly what your child needs.

That is why they look at things from a different perspective – So far, your child has looked at things the way you made them look, but the journey opens many doors of different perspectives. Even if it is a group of ten friends traveling together, each will have its own perspective – which means your child will not only learn to develop perspectives but will also be willing to accept the other point.

Traveling with friends means better connectivity – The child's mental development is based on how well it can communicate with his peers, and what is better than traveling with such friends? It will not only be time for a lot of fun activities, but also for special engagement – and remember that friends who travel together stay together.

Traveling would make your child feel responsible for an adult – When traveling with friends, your child has no choice but to behave responsibly – this means sending him to friends with somehow. He will be converted to a responsible adult and will be able to bring some wise decisions to himself for longer runs.

He will slander, improve and overcome – Traveling with friends should be the choice of your child and if luck is given to him, be sure to let him go that way. Over the years, or perhaps during a certain trip, your child may make mistakes, but he will improve and most of all he will learn from them – so let them just travel.

Though you may think your child is too young to travel with friends, remember that it will only benefit him for a long time. In addition, travel is a way of keeping a better life and no age for your child to travel, so be sure to let him decide on life from a very gentle age, even if traveling with friends.

How to find the best travel friends

Choosing the best friend for a trip will surely be a tough decision. There are many different things that can be considered as creating a happy, relaxed, and friendly atmosphere while traveling. Let's look at some important things:


A good place to start a quest for a travel friend is to find someone with the same or similar personality type. Whether you are a relaxed type or those who are constantly on the move and energetic, you will find it in favor of traveling with the same mind. Also, the type of activity in the travel plan can affect a friend.

In addition, it is important to ensure that the itinerary of travel can complement both sides. This will certainly help if personalities in this area coincide, because a happy and happy person and organizational drug addict may have some difficulty understanding.


Many travelers prefer to stay in a decent hotel on their travels and dine in restaurants, while others will have no problem with switching from one cheap home to another and eating or even enjoying street food in some countries. Instead of being frustrated with your travel expense friends, it is helpful to have a proper conversation to reach a satisfactory deal before you go on your way.

Shared interests

It will surely help you travel with friends who have common interests if you want to avoid the long unpleasant silence. The ability to hold conversations will be very difficult if both parties have completely different interests. For this reason, you will benefit from traveling with someone who shares one or more of your interests.

Exercise lasts

It's a great way to decide whether a travel friend is the right path for a long trip. It can simply include a short trip together for that day. It can help you travel to a brand new place for both sides and make sure you agree on things like finding a restaurant, activities, transportation etc. It may be time to compromise, but the overall experience should still be fun and enjoyable .

All in all, it may take time to find a friend who is traveling and who likes personality so that the whole process needs to be carefully planned to help reduce problems on the journey.

Ironman North Carolina

I received an email yesterday that the PPD Beach to Battleship Ironman distance race had been bought out by the Ironman branded race corporation. This next year’s version of the race would now be under the ownership of the Ironman and be available for qualifying to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I had already planned on this being a race that I came back to. I felt like I had a great race in 2015 and wanted to try and better my time on a great course in 2016. With this news coming across, I had some decisions to make. One of the biggest decisions was whether or not I wanted to sign-up again at a more expensive rate for this race. I also may need to look at moving my timeline up for my next 5 year goal of qualifying for Kona.


In Triathlon racing there are 4 different distances that you can participate in, Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman, and Ironman distances. Just as you might figure, there are more sprint races than there are ironman races. Moreover there are more companies or race organizers doing sprint races than there are ironman distance races. In fact the first three distances usually have independent owners that provide multiple opportunities to race throughout the year. There are very few ironman distance races on the schedule, moreover, there are very few ironman distance races that are not Ironman branded races. You can find a few brands such as HITS that provide a couple of opportunities but they do not race near where I live. There is the Great Floridian Ironman distance race in Claremont, Florida and a few others around the state of Florida. In North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee etc. there are just not any ironman distance races offered. This is why the Beach to Battleship was so enticing because it was close and offered an ironman distance race. So, I have to make the decision whether I am going to do an ironman race this next year or not. If I am going to do an ironman distance race in 2016 then with this recent news of the Beach to Battleship getting bought out, I would need to look at the Ironman branded races.

One of the other difficulties with the Ironman branded races for me is the cost. The average cost of doing a full Ironman branded race is around $700. Whereas the independent Beach to Battleship was $375 in 2016 for the early bird rate which I used last year. This is a significant increase in money. My total racing budget for the year is usually less than $700. I knew that I would need the warmup events such as the White Lake Half in the Spring and the Lake Logan Half in August. I think both of these races prepared me well last year and I wanted to compete in them again. This was going to stretch my budget for sure. After getting the email from the race about the sale, I began to look at my options.

I first searched for any other independent ironman distance race within 8 hours drive of Asheville, North Carolina. I could not find any that were not already Ironman branded races. I then began to look at my options for Ironman branded races. I found that I really had 4 options. One was the Ironman Florida. I have had my mind set that this was the Ironman branded race I would do first when I wanted to kick start my goal to qualify for Kona. I looked at the cost sheet and they had already passed the Tier 1 cost and were into Tier 2 at around $750. The Ironman North Carolina was going to start at $700. I ruled out Florida and was surprised it was not sold out. I figured it would have sold out some time ago.

I then looked at Ironman Chattanooga. This race looked intriguing as it has a 116 mile bike ride. I looked at the cost sheet for it and it started at $675 but they were already past that marker and in fact as I looked harder they were already sold out. This does look like a race I might want to look into for 2017. I also looked at Ironman Louisville. This race is one that I have heard is a good one even though it has some challenging climbs on the bike ride and a challenging run course. I eventually came back to looking at Ironman North Carolina. The cost was $700 and it would start sign-ups on December 18th. I decided that if I was going to do an ironman distance race this year it would be this race.

I have had a good year financial and God has blessed our family. My Christmas bonus was more than I had expected and we had not spent as much in the month as predicted. I knew we had some expenses coming up, but also knew this was a unique time to register for a race that I had already completed and felt good about that might give me good shot to qualify for an elusive Kona slot. I noticed that this race would be given only 30 Kona slots. This means I will need to finish in the top 3-5 places in my age group to have any shot of getting a Kona slot. My wife has been incredibly supportive of this effort as well which makes it easier. She was a little disappointed last year when I finished and there wasn’t someone announcing “You are an Ironman.” She wanted me to complete one that is Ironman branded! She also would like to go to Hawaii!! I sent a text to her to ask if I could register and we both agreed that I would even though I am not sure she knows how much it costs.

Just a side note, I wish there were more independent ultra distance races available in the southeast region. There are several half-ironman distance races, but we need more of the longer course races here. Hopefully, this will continue to be something that is worked on in this region.


I noticed that the race site had been built and included much of the information from the Beach to Battleship website, including the same course instructions. I knew that the course would be the same as in 2015. I did notice that the aid stations would have some different nutritional needs. I enjoyed my heed last year, so will have to adjust to some of the products that are placed at Ironman branded races. I was intrigued by the different ways you can sign-up for a race on this site. You can of course purchase your slot outright. You can also have a straight foundation slot purchase of twice the early bird rate to support the Ironman Foundation or you can become a part of the Ironman Foundation team and raise a minimum of $3500 for the foundation and you get your spot for a $100 joining fee to the foundation. For a fleeting moment, I thought about going the route of the foundation fundraising slot, but thought better of it when I noticed that whatever you do not raise up to the $3500 is charged to you credit card. Yikes! I do want to use this next year to raise awareness for a cause and to raise money for a cause such as Living Water International or Compassion International. My brother-in-law has Cystic Fibrosis and has been a huge inspiration to do all of this racing because he can’t. I could raise money for the CF Foundation. I will make this choice later. With all of this being considered, I just went ahead and decided to register the regular way and purchase my early bird slot.

I went into the site when it opened at noon Eastern Standard Time (EST). This was when the registration icon was available to click. The registration icon took me to the site to register. I wonder why Ironman doesn’t have its own registration site for this and avoid the fees Active charges. Of course maybe Active doesn’t charge them anything since they have their own processing fees. I clicked through the different registration screens including to certify that I was 18 or over and sign the waiver electronically for a release of liability. The main registration page included some medical questions such as medications, emergency contact, etc. There were also radio buttons that I was to click if I understood the cutoff times for the swim, bike, and the run. You then had to click that you understood the World Triathlon Federation’s release of liability. I also had to input my USA Triathlon ID number. I then click the complete button. The site referred me to an error that my USAT number would be expired by the time the race occurred so I would have to either purchase a pass on the site for the race or renew my membership today to extend past the race deadline. I always renew my USAT membership in the spring of each year. I was frustrated by this development because this is an additional $45 fee on top of all the other fees for the race. I did indeed, though, go to my USAT site and renew my membership. I then reentered the site and it let me past that particular spot.

I also indicated that I would like the $90 insurance policy of the return of all fees if for some reason that was indicated such as illness, injury, job relocation, etc. that I could get these fees back. I think this is like travel insurance. You never think you will not be racing on that day, but $90 is not too much to ask to get all of the $700 back if some unforeseen occurrence happens. This Full Refund Plan seemed like a logical agreement, so I went ahead and added it to my purchase. The fees came to $42 which seemed steep to me. I noticed they have a membership plan called advantage and so I checked into that. If you joined even on a trial basis you could get your processing fees back. I began to investigate and the reality you do not get all of the $42 back but up to $10. I did agree to pay the 99 cent trial fee. I also got $10 knocked off of the processing fees. It may seem small but on an over $800 bill, the $10 was a welcome change.

I had my total and had entered all of my data for the registration. I entered my Credit Card information and pressed complete! I got a bit excited inside and a little nervous. This was not registering for any old race, but this was an actual Ironman branded race. At the end they will announce “You are an Ironman.” There is the very real possibility that with the right training in this next year, I could end up getting a slot to Kona. This registration just seemed to have a bit more energy to it then some I have done in the past. This race being bought out by Ironman may be the best thing that has ever happened to this triathlete. It has forced me to compete against the stiffest competition and to go for a Kona slot.

I had not planned on going for a Kona slot for maybe another year. This decision has definitely been forced upon me and I am ready for the challenge ahead. I will write about my 2016 goals and race schedule later, but for now this day gives me a lot to think about in terms of the intensity of my training, my nutrition (got to get to 175 pounds or below), and my overall outlook for 2016. I guess I have also let a little bit out of the bag of another of my triathlon goals, make it to Kona!

How to choose the right luggage for your vacation

As much as a trip might be exciting, it also comes with some stressful aspects. Hurling luggage amo-there may be a breeze, or it can cause pressure on your travel experience. The first thing you need to do is consider your traveling style and cater specifically to those needs when choosing the right luggage for your vacation. Keeping this in mind, we have put together a list of some important things to consider in advance.

Coffer or backpack?

In this article, we mainly focus on the kits rather than the backpacks for the following reasons:

  • Suitability

Maneuvering through airports with a lot of people and traffic while carrying a heavy weight on your back is not easy. Coats are easier to maneuver traffic with ease.

  • wheels

Just gently stuff your luggage. This is our main reason for choosing a box.

  • Organization

Backpack does not give much room for organization. You will only have access to the highest performance packaging mechanism where you will be forced to remove everything to get to the bottom of the item. The ark gives you a clear overview of all of your affiliations as soon as you open them.

  • impressions

The backpack does not look good.

Hard or soft?

You should choose travel luggage based on your travel needs. For example; Are you traveling for business or pleasure? Do you plan to carry any expensive stuff that could easily break? A hard handheld bag is perfect for anyone who carries items such as expensive cameras or if your vacation is in areas with severe weather conditions. The hard case will offer protection for any subject prone to fracture.

The soft luggage is perfect for anyone looking for extra storage. These bags can be expanded making them ideal for anyone who wants to carry some souvenirs with them. Also, soft carrying boxes are easy to put in the compartment.


One of the main things to keep in mind is never to buy a handbag that is bigger than you can actually lift over your head. Next, how long will your vacation last? Many people can survive with less objects than others but when you visit a strange place, a smaller towel is more ideal. Before purchasing hand-held accessories, inquire about international and domestic requirements for a specific size of aviation company.

Some aircraft allow smaller manual gear, so it is best to always limit the purchase of a trunk of approximately 21 x 13 x 9 and weigh between 15 and 20 pounds.

Here's an overview of some popular upload sizes:

  • The international size of hand luggage is generally 18 to 20 inches

  • The most popular handbag size is 21 to 22 inches – it is large in size, offers enough space, but enough light to lift. You can travel a month without much trouble.

  • If you travel with a loved one, then the medium size would be perfect. So consider buying a 23 to 24 inch carry on.

  • For those who like extra space, 25 to 27 inches will give you plenty of room for carrying souvenirs or clothes. Also, if you are on holiday with your family, then you can easily fit everyone's stuff into just one of these cases for easy handling.

  • The size of 28 to 32 inches is simply too big for the travel case. This is very cumbersome and can be very difficult to manage. This size is simply the best one for anyone planning to move abroad or who thinks they will live long in another country.

Sometimes it would be better to buy two smaller cases instead of buying a big, heavy one. Approved, you will have to pay extra, but it will be worth it because you will not have to worry about filling everything in one bag or, due to excessive weight when traveling home with some souvenirs.


It is best to buy a bag with unique prints and colors. So you will easily notice it on the luggage compartment. Also, you will not accidentally mistake it for the other handbag.


Choice of wheels comes in two options; two or four. Two wheels are most common as these bags tend to be easier and easier to run. You can also easily pull the bag over the stairs without having to lift it manually. However, these types of cases tend to tip over easily.

The four wheels are upright, allowing you to easily dive sideways in shallow or shallow trails, such as in the plane.

Look for lock bags – this will prevent the bag from rolling.


Always make sure that your luggage has waterproof materials or is at least treated with a sealing gasket on the inside to keep your things dry. This is very important because sometimes the luggage can be placed on a damp, sticky or dirty surface by the baggage handler.

If your bag does not have moisture-absorbing masks, simply paste the upper and lower part of the trunk with plastic bags (the garbage bag or the dry cleaning bag will be fine). if your suitcase is tucked from the outside.


Buy a suitcase that comes with adjustable straps. These tapes will help keep your stuff safe and tight.

Piggy Back Clip

Have you ever seen these loop fasteners on the top of some travel bags? They are called races for pigs and allow the passenger to eat a smaller second bag at the top – so your items will stay secure together during your travels.

If your lunch does not come with any rabbit clips, you can go online and buy it for a reasonable price.


The sections are useful when you want to organize your stuff. For example; Instead of saving your small shampoo or fluids, put them in an outer pocket (this will prevent the destruction of clothing in case of shedding). In addition, they will easily find them when a need arises.