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Encourage staff and managers to take their vacation time. Even a day or two of vacation can make a huge difference in employee motivation. Now is the best time to plan the summer schedule and ensure that your employees are taking those earned and deserved vacation days and Arizona .

USA Today published that some 51% of executives surveyed by Accountemps, Menlo Park, Calif., a specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance, and bookkeeping professionals, maintain they are more productive after a vacation than before.

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Now there is more proof that vacations increase employee productivity and even improve overall health, as the Travel Industry Association released its conclusions from studies of data that looked at the health benefits of vacation travel.

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4 Easy Ways to Save On Your Next Vacation

It is almost that time again: time to reflect on the old year and bring in the new. What is your New Year's Resolution?

If you are making a New Year's Resolution, you are not alone. Millions of Americans make a New Year's Resolution. While popular goals are weight loss or to stop smoking, there may be one goal you haven't thought of before. Giving to charity—whether it’s money, donations, or your time—is a great way to kick off the new year. Besides helping others in need, giving to charity has several positives for the giver.

Even if life is going great, giving can be a challenge. Money and resources can always be spent elsewhere and finding the time to volunteer can be tricky. Despite these challenges, giving can reap personal and even financial benefits that outweigh the sacrifice.

Here are the biggest benefits of giving back this new year:

1. Make Your Brain Happy

Science may not seem to have much in common with the matters of the heart, so you might be surprised at this first benefit. Donating can activate the reward areas of your brain. A study from the University of Oregon showed that charitable actions trigger a similar reaction to drugs or other pleasurable stimuli, releasing happy chemicals including dopamine and endorphins. Another research study from the National Institutes of Health looked at participants who decided to donate a portion of $100. The people who did donate experienced a similarly positive reaction in their brains.

Instead of splurging on a new dress or pair of jeans, make a New Year's Resolution to donate to charity and enjoy the good vibes.

2. Help Others Who Need it Most

In a perfect world, there’s always a good time to give. But real life is different. There’s always a friend's birthday or big vacation to save up for. But while you are making your big plans for the new year, there will always be someone out there who could use your help.

Giving back doesn't always have to mean monetary donations. Volunteering your time and your talents can be an incredible gift as well. Do you have a knack for arts and crafts? Make a resolution to work with the kids in the neighborhood to build simple art products. Are you a musician? Visit your nearest nursing home and perform a mini-show for the residents.

There are times where it’s tricky to donate time or money. If you own a good amount of extra clothing or toys, you can donate these to your local thrift store or organization. These items are especially useful during a natural disaster when families have lost everything and need the basics to get back on their feet.

3. Be a Role Model for Friends and Family

If your New Year's Resolution is to connect better with your children, consider donating to charity. Seeing you give will set a solid example for children - think of others and help those in need. You can also encourage your children to give a portion of their allowance or go through their old toys to see what they can give away. It’s important to let your children decide on what to give so they don't feel like it’s another chore.

Tell your family and friends about your resolution to give more this year. Letting them know will help make you accountable throughout the year as well as motivate them to donate.

When you do give, make it personal. Do research and find causes important to you. Don't feel limited to giving money: your time and old items can be equally helpful to those in need.  

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The Best Destinations For All Year Round Vacations

1.  Find Cheap Flights

Your flight can be the most expensive part of your trip, if you spend some time planning and scouring the internet you can find the tickets you need at a significant discount.  If you have the ability to purchase your airfare 6 weeks in advance you will see the prices drop below the average fare.  The fare is also below average outside of the peak traveling seasons.  If you travel during the off seasons you can save money on more than just the flights.

Check multiple websites.  Many of the discount sites are owned by airlines, so their prices may be biased.  Check a few discount sites, but also check the airline’s website, sometimes they post discounts on their website only.  Airlines are also using social media to send out limited time deals.  Make sure to follow the airline’s Facebook and Twitter to get these immediately because they can fill up fast.

 

2.  Travel As Light As Possible

Airlines are starting to charge if you have more than one bag or an oversized bag. Before you pack an item, decide whether you will use it enough to justify the space it will take up.  Coordinating items with whomever you are traveling with can help save space and weight.  Two hair dryers or sets of toiletries are probably unnecessary.  Some places even provide toiletries eliminating the need to bring any at all.  If it is at all possible do not use an oversized bag.  Airlines are increasing prices for weight as well.

 

3.  Utilize Vacation Rentals

Instead of staying in a hotel you can rent a house or an apartment, which is perfect for families or if you are traveling in a group.  Many hotels limit you to four guests per hotel room.  You can find vacation rentals of different sizes that can fit all sizes of groups.  They will also have a kitchen, so you don’t have to go out to eat for every meal, which can be a tremendous saving.  Also, going to the grocery to buy snacks and drinks for the day will be much cheaper than buying snacks and drinks at your activity.  There are vacation rentals all over the world that have apartments and houses for rent for every experience from a beach vacation to a ski vacation and everything in between.

 

4.  Research Public Transportation

Using public transportation to get to your activities will be considerably cheaper than renting a car or using taxis. Each city posts routes and times on their website, check if public transportation is an option at your destination.  Public transportation isn’t only in large cities anymore.  Public transportation can now be an option in smaller cities too.

But if public transportation isn’t an option and you have to rent a car here are a few tips to help you save money.  If it is possible use a non-airport facility.  Some airport rentals can be twice the price of an agency a few miles away.  Also, picking up and dropping off your car at the same facility is much more affordable than dropping your rental off at another location. Finally, compare the weekly rate with the daily rate.  Often times the weekly rate will be lower than the daily rate.

Hopefully these tips will help you to save some money and hopefully you can use that money you saved to take another trip!  But there are many more methods to save money on vacation than what I listed here, so always be on the lookout for better deals and get creative to find more ways to save yourself money. 


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