Insider Secrets to an Affordable Road Trip

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Whether traveling for business or pleasure, most people will take at least one road trip this year, and when they do, they’ll be looking for value.
To help get the most out of your next trip, here are five insider secrets from travel expert and life-long hotelier, Rajiv Bhatia, head of roadside hotel chain Knights Inn.
1. Book Your Hotel Direct. Shopping around is always a good idea, and it seems like new websites pop up every day to help travelers do just that. That’s great for comparing offerings, but when you’ve made your choice, book directly with the hotel or brand. More often than not, you’ll be offered a lower price as well as a best-rate guarantee.
2. Pass on Car Rental Insurance. Rather than paying the insurance that car rental companies provide for a fee, check your personal policy. Often, your plan will include a travel clause that you may not be aware of, saving you as much as $30 a day. To save even more, don’t worry about the size of the rental car you are reserving and go with the smallest size offered. The most compact cars usually get overbooked and sell out fast, often leading to a free upgrade.
3. Don’t Pay for What’s Free. Spend your money on fun, not on hotel Internet fees and expensive breakfasts. Stick with hotels that offer these amenities at no cost.
4. Slow Down on the Highway. Savor the journey to your destination; it doesn’t pay to rush. Driving in excess of 60 miles per hour will waste gas and money. For every five miles over, you car can lose as much as 23 percent fuel efficiency.
5. Brand Loyalty Pays. Hotel loyalty programs let travelers earn points for their stays, points that can be redeemed for gift cards, free nights and more. When you stay with competing brands, it’s likely you won’t earn enough points for rewards. Stay with only one brand or its affiliates and watch your point balance grow. Like having choices when you travel? Try Wyndham Rewards, it’s the largest hotel loyalty program in the world, with 14 brands and over 6,500 hotels.

“Storm Warning” Poised To Find New Audience

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Billy Graham, an iconic spiritual advisor who has preached to more people around the world than any other religious leader in history, sees warning signs in current events.

“Depression today not only describes the hard economic state of affairs sweeping our world but the human state of mind,” writes Graham. “I see this unfolding phenomenon as one of the many storm clouds hovering over a lost and dying world.”

To help people weather today’s economic and cultural climate, Graham has completely revised his book “Storm Warning” which was originally written and published in 1992, in response to the fall of Communism and the Gulf War.

“Trouble brewing in the Middle East especially heightened interest in what the Bible had to say about the end days,” Graham writes. “People began to wonder if there might really be something to the ancient prophecies spoken by God’s prophets, and confirmed by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This new edition of “Storm Warning” offers Graham’s perspective on the post-9/11 world. “We felt that in light of recent developments since 9/11 it might be helpful to reprint the book, bringing it up to date since the turn of the century,” writes Graham’s son, Franklin, in the book’s foreword.

The book looks at current events and how they relate to Biblical prophecy, especially a small part of the book of Revelations. “Scripture speaks of earthquakes, wars, and rumors of wars, and warns us with urgency to prepare for the storms to come,” writes Graham.

God may bring storms, Graham posits, but He also offers shelter. “Just as a laser pen helps focus attention on vital aspects of a business presentation, in this book, I hope to use God’s Word -; His laser beam — to shed light on His revealed plan to save the human race from the explosive clouds rumbling through our world.”

For more information, visit www.thomasnelson.com.

Publish a Book to Support Your Cause

It’s common for celebrities who experience tragedy and want to help others to have a book published by a traditional publisher. But now, “everyday people” can do the same thing. The power of publishing has truly gone public.

Thanks to continuing advancements in digital technology and print-on-demand resources, more people who want to make others aware of a worthy cause can have a professionally published book.

Promote Your Cause By Publishing a Book

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s common for celebrities who experience tragedy and want to help others to have a book published by a traditional publisher. But now, “everyday people” can do the same thing. The power of publishing has truly gone public.

Thanks to continuing advancements in digital technology and print-on-demand resources, more people who want to make others aware of a worthy cause can have a professionally published book.

When Margarete Cassalina lost her daughter Jena to cystic fibrosis, her world stopped; life, as she knew it, was over. Within one year, however, Cassalina went from the depths of depression to simply existing to recovery, discovering that she could not just survive but even harness the power of true and absolute love. She literally went from “beyond breathing” to living a full and purposeful life.

Cassalina published her book, “Beyond Breathing,” through iUniverse (an imprint of indie publisher Author Solutions), and a film about her story is currently in production. Sixty-five percent of the net proceeds from book sales go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Indie book publishing empowers anyone to publish a professionally designed book, maintaining complete control of the content, rights and marketing. For as little as $1,000, a book can be available for sale on all leading online retailers and ordered at any bookstore.

“I’ll never stop the fight to eradicate cystic fibrosis by spreading the word, speaking to groups and raising money,” says Cassalina. “The ability to publish a book and use it as a vehicle to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis has been invaluable.”

In Reg Green’s case, his world turned upside down when his son Nicholas was murdered. Green published The Nicholas Effect through Author Solutions imprint AuthorHouse. The book chronicles his experience and promotes organ donation. Nicholas literally saved the lives of seven people who received his organs. Green has sold tens of thousands of books and speaks regularly on the topic of organ donation.

“I was able to expand awareness of the importance of organ donation and use my book as a tool to get in front of people and relay the story of how my beloved son saved the lives of so many,” says Green.

“Indie book publishing isn’t just about fulfilling literary dreams,” says Keith Ogorek of Author Solutions. “A book is a powerful tool to educate and make the public aware of pressing social issues.”

Promote Your Cause By Publishing a Book

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(NewsUSA) – It’s common for celebrities who experience tragedy and want to help others to have a book published by a traditional publisher. But now, “everyday …

Refuse Defeat in the Face of Obstacles

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Even the luckiest person imaginable will face an obstacle sooner or later — hurdles are simply a part of life. Unfortunately, hang-ups cause many people to question, if not abandon, their goals, when a little perseverance would have resulted in success.

The late Paul J. Meyer, author of the book, “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks,” encouraged his readers to cultivate “negative capability,” or the ability to bounce back from failure, overcome obstacles and take calculated risks.

“Negative capability, the dogged determination to overcome every obstacle, to rebound after a defeat, and to take calculated risks is an absolute necessity for anyone planning on ultimate success,” wrote Meyer. “If you quit when you experience a set-back, you’ve made a pact to live in mediocrity.”

Set-backs are inevitable. In fact, if you never meet any obstacles, it’s probably a sign that you are being too conservative in your risk-taking. Facing obstacles is a prerequisite for success, so you shouldn’t be surprised when they occur. As Meyer put it, “Never waste time in worry, not a second in doubt or frustration, and don’t even stop to wonder why you are faced with obstacles.”

Instead of seeing obstacles as failures, try to see them as opportunities. For example, if you’re giving a presentation and someone raises loud objections, answer their questions in a way that supports your view. Explain yourself well enough, and the obstacle will become the tool that helps you achieve your goal.

Don’t allow the negative forces in your environment to control you or your emotions. As soon as you start seeing obstacles as creative challenges and opportunities, you’ll stop fearing them. And those who do not fear failure will find themselves unstoppable.

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass,” said Meyer.

For more insight from Paul J. Meyer, read the book “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks.”

The Author Next Door: The New Reality in Book Publishing

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In recent years, the entire landscape of the publishing industry has changed, and now thousands of authors whose books might otherwise never have seen the light of day are getting published. Following in the footsteps of film and music, publishing is undergoing an “indie” revolution whereby authors invest in their own work to bring their books to the marketplace.

“The indie publishing revolution is all about providing opportunity and expanding the options for both writers and readers,” says Kevin Weiss, CEO of Author Solutions, whose imprints include AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris and Trafford. “You no longer need to wait years for the chance of being published; becoming an author is no longer a privilege, and the literary world is now accessible to everyone.”

Indie book publishing has also expanded the reasons people write and publish a book. Books are now being used in genuinely new ways — from raising awareness of important social causes to adding to a businessperson’s marketing arsenal and providing significant leverage to attract the attention of a major publisher — books are now multi-faceted “tools.”

Reg Green is an example of the wonderful power of a book to raise awareness of a pressing social issue. After his son Nicholas was tragically murdered, and he and his wife chose to donate his organs, Reg became a leading advocate for organ transplantation. He turned to the pen, too, publishing “The Gift that Heals” through AuthorHouse, which chronicles inspirational stories about organ donation.

Another example, Lisa Genova, was told that nobody would want to read her book “Still Alice,” a novel about a 50-year-old Harvard professor’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

After repeated rejections from traditional publishing houses, Genova chose to self-publish through iUniverse. A literary agent told her she would be basically committing literary suicide if she self-published, and that no publisher would touch her book once she published it independently.

To put it mildly, the agent was wrong.

After a few months and positive reviews, “Still Alice” was picked up by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller.

“If you believe in your book, I think you should give it a chance,” Genova said. “Still Alice was a book that people already identified with, and a major publisher saw the book’s potential in a very real way.”

To learn more about indie book publishing visit, www.Authorsolutions.com.

See the World, Change the World

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The global financial crisis has caused Americans to re-evaluate their lifestyles, including the ways in which they travel. More Americans are eschewing the canned double-decker bus tour in favor of interactive experiences that allow them to focus on family, self-improvement, helping the environment and social responsibility.

Increasingly, this means “voluntourism,” or giving back to the communities visited. Voluntourism trips can mean anything from religious missions to helping plant flowers, working with children, or taking human rights tours or conservation safaris. The travel industry acknowledges that voluntourism has become a major new trend — companies offering voluntourism packages are making money despite the economic downturn. Churches are hoping to generate more interest in missions.

Missionaries can be anyone from young adults to retirees. What do they share? A desire to improve the world. “Their ministry is not without hardship and sacrifice,” says Jerry Rankin, president, International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Church. “Many of them have left prominent positions of ministry and successful careers in America and embraced a different lifestyle, isolated from family and friends. They persevere and labor faithfully, compelled by a vision of seeing a lost world transformed.” To help Americans understand what missionary work involves, the International Mission Board (IMB) recently released a book, “Voices of the Faithful: Book Two, Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World.” The book shares the compelling stories of over 300 IMB missionaries.

“A willingness to go is all they have in common,” exclaims compiling editor, Kim P. Davis, speaking of her friends who are working around the world and with whom she collaborated to create this book — a collection of incredible stories of faithfulness in the face of uncertainty.

For more information about “Voices of the Faithful: Book Two, Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World,” visit www.thomasnelson.com.

Hone Your Ability to Bounce Back

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Maybe you’ve lost your job or your home. Maybe you’re struggling to get by. But tough times are what you make of them — you can’t allow any setback, big or small, to keep you from trying again.

In his new book, “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks,” businessman and author Paul J. Meyer stresses that Americans need to cultivate negative capability, or “the ability to bounce back from failure, to overcome obstacles and to take calculated risks.”

People with negative capability do not allow bad times to get them down. They face every day as a new opportunity to succeed. Sure, it might be easier said than done, but developing negative capability is hardly impossible. Meyer offers the following advice to Americans looking to bounce back from current hardships:

– Learn to expect obstacles. While many people repeat stories about entrepreneurs who find instant success, most endeavors require persistence. You are going to face objections, hang-ups and last-minute disasters — they are parts of life. Know to expect them.

– Don’t give up. Even if you acknowledge that you’re going to face some sort of obstacle, that doesn’t mean you can anticipate every possible bad outcome. Unexpected obstacles can put a hitch in your plans — but you can’t ever give up on your goal.

“Unfortunately, when many people encounter strong unanticipated obstacles, they become frustrated and overwhelmed, begin to question the validity of their goals and often decide to quit,” says Meyer. “They just needed to dig a little and remain persistent. The fact is, 90 percent of all failure comes from quitting.”

– Learn to see obstacles as opportunities. You know to expect obstacles, so learn to see them as normal. Don’t allow negative emotions to dictate your reactions. Instead, learn to see hindrances as opportunities to learn the lessons that will take you to the next level. Rocks in the road aren’t impossible barriers, but hurdles that you, with a little creativity, can learn to leap over.

As Meyer says,”When you cease to view obstacles as threatening or even inconvenient, you become unstoppable.”

For more information about Paul J. Meyer or his new book, “Pink Slip Proof: How to Control All Future Paychecks,” visit www.pauljmeyer.com.

Keeping Calm in a Chaotic World

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Living with stress can limit your ability to take joy in life, not to mention hurt your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure and decreased immunity, among other problems.

But completely removing stress just isn’t possible, especially in today’s slow economy. An American Psychological Association poll from September 2008 revealed that 80 percent of Americans felt stress due to the economy — and the numbers have no doubt gone up since then.

“If you haven’t lost your job, your home, or your savings, you’re probably worried that it could happen, and you’re concerned for those of your friends who have been so devastated,” writes Dr. David Jeremiah, the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, in his new book, “Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World: What on Earth Should We Do Now?”

The key isn’t to avoid stress, but to learn to cope with the pressures you must face. You can’t control what happens in the world, but you can control your response to events.

Dr. Jeremiah recommends that stressed-out Americans calm themselves and focus on the positives in their lives. “Calm,” he says, “is an interesting word that is known more for what it is not: agitation, fear, or turbulence. But ‘calm’ does require some kind of storm, or we would never notice it.”

Use this turbulent time to re-evaluate your life and focus on what’s most important to you. Look at your relationships. Attempt to change what you can and accept what you cannot.

Try some proven techniques and activities that can help you find peace and calm:

– Praying/journaling

– Seeking healthy relationships

– Focusing on constructive behavior

– Scheduling downtime

– Determining to be content

Dr. Jeremiah’s book, “Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World: What on Earth Should We Do Now?” offers more advice for Americans hoping to find peace during stressful times. For more information, visit www.thomasnelson.com.