Online Travel and Tourism Career Preparation

When looking to pursue a career in travel and tourism an education will help you to obtain the skills and knowledge you need to be successful. Becoming a professional can require you to learn various skills in order to provide the best services. Online career preparation is available through numerous schools and colleges. Online learning programs offer training at the certificate and degree level. You can start by looking into the level of education and career you wish to obtain.

Learning to work in the field of travel and tourism can be done by completing an accredited educational training program. This can be done online from the comfort and leisure of your own home. Training options include being able to pursue various certificates and degrees ranging from an associate to a master level. The length of training will be based on the level of education you decide you want to earn.

Certificates can require anywhere from several weeks to one years of accredited online training.
Associate degrees typically take two years to complete and obtain in the field of travel and tourism.
Bachelor degree programs can require you to fulfill four years of online learning to obtain.
Master degrees will take you an additional two years of accredited online study to earn.
When you choose to pursue an education and career in this field, you will be able to study various topics that will help you to complete all required training.

Coursework differs between online career preparation programs as well as the level of desired education. You can expect to learn a variety of subjects that relate to your specific career and education goals. Subjects of study may consist of:

Marketing and Sales Techniques
Computer and Reservation Systems
Accounting and Bookkeeping Courses
Cruise Line Information
Travel Destinations
…and many other courses that may relate. Online learning provides you with skills in these areas to help you enter into a successful career. You can choose from a number of professions in travel and tourism by earning an accredited online degree or certificate.

Possible career will vary based on the level of education you choose to pursue. You can expect to receive the training needed to enter into employment as a:

Cruise Sales Manager
Reservationist
Travel Agent
Corporate Travel Counselor
Property Manager
…and many other travel and tourism related professions. You can be sure that the education you receive will prepare you for career such as these by ensuring it carries full accreditation.

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Travel and Tourism Degree and Certificate Options

Enrollment in an accredited school or college can help you find your way to an exciting career. There are different opportunities available to help prepare for numerous professions inside the field of travel and tourism. Studies can be completed at various levels to allow for the training to meet your individual needs and goals. Enrollment options will vary by educational training program, but will help you to enter the same careers. By learning more about travel and tourism degree and certificate options, you can begin training for the career of your dreams.

Education

Different higher education programs offer training in travel and tourism to help prepare you for an exciting career. Studies can be completed at the certificate, associate, bachelor, and master degree levels. Coursework and training can vary but will typically require up to one year for certificate programs. Associate degree programs can take two years to complete. Bachelor degrees will require four years of training, and master degree programs will take an additional two years of study. Training can be completed in order to carry out tasks assisting travelers with reservations, cruises, and much more. You can start by enrolling in a program and discovering the available careers.

Careers

There are many different career choices available for you to choose from when looking to become a professional in his field. accredited studies will help you obtain the information that is needed to work in a variety of places. You can look forward to entering the workforce as a professional:

Travel Clerk
Travel and Tourism Manager
Travel Agents
Travel Coordinators
…and many other related hospitality professions.
Opportunities for employment include working in hotels, property management companies, reservation departments, and various other businesses. By enrolling in an accredited educational training program you can prepare for the career of your dreams by studying various subjects.

Coursework

Training will cover a variety of topics that are related to the level of education being pursued as well as the desired career. You can expect to learn hospitality, accounting, travel destinations, and many other courses related to the field. With an accredited training center you can study bookkeeping, reservation systems, sales techniques, transportation, and more. Training will cover different topics to allow you the chance to receive the quality education that you deserve. Start the path to a new career and find a program that fits your needs and goals.

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The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

You want to go to travel and tourism college? Once you obtain the necessary travel and tourism degree, then what? Tracy Snelling, an account manager at Atlas Travel International, a travel agency in Milford, MA, never went the traditional route of going to travel and tourism college, but she can tell you a lot about the career in store for you. The award-winning innovative company in products and services, not only prides itself in their excellent company culture, but her ability to help her clients. So what does it take to be a travel and tourism pro?

How Snelling’s Travel and Tourism Career Began

When Snelling was in college, she was drawn to work at a small agency in North Carolina part time. “I thought it would be nice to travel,” she recalls. “Little did I know it really wasn’t that much about traveling.” But the job did have its benefits. In fact, Snelling’s experience at Atlas Travel International landed her an accounting job. Sure, she was in the back of the Atlas office doing the books, but she soon realized her true calling on the job.

“When I realized that accounting would drive me crazy, I used my customer service skills and moved to the front office as a travel consultant,” explains Snelling who also worked on leisure trips and corporate reservations. “As a travel agent, I loved working with people to provide them what they were truly looking for in travel,” she says. Within a few years, Snelling found herself managing the travel and tourism agency, training agents, and more. Snelling’s largest account hired her to start their client services department. She then moved to Massachusetts where her travel and tourism career flourished.

A Typical Day for a Travel and Tourism Pro

For Snelling, there’s no such thing as a typical day in her travel and tourism career. “It’s so fast-paced that change is the only typical expectation,” she explains. “You can expect that what ever task list you start with will not be the one that you follow throughout the day.” From internal customer service requests to numerous external requests, most of which are not planned on.

When it’s all said and done, the daily stresses are outweighed by Snelling’s satisfaction from assisting those in need of her travel and tourism expertise and assistance. “The industry has never been typical or predictable It keeps my juices flowing,” says Snelling. “Learning about all the great destinations of the world also makes the job incredible.”

Snelling’s Advice: From Travel and Tourism College to Work

Of course, tourism education is paramount. You will need training at a travel and toursim college before you land an awesome job like Snelling. Combine what you learn at a travel and tourism college with experience, advises Snelling. “Get as much experience in customer service and business management as possible,” she says. “If you can learn anything at all about the travel industry, that will definitely help you.”

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Travel and Tourism Courses

The latest development in technology and the introduction of travel and tourism course in India has fulfilled the desire of billions of people to explore the world. This has resulted in a booming demand of tours and travel professionals in diverse service sectors. India itself is one of the favored destinations of many people for it having heritage of one of the oldest civilizations and for its aura and cultural diversity. The long-term career opportunities in the travel & tourism industry have always been strong whereas the short-term outlook is strong enough to ensure a secure career. A career in travel and tourism deserves to be opted for its diverse job profiles in various sectors including travel agencies, Airlines, and many other governmental organizations dealing with tourism.

The present advancement in universities and colleges has led to many courses in this field such as a Bachelors Degree course in Airlines, Tourism & Hospital Management, Bachelor of Tourism Administration, BTM (Hons), PGD in Tourism and Travel, and many other quality courses. Career aspirants who desire to pursue a career in Tourism can have the options from public as well as private sector. The public sector can offer you jobs at various levels in state tourism board or the central tourism department. There are few other courses as well that can enable you to earn a lucrative job in the tours and travel industry. These are listed below:

• Bachelor of Tourism Studies
• PG Diploma Course in Tourism Studies
• PG Program in Travel and Tourism
• M.A. in Tourism Management
• Master of Tourism Management

And the institutes offering these courses are as follows:

• Indian Institute of tourism and Travel Management
• Tezpur University, Assam
• Andhra University, Andhra
• Indira Gandhi National Open University, etc.

The eligibility criteria for taking admission in bachelors course is to clear your higher secondary education while PG course requires you to carry a graduation degree and a maximum age of not more than 28 years. The duration of the course depends on the level of course such as 6 months, I year and 3 years. Selection process passes through an entrance test held by the institute itself. In order to clear these entrance exams, the candidate is advised to brush-up his/her knowledge with reference to history, culture, geography, and places of tourist attraction in India. Some institutes also provide you the option of Distance Learning courses in Tourism and Travel management at degree levels, certificate level, PG Diploma level, and PG degree level, etc. These distance learning institutes may include Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Karnataka Open State University, Kota Open University, and many more.

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Travel and Tourism Career Training Possibilities Online

Career education programs are available online for those who can’t commit to attending traditional classes. Deciding to pursue a career in the hospitality field can give students the chance to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce. Knowledge learned will prepare students to seek employment in the specialized area of their choice. Online schools and colleges provide students with the opportunity to obtain an accredited education in travel and tourism. By doing so students can pursue a number of careers by obtaining various certificates and degrees.

Students can learn a number of things prior to enrollment in an online training program.
The level of education students choose to obtain will decide on the career possibilities available to them. Coursework will also depend on the level of education and desired career of each student. Students can prepare to work with people providing travel services and information when needed. Studies can be completed from the comforts of home at the students own leisure, allowing students to continue their current employment.
Obtaining an education will prepare students to seek the employment that they dream of.

Degree Options

Online career training programs can be completed at a variety of levels. Each individual student will need to complete the degree program that is necessary for their desired career. Training options can include earning a:

Certificate
Diploma
Associate Degree
Bachelor Degree
Master Degree
Students who pursue an education at these levels will be able to prepare for the successful career they need in travel and tourism. These levels of education can be completed by studying and passing all required courses.
Coursework

Students will be required to study various subjects based on the career they long for and the level of education being pursued. Accredited online training will allow students to attend courses in accounting, reservation systems, bookkeeping, travel destinations, cruise lines, sales techniques, and other subjects that related to specific careers in this field. Learning the skills and knowledge provided by these courses will prepare students for an exciting travel and tourism career.

Careers

There are numerous career possibilities when it comes to working in the hospitality field. Students who choose to gain an accredited online education have a number of career options to pick from. Training will prepare students to work in hospitality as travel and tourism managers, travel coordinators, travel agents, travel clerks, and other professions in this field. By pursuing the online educational training needed to enter into these careers, students will be on their way to seeking successful employment.

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Financial Skills – How to Budget & Balance Accounts

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for a few topics:

How to open a bank account
How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement
It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.
In the last article, we focused on opening a bank account. This article is the second article in the four-part series and will look at how to teach kids to budget and balance their accounts.

Budgeting

It’s not shock that budgeting can be boring and tedious. I’ve personally never been excited to sit down and create my budgets, but it’s something that creates wealth and pays off down the road.

So how do you get kids excited about it? How can you add a little glamour to something so dull and boring? Easy – make it a game with payoffs.

Firstly, it’s important to know how to create a budget, then to adhere to the budget.

Creating a Budget

You may have your own way to create a budget, and that’s fine. In my experience, the easiest way to make a budget is as follows:

On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle:

Spending BudgetCalculate your average monthly gross income and put that at the top of the page, then multiply it by.80 (for example, if you earned $1,000, you would end up with $800)
Fixed ExpensesWrite down all of your FIXED expense categories (i.e. phone bill, insurance, mortgage etc… ) and put them in one column on the left side of the page
Variable ExpensesNext write in the variable expense categories (i.e. food, gas, leisure, etc… ) and put them in another column on the right side of the page
Fill in all of your expenses
Net Budget after Fixed Expenses – Subtract fixed expenses from your spending budget If it’s a positive number, you don’t need to change anything If it’s zero or a negative number, you should look for expenses that you can cut or lower
Budget variable expenses – Using your Net Budget after fixed expenses, determine what you can spend on variable expenses without overspending each month
Set a budget for each variable expense so you know what you can spend on each category in a given month
Making it Fun
OK, now that you have a budget outline, it’s time to get the kids excited.

I know what you’re thinking: “My kids will never be excited for this.”

They will if you give them some prizes or payoffs. Here’s how:

First, tell them what a budget is and show them the paper. Next, tell them that you’re going to do a contest (if you have more than one kid, this works even better).

Contest 1: Anticipating Spending

The first contest is to see how close they can budget their money to reach a break-even or $0 over the course of a month. In other words, the goal is to predict your spending as close to the penny as possible.

If you have more than one kid person that gets the closest to break-even without going negative wins a prize. With just one kid, tell them that they get $5 or $10 if they reach break-even, and every penny they are off, you deduct 10ȼ

Contest 2 – Saving After Spending

The second contest is to see how well they can budget their money over the next 30 days. If they can save money, tell them you will give them whatever they save. That means if they save $5, you’ll give them another $5 (just like companies matching a person’s 401K contribution).

If you have more than one kid, tell them whoever is able to save the most will win and get a special prize. You will obviously choose the prize since you know your kids best.

Coming Soon

In the next article, we’ll discuss how to write checks and pay bills. You will also learn how to combine check-writing with these contests to simulate the real world of budgeting for your kids.

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Financial Skills – Opening a Bank Account

I was surprised when I asked parents to tell me the life skills they wish their kids knew, and there was a resounding request for kids to learn how to open a bank account.

Similarly, there was a huge call out for:

How to budget & balance accounts
How to write checks and pay bills
And how to start saving for retirement
It seems some of the things we take for granted are, as a result, missing from what we teach kids.
This article is the first article in the four-part series and will discuss the best and simplest way to get started with opening a bank account.

It seems easy, but there are several questions many people never think of that we’ll address in this article:

Which bank?
Checking or savings account?
Are there fees or minimum balances?
Should I get a Debit Card too?
Should I have my name on the account with my kid?
1. Choosing a Bank

When you choose a bank, there are a few criteria you’ll want to look at:

Location
Number of branches
Ease of access
The location should be convenient to your home, but also have enough branches so that – in the case of an emergency – you can get to your bank.
I opened an account with Elevations Credit Union when I was attending CU Boulder. It was convenient and credit unions are really great to bank with. However, after I graduated and moved, there were no branches around me, which made things very inconvenient. I ended up opening an account with US Bank since they are in about every King Soopers, where I do my grocery shopping.

This is especially important with kids because you don’t want them to have to drive too far just to bank.

Similarly, ease of access into the branch is important. I remember having a Norwest (now Wells Fargo) account, and getting in and out of the bank’s parking lot was terrible. I had several near-miss car accidents and dreaded even going to the bank.

2. Checking or Savings Account

As you’ll learn in the future article about saving and budgeting, there should be an account that is used for saving and investing.

That means it’s important to have BOTH a checking and savings account.

The reason a checking account is important, is so that kids can learn how to write checks, and have a designated spending account aside from a designated savings account.

Checking accounts are important for paying bills (be it online or via mail) and will give kids the opportunity to learn how to write checks. Even if check writing isn’t as prevalent as it once was, it’s still important.

I was shopping one day and realized I forgot my wallet, which had my credit cards and cash. I started to panic because I needed some food. Fortunately, I keep a couple of checks in the car and was able to save myself by writing a check… they still come in handy!

3. Fees & Minimum Balances

Some banks have fees to have an account and others don’t. Obviously get the one that doesn’t since your kid shouldn’t have a huge account. Likewise make sure there isn’t a minimum balance or a very small ($10 or less) minimum balance.

Just as important is how overdrafts are handled!

When I was in college, it never failed: my peers (who hadn’t learned how to balance an account) would routinely trigger their overdraft protection and the hefty fees that went along with it.

They would look at their balance online and it would show $10. Then they’d check it again a few days later and it was at $30.

It was the magical growing bank account; and they never wondered where the extra money came from. Until the end of the month when they had over $200 in overdraft protection fees!

I would suggest NOT getting overdraft protection and instead making darn sure they can balance their account (which we’ll cover in a future article).

4. What About a Debit Card?

Here’s my thoughts on kids having debit cards: it makes it much, much harder to balance the bank account while making it much easier to overspend and run into trouble.

Are ATM machines convenient? Yes, but I have never once used one in my entire life. Part of teaching kids life skills is to teach them to be prepared. I keep an extra $10 in cash plus a few checks in my car. It wouldn’t bother me if it got stolen.

If you’re determined that your kid gets a debit card, wait at least six months after opening their account so they can learn “the old fashioned way” and understand how the debit card affects their account when they actually start using it.

5. Should I Be On The Account Too?

I think it’s a very good idea for you to be on your kid’s first account so you can monitor their spending and make sure they don’t cause a train wreck.

It’s good to get statements so that you can use that as a learning experience to go over them with your kid and teach them how to properly dispose of them (in a shredder) so that they decrease their risk of identity theft.

Come up with a time frame or benchmarks until you pull yourself off the account and let your kid take on the responsibility of an individual account.

Opening a bank account is a huge step into a new world for kids and it should be a great experience. Walk your kids through the setup and look for the learning opportunities along the way.

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Common Surety Bonds You Ought To Know

A surety bond can be defined as contract between three parties guaranteeing that a job will be completed in accordance to the contract terms. The three are the project owner who is the obligee, contractor who is the principal and the surety who ensures the task at hand is completed as per the agreement terms. Surety bonds are more financial related and even though they are very common in the construction industry, they come in different types touching on different areas of agreement. Below are some of the most common that can make a difference for businesses.

1. Contract – They are the ones contractor need especially when bidding on large projects. They go to show that the organization has the capacity and financial ability necessary to manage and complete the projects at hand. It is not always that the bonds are required for contractors but they may be required to present them when bidding on government projects, big projects or when requested by customers to do so. Bonded contractors have better chances of nailing large projects. They include bid bond, performance bind and payment bond which together cover the entire project as appropriate.

2. Business – They differ from place to place and ensure businesses are responsible in fulfilling duties promised or offered to clients and also to the government through payment of bills and taxes. Different business categories need the bonds to show that their operations are trustworthy and financially responsible.

3. Court – In the legal industry, surety bonds also come into place. The most common are those that individuals with court cases require to ensure defendants show up in court or to ensure payment as directed. In some other legal instances, legal clients may need bonds to perform different functions line becoming estate executors. The most common are appeal bonds, estate bonds, injunction binds and guardian bonds.

4. Permit and license – They basically go to show that business owners and workers will abide by local regulations set for the field they are involved in. For instance plumbers need to abide by plumbing codes and regulations within their localities and a license bond works as assurance that they will perform their duties as expected.

5. Commercial – These include different kinds of bonds that are not under construction and court surety bonds. The most common include business service bonds, lease deposit bonds and commercial contract bonds among others.

They do come with lots of benefits depending on the field they are designed for. Bonded companies often gain a good reputation and are more likely to be trusted with projects compared to companies that are not bonded. If you are a contractor you must of course choose a surety bond provider that you can trust so the terms you abide by are easy for you to keep up with. The above are the most common but there are so many other types of surety bonds coming up with every passing day.

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5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Over the past few years, SEO has evolved faster than the previous decade. And this has made it harder for users to keep up with most recent updates. The launch of Penguin and Panda changed the way things worked in the past. In short, the way Google used to rank website has changed a lot. But if you want to reach your objectives, make sure you avoid some common SEO mistakes.

1. Avoiding RELEVANT CONTENT

In the start, Google said that it would rank websites that have the most relevant content on its first page. This statement is still valid. What has happened is that the search engine has become a lot better at achieving the objectives. In other words, now, Google is in better position to know what is relevant and what is not.

So, what you need to do is offer content that is relevant and avoid content is not relevant to your niche. Of course, the content should be informative and unique.

2. Following Tricks

People have been using many illegal ways of cheating the search engine algorithms for traffic, exposure and backlinks. Some of these tactics can still give you a temporary edge, but they are bad for your blog or website for the long-term.

So, you should avoid using low-quality, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, questionable redirects or cloaking for traffic. It may be tempting to go for these short-cuts, but they will just hurt your ranking, and may even get you banned for good.

3. Overloading your site

It has been a common perception that photos, videos and other graphics make a website more appealing for the viewers. To some extent, this perception is true; however, there should not be too much of it or your website will take ages to load. Your viewers don’t have all day to wait for your site to load. If your blog takes longer to load than other websites, the viewers will just click away. You will not only lose viewers, you will also lose ranking against other websites.

4. Making navigation difficult

Navigation is one of the most important factors for any website. It’s important for both viewers and search engines. Ideally, your viewers should be able to get the desired information from your website in one or two clicks. This may not be an easy task for you. So, what you can do is put important content on the main page of your site. This the users will be able to get what they want more easily.

5. Misunderstanding THE BACKLINK PROCESS

You may not want to be obsessed with obtaining a lot of backlinks. Although you don’t have to have backlinks from authority websites to establish your credibility, it helps a lot. However, what you need to do is try to get backclinks in a nature fashion. But it’s not a good idea to buy backlinks. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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