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Christmas Short Stories Reading Holiday Favorites Together

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Ready to start a fun new tradition using great Christmas short stories?

Most families have a Christmas tradition or two that they look forward to sharing together year after year. Traditions draw us closer together and allow us to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season; they’re also something special to share with future generations. If you don’t have a Christmas tradition, try reading Christmas short stories together this year! It’s free, meaningful and gives a slight pause to each day of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season.

Begin on December 1st and read a story each night until Christmas. You may want to plan ahead by having each family member pick out several of their favorite holiday stories to have on hand. You can borrow some from your local library, download them to your iPod (many can be downloaded free), or listen to audio stories. If you are stuck and don’t have enough favorites for each day, explore some new stories. We’ve created a list below to help get you started.

Make story time special by turning off the TV, computers, and iPods after dinner each night (unless of course, you’ve downloaded your Christmas short stories to your iPod). Light some candles, or gather the family around the lit Christmas tree. Make some apple cider or hot chocolate and have a small treat like a Christmas sugar cookie or shortbread to go with your hot drink. Then settle in to read, or listen to, your Christmas short stories.

You’ll be surprised at how much your family will look forward to this quiet time with each other and you may even have some wonderful conversations during or after reading these timeless Christmas short stories together. Story time is also a great way to wind everyone down before bed, both young and old.

Make this Christmas special and begin a tradition that your family will look forward to each year. Your kids will remember this tradition and may even pass it on to their kids someday!

Here are some stories to get you started. You can find many of these free online.

The Gift, by R. Louis Carroll
The Story of Babouska
T’was the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore
The Christmas Story, the Bible – Matthew Chapters 1&2
The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry
The Little Match Seller, by Hans Christian Anderson
The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
A Kidnapped Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
The Cobbler and His Guest, by Anne McCollum Boyles
The Story of the Candy Cane

We hope that you enjoy reading them and continue the tradition for years to come.


15

Renting Out a Vacation Home

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Tax rules on rental income from a vacation home can be complicated, particularly if you rent the home out for several months of the year, but also use the home yourself.

There is however, one provision that is not complicated. Homeowners who rent out their property for 14 or fewer days a year can pocket the rental income, tax-free.

Known as the “Master’s exemption”, because it is used by homeowners, near the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA who rent out their homes during the Master’s Tournament (for as much as $20,000!). It is also used by homeowners who rent out their homes for movie productions or those whose residences are located near Super Bowl sites or national political conventions.

For instance, if you live close to a vacation destination such as the beach or mountains, you may be able to make some extra cash by renting out your home (principal residence) when you go on vacation–as long as it’s two weeks or less. And, although you can’t take depreciation or deduct for maintenance, you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on Schedule A.

In general, income from rental of a vacation home for 15 days or longer must be reported on your tax return on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. You should also keep in mind that the definition of a “vacation home” is not limited to a house. Apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, and boats are also considered vacation homes in the eyes of the IRS.

Further, the IRS states that a vacation home is considered a residence if personal use exceeds 14 days or more than 10% of the total days it is rented to others (if that figure is greater). When you use a vacation home as your residence and also rent it to others, you must divide the expenses between rental use and personal use, and you may not deduct the rental portion of the expenses in excess of the rental income.

For example, let’s say you own a house in the mountains and rent it out during ski season, typically between mid-December and mid-April. You and your family also vacation at the house for one week in October and two weeks in August. The rest of the time the house is unused.

The family uses the house for 21 days and it is rented out to others for 121 days for a total of 142 days of use during the year. In this scenario 85% of expenses such as mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, and depreciation can be written off against the rental income on Schedule E. As for the remaining 15% of expenses, only the owner’s mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on Schedule A.

Questions about vacation home rental income? Give us a call. We’ll help you figure it out.


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Monster Vacations Myrtle Beach – What To Look For In A Vacation Club

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You have probably heard the best form of advertising is word of mouth. For us at Monster Vacations Group in Myrtle Beach, it is no different. Many friends and relatives have referred us over the years.

But even with a glowing endorsement, it is important for you to do your own homework when you are entertaining the idea of becoming a member of a vacation club. Lets visit some things that you will want to take a good look at here in this article today.

Types of Vacations Offered

One of the first things to look into is the types of vacations being offered by the vacations group. You want to research what types of hotels are offered. Are there destinations available to you that are ones you most desire to visit? Do they offer cruises? Ensure that the answers to these questions match up to your travel and vacationing preferences.

Restrictions

Ask questions about what restrictions may apply within the membership of the club or vacation group. You will want to ensure that there are not restrictions in place that would prohibit you from taking a trip to a destination you really have a strong desire to visit. Be sure to determine that travel dates that you have available to you match up with your own desired travel schedule.

Flexible Options

There are times when it can be a challenge making a trip fit into your personal itinerary. You will want to explore what types of flexibility and options are included in a vacation club membership. Are they strong in their customer service offering? Will they indeed go the extra mile to accommodate when things do not go exactly as you planned or have last minute accommodations that need to be addressed. Will your vacation group be there when you need them?

These are just a few broad points and things that you should consider when looking into becoming a member of a vacation club, but getting the answers to these questions will ensure you join one that best fits your needs and ensures your experience is exactly what you envisioned it to be.


4

Family Surf Vacations

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Surfing or any water sport cannot be learned overnight, but is rather an activity to be mastered over a dedicated sabbatical. Surfing schools are great to get your feet wet with the sport, but are not an ideal fit for those looking to get a firm grasp of the board or families looking to spend moments to cherish. Unlike surfing schools, surf camps offer classes and an array of other activities over a course of days and weeks, and their retreats are geared towards all ages, budgets and the most discerning travelers.

What to expect at a Surfari?

Enrollment in these programs is easy, with parents or guardians filling out forms and other documentation deemed necessary by the specific surf camp. The choice of on-site accommodations can range from small, deluxe to lavish live in spaces and are usually inclusive of meals and refreshments. Professional instruction is rendered on land and water, and for 2-3 hours each depending on the venue. These sessions start from sunrise and are spread across timely intervals, with a number of other activities all through the day.

Where are the best surf camps?

San Diego, being Southern Californias surfing Mecca is an unprecedented surfing destination especially during the months of May until September. These periods bring in temperatures in the mid 70s, which gives rise to smallish wet wells and currents that gently taper off the coast. Some of the beginner friendly surfing spots to take note of are Pacific Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach and Imperial Beach.

Another panoramic destination for surf vacations is none other than Oahu, and being Hawaiis most populous island is the sole reason for a higher density of surfing camps and schools than anywhere in the world. If youre for perfect waves, then the North Shore is not to be missed during the winter months, and the South Shore is ideal spot for learning and easy breakers. Waikiki Beach experiences mellow waves and is a great place to being your quest for surfing.

Another small but exceptional spot to begin surfing is Costa Rica, and being circumvented by two oceans, gives you two coasts to explore. The waves in Costa Rica are more suited for beginners since the powerful, erratic swells move towards the Atlantic turf, sometimes referred to as the Caribbean side, which is geared towards experienced surfers. For surfing spots close to the San Jose Airport, head to the town of Playa Hermosa, and if youre looking for a more exciting beach break, then the towns of Tamarindo and Malpas are just a few miles away. Before embarking on your family surf vacations, ensure that you have the basics covered such as a detailed and tangible itinerary and first aid supplies.


3

Virginia Beach Vacations An Activity Guide For Everyone In the Family

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Virginia Beach vacations are popular choices for tourists from all over the country, an area best known for its beautiful shoreline. However if someone in your group doesn’t like the beach, there are dozens of other attractions in the area that are sure to appeal to any taste.

Amusement Parks: Many people plan Virginia Beach vacations not to see the ocean but to go to nearby Busch Gardens, one of the nation’s most popular amusement parks. In addition to exciting roller coasters such as the Griffon and Apollo’s Chariot, it has a variety of attractions built around European themes. For those interested in a smaller park with less crowding, the Virginia Beach Amusement Park makes for a nice afternoon’s diversion.

Fishing: Even if you aren’t into basking on the beach, many visitors enjoy the bountiful ocean fishing opportunities here in one of the eastern seaboard’s most bountiful fishing grounds. You can fish off the Fishing Pier to catch mackerel, kingfish or trout. Or you can rent a boat to head out and do some serious angling for tuna or marlin.

Golf: Virginia Beach National is one of the premiere courses in the country designed by the legendary course architects Pete Dye and Curtis Strange. This is only one of several outstanding courses in the area ready for anyone from beginners to experienced pros.

Parks and Zoos: The Virginia Zoo is home to over 400 animals housed in natural habitats over a 53-acre park. The Norfolk Botanical Gardens offer a variety of attractions including a breathtaking rose garden, the Bristow Butterfly garden and a pair of nesting eagles who can be observed through telescopes. Mount Trashmore is a beautiful park that was originally a landfill but was redeveloped by the city and now has two lakes, many hiking trails, and a skate park that has been visited by many professional skateboarders including Tony Hawk.

Festivals: Not a month goes by that there isn’t a major festival in the area, and here are just a few of them. The Patriotic Festival celebrates the contributions of local military service people and is held in May or June. The Neptune Festival is a fall celebration of local culture. For the drinkers in the crowd there is the Beer Festival in April, the Wine Festival in May and the Brewfest in October.

Beaches: Even people who don’t like the typical tourist beach like the Virginia Beach strip might enjoy Chicks Beach, on the calm Chesapeake Bay. It’s less crowded without all the hustle bustle of the main beach and can be a part of relaxing vacations for people who want something less hectic than a public shoreline attraction.

This is just a tiny sampling of the activities available to anyone planning Virginia Beach vacations. Even if you aren’t a beach person, consider booking a trip to the area for the many other fine attractions in the area.


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Elongate Your Days While Making Big Money With Top Vacation Biz

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Tired of wasting one week after another on hopeless internet marketing programs? What about investing countless hours and thousands of dollars into a company that is going nowhere? Now is the time for your to capitalize on all of your losses by jumping on board to a company that will open your days up and have you earning big&Top Vacation Biz!

Everyone seems to be making six-figure incomes online, but it is hard to find a single one that actually is. The reason being a majority of the programs and opportunities on the internet are nothing more than a scam. But Top Vacation Biz is one you have long been searching for, and all of that wasted time will seem like nothing but the past.

There are two things you will find with this tremendous opportunity; more free time and much, much more money! Of course, the thing on everyone’s mind is money and you will certainly earn lots of it when joining the team. How much you might ask?

That six-figure income that seems mythical online will finally become a reality for you. Top Vacation Biz will help you create a stable six-figure income that is unheard of during these tough economical times. When most are struggling to find a job or even put food on the tables, you can live a dream life anywhere in the world.

There is an amazing system and outstanding product that essentially sells itself. And with help from highly trained internet marketers, you will be able to tap into an almost 100% automated system that will spit $500 payments your way on command. You will be in awe at how many payments you receive each day, week and month.

The other half of the pie that will have you running to sign up today is the endless amount of family time you will find with Top Vacation Biz. Rather than missing couple’s night or your kid’s big piano recital because of work, you will have the ability to set your own schedule and work the hours you want. Family time will skyrocket so you can spend your time where it should be.

And if that weren’t enough, you will have the opportunity to take an unlimited number of luxury vacation while the money piles up in your bank account. Take the kids around the world or enjoy a romantic getaway with your better half while living a dream life all thanks to the opportunity Top Vacation Biz can provide you today!


6

Travel agents offer holiday deals

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Many travel firms have kept tour prices unchanged while others are offering big discounts of 30-35 per cent for the upcoming National Holiday early next month (September 2).

The Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper reported on Monday that the The He Tre Tourism Co, in collaboration with Vietnam Airlines, will offer two tours of the northeastern region at unchanged prices despite it being a holiday, when prices normally rise significantly.

Those who take the tours will be able to enjoy several attractions including the Dong Van Stone Plateau, Lung Cu Flag Pole, Ma Pi Leng Pass, Ba Be Lake, Nguom Ngao Cave and Ban Gioc Waterfall.

The tours, lasting six or seven days starting from August 30, cost VND9.8 million (US$470) and VND11.4 million ($540), respectively. This would be up to 35 per cent lower than current market prices, the company said.

For the National Day holiday, Fiditour is offering tours from HCM City to favoured destinations like Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands with discounts of up to 30 per cent.

A three-day all-inclusive tour price for Phu Quoc will be reduced by VND1.57 million ($75) to VND5.19 million ($250) per visitor, while that for Con Dao will drop by VND300,000 ($14) to VND6.46 million ($310).

Doan Thi Thanh Tra, marketing and communication director of the Saigontourist Travel Service Co, said that in keeping with the policy to promote domestic tourism, the company had guaranteed that it would not only refrain from increasing tour prices on this occasion, but also offer many cost-saving tours.

Tourists from HCM City can choose tours to Buon Ma Thuot, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Sapa, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, or Phan Thiet with prices ranging from VND2.5-6.5 million ($120-310).

Besides, there are longer tours to the northern, central and western regions priced from VND5 million ($240) onwards, departing from HCM City on September 1 and 2.

Since this year’s National Day holiday falls on Monday, most visitors tend to choose short tours of 3-4 days.

On the occasion of the National Day, Saigontourist would launch its river tours, Tra said.

Recommended tours include a half-day tour to Cu Chi Tunnel, Long Phuoc Garden and Binh Quoi Tourist Village; and a full-day tour to Can Gio and Long An. The tours cost VND294,000-2.23 million ($14-106) per person.

Ton That Hoa, general secretary of the HCM City Tourism Association (HTA), said that the association would sign this week a domestic tourism stimulus programme with Vietjet Air.

The agreement would be a win-win situation for everyone, Hoa said, adding: “Travel firms will have more opportunities to exploit cheap air tickets to sell tours and consumers will have the opportunity to buy cheap travel tours.”


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All Inclusive Cancun Vacations

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It’s rainy, it’s soggy and it’s pouring wet and you can’t wait to get away for your holidays. You eagerly leaf through the magazines sitting in the dentists place and dream of all the places you could be now. Then suddenly an advertisement for an all inclusive Cancun vacations bundle catches your eye and you know where you’re going away to be leaving this summer.

You promptly take down all the details without tearing out the page because you just know the receptionist is going to look your way the minute you do. But even that’s very well because know you have your holiday goal and you know that your all inclusive Cancun vacations package will give you on the dot what you need to get off from the stresses of routine life.

The problem you have now is the fact that you don’t want to go solely and you’re not too certain whether the girls from the place have already intermeshed their vacations. Since that’s upmost in your mind it’s the first thing you do when you get back from the dentist’s office. Fortunately for you just about everyone’s free and on this waterlogged day, raring to go on their all inclusive Cancun vacations package.

The thing is what can you expect to get from your all inclusive Cancun vacations bundle Do you get room and board, or room and something else, or something else totally You should ideally check this out before you pay up for your all inclusive Cancun vacations package. Ordinarily though with something like an all inclusive vacations bundle you would be looking at acquiring your room plus meals included.

You would also get a drive to and from the airport at your destination in Cancun, and you could also somewhat expect a few more little odds and ends added on depending on where you go to and what deals they’re offering. If you don’t get even the basic meals included in your all inclusive Cancun vacations bundle then you might want to look elsewhere for something that truly is all inclusive and not just a gimmick.

That said, after you’ve sorted the whole thing out the only thing left for you to do is to wait thirstily until the time for your holiday rolls over and you and your friends can go on your all inclusive Cancun vacations passing work and stress behind you. The best part of your all inclusive Cancun vacations is the miles and miles of fortunate beaches where you can enjoy in the sun and think about doing nothing more arduous then reach over to drink your gratuitous chilled succus just what you need.


3

We Talk About Country Vacation Hyderabad

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As a leading holiday ownership company in the country having a worldwide reputation, country vacations has negotiated special access to equally premier resort companies that are not a part of its group and also where Country vacations doesnt own a property. All that a country vacation member has to pay is a very nominal per day utility charges at these resorts which are in a way a part of country vacations membership

As a part of the country vacation membership, the members are eligible for a free accommodation for 5 weeks over the period of 5 years in the country vacations own resorts. The members will also have access to all the other affiliated clubs within India and abroad. The country vacation membership is completely transferable, giftable or even saleable through the members personal contacts. Also, as a part of the country vacation membership, the members will be able to avail 20% discount on food at country vacation Hyderabads amrutha resort. There are many more such value able offers that one gets with the country vacation membership.

When we talk about country vacation Hyderabad, the first thing that comes to mind is the grand Amrutha Castle. But actually there is much more to it. Hyderabad country vacation comprises of total 6 such resorts and clubs at Amrutha castle, Begumpet, Medchal, Country kuteeram, Lepakshi and Vishakhapatnam. As a country vacation member one gets access to all these beautiful and luxuriously done clubs and resorts on a very nominal charge. At present the accommodation facility is not available at the Begumpet and Vishakhapatnam Country clubs but these clubs are fully equipped with all the other facilities like, gym, spa, bars, restaurants, childrens play area etc.

The most famous among the country vacation Hyderabad group is of course the Amrutha Castle. This country vacation resort is built on the lines of the very popular and the magnificent Schloss Neuschwanstein castle with is on the Austrian German border and is the first property of the country vacation India to get an affiliation from the RCI of USA. Amrutha Resort is a complete getaway from the daily monotonous and the usual business class hotels. It is located in the heart of the city and is a 4 star boutique hotel. This castle hotel has 90, very tastefully and luxuriously done rooms that come with 24 hrs room service. The hotel also offers a rooftop swimming pool, health club, travel desk, guided tours, car rentals, health spa, multi cuisine restaurants, coffee shop and all the other facilities that one can imagine. We can say for sure that just like its grand architecture, Country vacation Hyderabad groups Amrutha Castle comes to its guests, with the same majesty, magnificence and grandeur.


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What If You Fall Ill On Holiday

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One of the best times of the year is the holiday. Indeed, a holiday can be the most memorable part of your year, but it can be the most terrible if you fall ill on holiday. You can avoid suffering from illnesses during your vacation by making the right food and beverage choices. Also, travelers obtain reliable travel insurance to keep themselves protected in case they contract illness during travel.

Cases of food poisoning among travelers and vacationers are common in spite of information campaigns by travel agencies. Some illnesses have symptoms that linger long after the patients have returned home. What should you do if you contract disease during your holiday?

Many people do not know that they can actually claim compensation from the UK tour operator if they catch disease during their vacation and they have booked a package holiday. But obtaining compensation may mean going through standard process, wherein you will have to prove that the illness is due to the negligence of the operator. You can also demand compensation if the hotel failed to apply necessary steps to prevent infection.

When proving the negligence of the resort owner, for instance, you must provide evidence. You can take photos or videos of the place to prove poor maintenance and sanitation. You can also ask other people to provide evidence on your behalf. Testimonies from other vacationers who stayed at the resort are important. You can also provide names of people who got the same illness as you did.

Sometimes, identifying where you got the infection is troublesome. You have to recall the places where you went and ate, and then recall the last place you were at before the symptoms appeared.

Of course, before you can claim compensation, you have to provide evidence that you were ill. This is easy. You can obtain records from the hospital you were admitted to or from the doctor you went to when back in the UK.

It is not easy to go through the process of obtaining compensation, especially while you are still ill. In most cases, travelers put more emphasis on their own health than worrying about who pays their medical bills. Also, many travelers just cancel their vacation and go home where they choose to get medical treatment.

Another issue is that vacationers who contract illness do not know they can claim for compensation. Holiday illness can afflict many vacationers, only 1 in every 10 afflicted actually makes a complaint. Remember that if you booked a package holiday and you fell ill because you ate contaminated food provided by the hotel, you may be eligible for compensation.

What compensation you may be entitled for? Assuming you have proved that it is the tour operators or hotel owners fault, you can claim compensation for the suffering you endured due to the illness and for the cost of your spoiled holiday.