Brazil – Just Sensational!

Because Brazil is the country that gave birth to the carnival, the dazzling costumes and glorious beaches of Rio de Janeiro, will allure you to the rhythm of the Samba. The mix of colors shows Brazil’s great diversity. It has a hospitable spirit unequaled anywhere else in the world. The country of Soccer, good food, exotic beaches, rain forest, waterfalls, and many other topics make Brazil come together and the ideal destination for those who wish to be well received and treated as if at home. This is a place where many people leave their hearts.

Indubitably it is an ideal destination for travelers that deserve a very luxury custom program, service and money wise tour provide. It’s obvious that so many costumes arrive home already day dreaming of returning.Whoever visits Brazil always comes back. And every time you come back you will witness a different spectacle. Travel to Brazil for an awesome experience in a life time.

Brazil is a unique mix of races, Breath – taking Mountains, Amazing wild life, and a great pleasure. Come and get a glimpse of Brazil rich biodiversity. Those who come, fall in love. Don ‘t miss the opportunity to get your vacation in vacation.

Covering almost half of South America, it occupies an area of 8,547,403.5 square km. It is the fifth largest country in the world. The Atlantic ocean extends along the entire East Cost of the Country offering 8.5 thousand km of marine coastline.

Large International Hotels and good quality of service area way of life. Growing numbers of tourists are coming to Brazil, every year and 96% of the American citizen says they want to return to Brazil.

From Amazon to Iguassu Falls it’s a fantastic scene with beautiful views of cities, Brazil eco-tourism, Unbelievable forest and happy and smiling people. From the big cities to the little ones, you are always going to find many magic spots and a reason to come back to a paradise named Brazil.

Managing the Holidays – Top 10 Tips

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of year for many people. It’s a classic example of how we ask too much of ourselves and of others.

November comes around and suddenly we expect to turn into a “Martha Stewart!” We want a beautifully decorated house, delectable homemade treats, perfect, well thought out personalized gifts and well-behaved, eternally grateful children……even after we’ve disrupted their sleep routines and filled them up with cookies and candy. A little unrealistic, perhaps?

So how do you avoid creating a horribly hectic holiday? Here are some tips:

1. Ask each family member what their number one favorite part of the holiday is and only do those. You don’t have to do everything! You might be surprised that there are some things that aren’t as important as you thought.

2. Skip the holiday cards-send New Years cards in January or Valentine cards in February when you have more time. When you send something later, people are more likely to read it. If you send cards and family updates in January or February there’s a better chance they’ll remember what it said.

3. Give theme gifts: magazine subscriptions, donations in their name, gift cards, tickets to a concert, movie, play, etc. Go through a list of magazines and choose one that fits each person on your list. Think about their favorite store, go online and order a gift card for them. Give them tickets to an event you both like and maybe they’ll share the second ticket-the gift that keeps on giving.

4. Take a nap after Thanksgiving Dinner and wake up when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Thought I’d toss that in for fun.

5. Make a list before heading out the door. Nothing is more time consuming that wandering around the mall waiting for the perfect gift to jump out at you. Go through catalogs or magazines for ideas, decide what you want and buy only what’s on your list.

6. Go shopping with a friend and combine it with a massage, spa treatment, sauna or a soak in a hot tub. How fun would it be to shop for an hour or two and have a great meal or spa date afterwards!

7. Breathe……breathe…….breathe. A deep breath will help you slow down to think and make better decisions. Think about the last minute craziness before guests arrive-mind racing, bouncing from one thing to another. Stop, take a deep breath and your mind and body will automatically slow down.

8. Make the holiday meal a group event: ask guests to bring part of the meal. If you are hosting an event say up front you are providing the main dish and they can choose a side dish to bring. No need for a hostess gift then. How many candles or knick knacks do you need?

9. Schedule FUN things for yourself. While you do lots for your families and friends this time of year, don’t forget to do something for yourself-go to a movie, buy yourself a little gift, hang out with a friend, go skiing or try something you’ve always wanted to do.

10. And finally, do only the things you need to do and the things you love to do. Let go of the rest. What traditions do you love and which ones feel like chores? Going back to Tip #1,only do the number one favorites. And don’t forget your favorites as well! When you do activities you truly enjoy, you will be more energized and happy. Doing activities that feel like chores is draining and can leave you with feelings of emptiness and fatigue. That’s NOT what the holidays are supposed to be like.

The holidays have special meaning for everyone, gratitude, giving and celebration. You can’t honor those when you’re stressed out and exhausted.

Make this Holiday Season the happiest and least hectic one yet!

Six Tips For Enjoying the Holidays Stress Free

Life in and of itself can prove to be very stressful at times,however, more often than not the holiday season can stir up quite a lot of stress. For most of us, the holidays includes too much time fighting traffic, spending way too much on our credit cards, entertaining relatives and pretending to be thrilled when we receive yet another George Foreman grill. It’s no wonder that in an effort to pull off the perfect Disney holiday you might find yourself facing an overwhelming array of chores, shopping, baking, cleaning, etc. and you have to manage to get it all done either on your days off or after work. This year, you can make it a point to enjoy the holidays more by simplifying some of the work, while maintaining what makes the holidays special: The Love and fellowship with friends and loved ones. Here are some tips to help you cope with, or even avoid holiday stress:

ASK HELP FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS Putting up a Christmas tree and other decorations can be exhausting. Asking family and friends to help is one of the best ways to save energy and have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays. If everybody in your family gets along, consider yourself blessed. But if your family is full of friction, the holidays can become very unpleasant. You can clear the atmosphere by involving everyone in the planning and decision making. Make it a party. Serve food and refreshments and have fun.

GO EASY ON ALCOHOL A stiff glass of eggnog can be a good way to toast the holiday, but don’t go overboard. Too much alcohol will only add to your stress.

KNOW YOUR SPENDING LIMIT Much of the stress of the holiday season comes from feeling pressured to buy bigger and better gifts for those we love, even if this puts us in debt. If you are a Grandparent like I am, this can be an especially challenging temptation. Expensive gifts won’t guarantee a happy holiday. Even children will be grateful for moderately priced gifts that are chosen with care.

START YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT SHOPPING EARLY People sometimes postpone holiday shopping until the last minute, but shopping early you can avoid the stress of dealing with crowded stores and parking lots, traffic jams,cold, snowy weather,etc.

DO YOUR SHOPPING ONLINE Shopping for gifts online is an ideal way to buy gifts for friends and family. You can check your list and see how many gifts you can purchase at the same online gift store, and try to get all of your shopping done at once. Many gift store websites offer great sales and discounts, especially during the holiday season. Don’t stress yourself out wondering what gift to get for someone who has everything. You can purchase Gift Cards in different denominations, place them in a Christmas greeting card and you have the perfect gift for people of all ages.Save money, save on gas, and shop from the comfort of your home.

KEEP MOVING Exercise is always a great stress reliever. Instead of watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 100th time, grab your favorite cousin and go for a brisk walk.It will improve your heart health and it’s a great way to shed those extra calories from eating too much of Aunt Mary’s German chocolate cake.

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, calm and peaceful. Give these tips a try, and I guarantee you’ll have less stress and more fun!!

Happy Holidays!!

Office Christmas Party Safety: Top 5 Tips

Christmas is a time for letting your hair down and having some fun, but it’s important to make sure you prepare for a safe Christmas season, particularly if you are responsible for other people. Office Christmas parties are meant to bring a company together and raise morale, make sure yours doesn’t do the opposite by carrying out a proper risk assessment before it begins.

Safety hazards and compensation claims

If you are responsible for maintaining a public space like an office then failing to address safety hazards at Christmas could put people in danger. An unsafe environment at Christmas time could cause serious injuries and injured people have the right to make compensation claims. Here are the top 5 tips for office party safety.

1. Keep an eye on alcohol consumption

Employers should take careful control of alcohol consumption at office Christmas parties. All underage visitors and employees should be supervised. If employees are supplied with so much drink that they end up with alcohol poisoning or any other injury then employers can be subject to compensation claims against them.

2. Ensure food is safe to eat

If you intend to supply food at your office party then it should be prepared with caution to make sure employees don’t become ill after eating it. Failure to carry out safety checks could result in compensation claims, and a potentially compromised workforce. Christmas party snacks such as canap├ęs are liable to cause tummy upsets if the re-heating process is not administered properly.

3. Take care to label foods

Did you know that unlabelled food can potentially be dangerous? For example, if any food contains nuts then someone with a serious nut allergy could experience a fatal reaction. Ensure that all food and ingredients are clearly labelled to avoid any allergies and to ensure that the employer’s duty of care has been carried out. Employees should be able to decide what they can and can’t eat.

4. Make sure attendees get home safely

Employers have a duty of care to make sure their staff are capable of arriving home safely after the office Christmas party. Employees who are involved in car accidents as a result of drinking too much at the office party can make successful compensation claims against their employer. This can be avoided by Providing a shuttle bus or car pool.

5. Eradicate trip and fall hazards

Typical Christmas trip and fall hazards include seasonal decorations such as trailing Christmas lights and other decorations, office equipment which is out of place and bags and coats which are left in walkways. Make sure there is a proper place for everything, ideally signposted where necessary, so that items can be safely tucked away. Ensure that all Christmas decorations are securely fastened before the party begins, as an employer you should be covered against any compensation claims.

As long as employees and employers alike are vigilant about safety, the Christmas season will end with peace and happiness – not injured staff and compensation claims.

Travel Tips – Packing Light For A Carefree Trip

Travel tips in travel books and on travel websites often advise travelers to “pack light.” In my experience, these sources of travel information don’t go far enough. If you’re a budget traveler you’re unlikely to be relying on hotel porters, taxi drivers, or other people paid to drag your luggage around. You’re more likely to be dragging it yourself – through airports, through subway systems, on and off of buses and airport shuttles, and through city streets.

It cannot be overstated that carrying too much weight around can be the difference between a fantastic, exhilarating travel experience and an exhausting one that you can’t wait to end. If your luggage is heavy, you’re mind will be more on the thought that you can’t bear to drag your luggage down one more street, than it will be on the sights and sounds of that exotic locale. My years of traveling around Europe, primarily by plane, train, bus, subway system and on foot, have taught me several things. The lighter your luggage, the lighter your heart.

Traveling light does not mean hoisting traditional suitcases. The suitcases themselves add extra weight, and suitcases are difficult to carry. I find that holding a large object by its handle, its weight hanging down off the end of my arm is the fastest route to a shoulder and backache. Traveling light also does not mean pulling a suitcase that has tiny wheels on the bottom. Spend a few minutes watching tourists attempting to keep control of that type of unstable suitcase, as they wobble and tip to one side, and you’ll see what I mean.

Traveling light does not mean carrying an over sized, bursting-at-the-seams backpack, either. Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness hiking and camping in the rough, where you’ll have zero access to shops, forget the overloaded backpack. Why lug a heavy backpack through the wilds of London when there are shops on every corner, where you can forage for everything you need?

So, what should savvy budget travelers carry, and how should they carry it? My advice is that you carry one small day-pack style backpack. It can be done, if you think before you pack, and if you make logical decisions as to what you truly can and can’t live without, and what you absolutely must transport to your destination versus what you can easily pick up once you arrive.

For example, if you regularly use a prescription medication, obviously you’ll need to carry an adequate supply with you. Carry a spare as well, and keep it on you, so that you needn’t panic if your pack gets nabbed by a thief. Be sure to also carry the prescription itself, so that you can prove that you’re really transporting a prescription medicine, if you’re stopped by customs or security personnel. It’s even better if you have a prescription that carries not only the commercial name of the medicine, but also its chemical name, in case you need to show it to a pharmacist, doctor, or customs authority, in a country where your own language isn’t spoken.

If you’re traveling to a hot, tropical location, by all means carry a bottle of sunscreen – but buy a bottle that contains the amount you expect to need for the duration of the trip. Don’t burden yourself with a jumbo size container, two thirds of which will be still be with you on the return trip. As a rule of thumb for any type of toiletries, carry (or buy upon arrival) small tubes, bottles and boxes containing just enough for the trip. Don’t drag around weight that you’ll ultimately drag back home with you, or you’ll only end up with a bottle of sunscreen that can boast to its neighbors on the medicine cabinet shelf that it’s been to Tahiti.

If two people are traveling together, whether they’re part of one family or they’re friends sharing the adventure of a lifetime, take only one set of toiletries between you. Carry separate toothbrushes, of course, but pack just one of items such as deodorant and soap and then share them. Half of your toiletry weight will have been eliminated simply by not both carrying duplicate types of items and, believe me, objects like these really contribute to the bulk and weight of your luggage.

Ask yourself if you can live without extras such as cosmetics, perfume and jewelry. Their combined mass and weight can quickly add up. Try a more natural look during your trip. It will save you daily time, as well as saving you daily strain on your arm and back muscles. As an added bonus, the less stylish and flashy you look, the less likely you’ll be to be the target of a mugger.

Forget about electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. You can live without a hairdryer or electric shaver and save not only the weight of these appliances, but also the additional burden of adapters to suit overseas outlets and electrical currents. Carry, instead, a lightweight compact plastic razor, or just let your beard grow. You may later decide that it suits you and decide to keep it ! If you plan to fly, don’t bother packing razor blades or manicure scissors. They are not allowed on planes anymore, anyway, so should be bought locally, if needed, and then properly disposed of before you fly home. I always find it practical to carry a little sewing kit for emergency repairs, but that doesn’t mean an entire kit full of colored spools of thread. It means a single needle plus one little spool of pale thread and one of dark thread together in a little bag.

Keep clothing to an absolute minimum. Stick to one basic outfit that’s comfortable, casual, and not easily wrinkled. Supplement it with a couple of extra lightweight tops and a couple of pairs of socks and underwear that can be repeatedly washed out in hotel rooms. A single sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings and a thin plastic rain poncho and you should be set.

By sticking to one small backpack per person there are additional advantages that you’ll soon appreciate. You need never check bags at the airport and risk having them lost, you don’t need to endlessly load and unload airport or train station trolleys and count your bags to be sure that none have gone astray, plus everything is close at hand and easily accessible. By carrying just one backpack each, you’ll also look less like affluent tourists, and thus you’ll be less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or purse snatcher as you move about city streets and in subway systems. Travel light and you can put less of a burden on your muscles, leaving you with more energy and a bigger appetite to truly experience the marvelous places that you are visiting. Travel light and you’ll be more likely to travel happy.

Internet – The Smart Way of Getting the Cheapest Fares

Airplanes have brought the distant exotic holiday destinations closer to all of us. Today you can reach even the farthest places in just a few hours. So, whether it’s a trip to beautiful Australia or a trip to Dubai, it is all ‘in-reach’. The credit for this goes to Engineering and Technology.

Another face of technology is ‘Internet’. Internet is being used extensively for many different purposes (e.g. online shopping, content research, entertainment etc) and booking air travel is one of them. Though the various conventional ways are in use too, internet is by and large the most popular route for booking air travel. Besides being convenient, internet is the place where you can get the cheapest airfares most of the times.

Let’s take a look at some smart tips that can help you get the cheapest air fares on the net:

1. Book Early: Most airlines offer some ‘hot deals’ on air fares. These are the deals that airlines use to promote/advertise their services too. Generally, the earlier you book your flight, cheaper are the airfares. So, plan well and book your flight 3-4 months in advance (or even earlier, if you can).

2. Good Research Can Make A Difference: Good research is the key to getting cheapest airfares on the net. There are a number of websites through which you can book your air travel online. Some websites are operated by online travel agents while there are others that are operated by airlines themselves. If you shop around, you will find that various travel websites offer different fares for the same dates, times and facilities. However, instead of searching for air fares at various websites, you can use one of the multi-site airfare search engines that automatically get results from various travel websites (including airline websites).

3. Participate In Online Auctions: There are several websites that sell air tickets and travel packages through the auction route. Sometimes you can get the cheapest airfares here. The only condition is that you should be super-flexible in terms of dates, times, airline preference etc. Mostly, you will not know about the airline, hotel name, car rental etc till you have actually won the auction and made the payment. But that is something that you have to bear in order to get the cheapest deals.

4. Book Travel Packages Instead Of Just The Flights: Since most airlines, car rentals and hotels have tie-ups with each other, they offer you a discount if you book everything together. This discount is reflected in the travel package deals that you book over the internet. However, you might like to take a sneaky look at hotel rates that are available through other websites or through phoning the hotel (remember most hotels will give you a discounted rate, if you ask for the ‘best price’). Moreover, booking travel packages is much more convenient too (especially if you are short of time). Some websites will even have the pictures of hotel rooms and details of the hotel amenities, so as to facilitate your decision making process.

5. Be Flexible: The cheapest airfare deals are generally available to those who are flexible on the travel dates, times, airlines etc. This is because airfares and travel package costs are based on the demand; and cheapest airfares are for flights that are the least in demand. Holidays and weekends are the busiest times for airlines; so, the airfares are higher for such days. Similarly, evening flights are costlier than the morning or noon flights. Most travel websites provide you cheaper options if you demonstrate flexibility.

These are the smart tips that can really help you in getting the cheapest airfares.

10 Family Friendly Travel Tips

Traveling with the family can be a nightmare. Not only is family travel expensive if you can’t find affordable airline tickets, it’s also a huge inconvenience for you and for your fellow travelers. The key to a smooth travel experience is to plan ahead and prepare, as much as possible, for the unexpected.

1. Book non-stop flights. Although you may not be able to find non-stop flights with cheap airline tickets, avoiding extra time in the airport during layovers and the possibility of delays or cancellations is hugely beneficial when you’re traveling with family. Plus you’ll never have to wake a sleeping baby. It can never hurt, however, to check discount airfare sites for the most affordable non-stop airline tickets.

2. Pack your child’s travel carry-on with a surprise. Stuff you kids backpack full of new toys, games, and activities. Or, you may even want to consider wrapping a few old items like a present. You’d be surprised how exciting an old toy can become after it’s pulled out of new wrapping paper.

3. Schedule extra time. Whether you’re traveling with discount airfare or with full-priced airline tickets in hand, every traveler has to go through the same check-in and security routine. Always build in plenty of time for check in and connecting flights; everything takes twice as long and is twice as complicated when you’re traveling with children. Don’t forget to double check that TSA prohibited items list before heading to the airport for updates on carry-on or checked items to avoid delays at the security gate.

4. Reserve seats in advance. Eliminating any unpredictability when traveling with your family is a plus. When buying your airline tickets always check to see if you can secure your seat assignments in ahead of time. Consider booking your family’s seats all together, splitting up the family if traveling with another adult to avoid in-flight sibling feuds, or trying to find aisle seats for easy maneuvering. Also, even if you booked advanced seating, ask at the gate if the flight is full; you may be able to request a vacant seat between you and a fellow passenger.

5. Check flight restrictions when booking. Cheap flights can sometimes come with hidden restrictions such as strict cabin baggage weight limits or fees for checking strollers.

6. Test your stamina in advance. You may be able to benefit from cheap airfare by paying for one less child if you can handle having your child sit on your lap in a chair at home for the length of your flight.

7. Schedule flights during sleep time. Use discount airfare to try to find cheap airline tickets around the time your child normally naps. Also consider booking redeye flights; not only will you find cheap airfare, you may be able to benefit from having you child sleep through a nighttime flight.

8. Board first or last. You receive the same boarding privileges with cheap airline tickets as you do with regular-priced tickets: when traveling with children you’ll have the option of boarding first. Early boarding can be convenient because it allows you extra time to get situated; however, boarding last will cut down on the time your kids have to wait on the plane.

9. Beware of bulkhead seats. What you gain in legroom with bulkhead seats you’ll lack in under-the-seat storage, which is even more valuable when traveling with children. Also these seats often lack armrests, preventing your child from comfortably cuddling with you.

10. Check your luggage. You already have plenty to keep track of when you’re traveling with family – multiple little ones, tickets, IDs, bags – but you can eliminate unnecessary hassle when you check your bags. Think of it this way: what you save on discount airfare you can put toward the extra fees airlines may charge you for checking bags.

Tips for Buying Small Travel Bags

People who travel often develop a strong view on the type of travel bags that best suit their needs.Buying a new travel bags is easy. Here are some tips for buying the perfect small travel bag.

Generally there are two broad sizes of bags used by travelers – small luggage and larger suitcases.

Small luggage comes in many shapes

Business travel is often short-term. Hence the luggage design reflects the needs to carry papers, laptops and personal items needed for an overnight business trip.

For casual and outdoor trips select a backpack. Backpacks work for people who prefer to travel light. A small backpack should carry everything needed for the entire trip whether it is camping or any other type of short trip.

The design of carry-on luggage gives the best options for travelers on flights or bus tours. Airlines specify the maximum dimensions and in recent times, the staff confirm suitable bags at check-in. This specification allows the bags to fit in the overhead compartment of the plane or underneath your seat.

Totes and casual bags are for the person seeking for a travel bag that can carry a day’s outdoor needs. Most of these types of bag designers have fashion in their minds all the while attempting not to compromise the practicality of the item.

Garment bags and carriers are specialist bags for carrying dresses, suits or clothes on hangers.

Bags have accessories to improve their usefulness. Here are a few accessories that improve bags for traveling.

Locks are often attached to the bag. However, they can be added to the zippers or appropriate places, if required. Keyed locks and combination locks are available for most cases.

Luggage tags are essential.They help you find your bag when collecting from carousel and other places.

Many modern bags incorporate carts allowing easy wheeling, instead of carrying.

Other considerations.

Hardware. Ideal luggage should have straps, handles in different sides, and compartments to hold your clothes in place and to prevent wrinkles. Recessed handles generally last longer.

Bag fabric varies with polyester, leather, and nylon being the most common. Choose one with higher “denier” to assure durability. The higher the number the more durable the material. Fabric type determines the price of travel bags. Hard cases are also becoming popular.

If you can chose the zipper,choose large zippers because they usually outlast smaller ones.

A rigid bag frame is recommended to ensure the bag remains sturdy. Materials such as fiberglass, durable plastic, and aluminum provide luggage excellent frames

Small travel bags vary greatly in price. If you are a frequent traveller a more expensive travel bag will serve you well.

10 Tips For Great Road Trips

These ten tips will make your road trip more of a breeze than a whirlwind. From car care to what to pack, we’ve thought of everything, so you don’t have to.

1. Have car in good repair. While you can make the most of a car breaking down, and still enjoy yourself, a great road trip is easier to have without being stranded, towed, or spending money on costly repairs.

2. Know the route. There is something to be said about hopping in the car and just driving in whatever direction sounds fun, but for a great road trip, planning helps immensely. That way you get gas when you need to, have places to stop for food, rest, and fuel. Being lost when you are trying to get somewhere is never fun, so plan some activities, and print out directions for how you are going to get from Point A to Point B.

3. Seating arrangements. How you sit in the car is going to make a difference in how enjoyable the road trip is. No one has fun if someone in the car is puking. The car smells, it is gross, and it stalls the trip. So, putting people who are prone to car sickness near a window, putting kids that need help near someone that can help, and separating those that tend to argue or fight can make a trip so much more fun!

4. Movies. Pack a movie player and movies for all ages. Just do not forget to pack some headphones so that those unable to watch the movie do not have to hear it. Having a DVD player in the car can make a world of difference in how well kids handle road trips.

5. Music. Put together a fun playlist or mixed CD for the road. Having a continuous set of tunes that are fun, upbeat, and will make the trip go by faster is a great idea. It always pays off to have some music ready for the road.

6. Audio Books. Nothing makes a drive go by faster than being immersed in a good book. Of course because it is hard to read and drive at the same time, not to mention it can make you sick, or be difficult without daylight, an audio book you can load on your iPod, or put in your car CD player is a great idea. Find an audio book that is the approximate length of time as your trip, that way as you end your book, you also end your destination.

7. Snacks. It is not a road trip without some delicious snacks and treats. While you will likely still stop for food, having pretzels, wheat thins, licorice, beef jerky, apple slices, cheese, yogurts, chips, candy, etc. in the car to snack on when the urge hits, can make it a much more comfortable and satisfying ride.

8. Stops. If you are on a road trip with kids, it is important to give them a break from the car. So, stop every three or four hours for about thirty minutes. It will make the trip far more enjoyable, and ironically, make it go faster. Stop at a McDonald’s and let them eat and play in the indoor play area for a while. Stop at a rest stop and let them run around for a few minutes, or take them shopping. A little break from the car can make it much more pleasant to be in it.

9. Temperature control. Keeping the car comfortable will make the ride better. So, make sure your AC works, and make sure that those who do not like it cool bring along a light jacket.

10. Sight seeing. Make the journey part of the fun. Stop along the way at various monuments, tourist spots, beaches, or whatever else you find. Taking time to stop and see the sights on the way to the site, can be really rewarding and fun!

Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree – Top Holiday Tips

For many families, choosing the perfect Christmas tree is the start of the holiday season. Don’t drop the ball (excuse the pun), on this all-important tradition. Follow these simple tips by America’s Christmas Tree Growers in order to find the perfect tree for your family this year:

Choose a tree lot that will either let you cut down the tree you choose yourself, or will let you watch them cut it to ensure its freshness. In the event you must purchase a pre-cut tree, be sure to ask where it was shipped from and when it was cut.

When searching the lot for a good tree, don’t disregard ones with flattened or ill-shaped sides. Mother Nature tends to leave one side very full and the other flat. Put your tree in a corner or against a wall to hide any imperfections.

Remember, trees always look bigger out of doors with the sky as their ceiling. Be sure to measure your ceiling height correctly before leaving home, as well as door widths and room sizes to ensure that the size and width tree you choose will actually fit once you get it home!

Look for trees with pliable needles. If they snap or bend easily or pull off the branch with little effort, the tree may have been picked days or weeks earlier and won’t hold up to the heat indoors and lose its needles quickly once its decorated.

All evergreens shed needles from the inner branches on a regular basis, so don’t worry if a few fall off when you pick up the tree or shake it. Check to see if your tree retailer offers shaking service to help clear these loose needles from the inside of your tree before taking it into the house.

If possible, have your tree baled in plastic tree netting to make it easier to get home and set up.

Once you’ve chosen your tree and got it home, it’s time to take proper care of it to ensure that it will last throughout the entire holiday season.

Here area few tips on how to care for your family’s new Christmas Tree:

If you are not planning on putting your tree up immediately, cut about a half inch off of the trunk and set it in a bucket of water until you’re ready to take it inside.

When you’re ready to bring your tree inside, cut another ½ inch off of the bottom of the tree trunk, then place it in the tree stand with enough water to cover the entire diameter of the tree – about one quart of water for each inch of diameter stem. Be sure to keep the water at this level to ensure freshness. A trunk that is allowed to seal over will dry quickly and lose its needles before Christmas ever arrives.

Be sure that you check the label on your tree stand to make sure it can accommodate the size tree you have chosen.

The best tree preservative is plain water. No need for added chemicals.

Keep your tree away from all heat sources. Turn down the heat in that room if at all possible t keep your tree moist and fresh.