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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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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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With the price of everything around you skyrocketing like there is no tomorrow, it is not going to be easy to save up for a good vacation with your family. Of course, compare the airfares (If travelling by plane ) or maybe even plan to take the trip by road to save up on your cash. But there are more things out there, which you can take care of so, such that you don't end up spending too much on your vacation with your family.

Fasten your seat belt, and let us go for a "thrifty" ride.

Plan And Spend

When on a vacation, shelling out a lot of money for unnecessary items is something we are very good at. And there is no denying that this can actually increase many times when you travel with your family. To avoid such unwelcome scenarios decide upfront how much will you be spending on your vacation.

Make a list of all the possible places where you will have to go, along with your travel and accommodation charges. And once you have a rough figure, decide on whether you are spending a little too much, or do you still have room in your budget for some more dollars.

Your Credit Card Can Do Wonders

You have probably acquired those loyal points/rewards from the usage of our credit cards in either restaurants or grocery stores. Well, it is time to pull out the same cards again, and it is quite simple as well.

All you have to do is sign up for those rewards which would require you to meet some minimum spending requirements and pay your entire bill by the end of the month. Trust me, these rewards or points from the credit cards can help you save quite a bit of money when booking airfare or accommodation.

Technology - Your best friend for the vacation

What better way to get suggestions than from the technology itself? Whether you want to stop to grab a bite when you are on a road trip, or you need to know where a gas station is on the way, there are hundreds of apps out there which suggest  various deals that are on offer for your requirements. And then there is Google Maps which you can use to store all these key locations so that you don't have to break your head later trying to find them.

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

I know most of you might disagree with me on this, but think of it again,  the "use and throw" goods may be cheaper and more convenient but you have to buy the same goods repeatedly. When you are out with your family, you will end up buying so much stuff that you will start wondering, have I come out for a vacation or shopping?

Instead of spending your cash on these items, purchase reusable goods for your vacation. It might be a pack of washable clothes instead of a paper roll, or substitute water bottles for all the plastic water bottles you buy. Make sure each time you buy something, you stop and think whether a reusable replacement is available for the same. You will also be contributing to the environment by keeping it cleaner with less plastic and other non-reusable waste.

Hotels? Think Again

One of the biggest expenses when traveling with your family is the accommodation. With innumerable options out there, you might be tempted to opt for the best hotel, or a famous hotel to live in, for a week or two? But with all of you cramped up in just one room, do you think you are going to end up with a pleasant experience. And if you are on a vacation with other family relatives as well, you can just imagine the resulting turmoil.

"Thank you for all the facilities you have, but no I prefer a vacation rental instead." This is what I tell most hotel owners or their associates who ask me if I need a hotel room. Just think of it, you have a whole house to yourself, where you can cook your own food, your kids have a lot of space to run around and have some fun of their own, and you will be entitled to your own free space as well. And the best part is: all this comes for a very affordable price.


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