How to Put an Army IRR Packet Together

Packet requirements, what you need to include in your IRR packet:

1. IRR packet checklist, based on Figure B-59 of USAR Pamphlet 600-5.

2. DA Form 4561, Request for Reserve Component Assignment or Attachment. Completely filled and signed by the Soldier and the Commander.

3. Your statement/justification letter and backing documentation. This is based on the reasons listed in AR 140-10.

4. Chain of Command Recommendation.

5. Cogent Personal Reason. If the specific reason isn’t listed in AR 140-10, it requires an exception to policy by your OFTS.

6. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). This is from the commander to the Soldier and is face to face. Are you in receipt of a bonus? This counseling statement must warn you about bonus termination or recoupment.

7. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). From the Soldier’s servicing career counselor to the Soldier; it’s also face to face.

Valid reasons for transferring from the Troop Program Unit (TPU) to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR):

As a TPU Soldier, you can forward an IRR transfer packet up the chain of command. There’s no guarantee for that packet’s approval, or for your transfer to the IRR.

If you want to improve your TPU to IRR transfer chances, refer to the valid reasons listed in AR 140 -10, Chapter 4, Paragraph 9. If you have enough documentations, and facts, to support one or more of these reasons, include them in your IRR packet. This’ll help you make your case for transferring to the IRR.

Employment Conflict:

Let’s say that your employer all of a sudden can’t release you from the work schedule so that you can drill… as your absence would cause an adverse impact on your employer’s operation. Before, this wasn’t an issue. Your employer released you for a weekend, and was able to continue his operation. When they couldn’t release you, you were able to reschedule.

Now? Your employer needs you, on the days you need to drill, in order for the company to continue on with its mission. Conditions had changed since you started working with this employer.

Or, you’re in a company that restructures and eliminates your job. They move you to another part of the company. In this new job, you’re on call to go to different parts of the country, and your schedule is random. You’re not able to do rescheduled training. Your employer can’t spare you for any reserve drill without negatively impacting company operations.

These are just two examples, of which there are many, on how your employment could evolve into something that makes it hard for you to meet TPU requirements.

In your Soldier’s Statement of Justification letter, provide an objective picture of how your employment schedule makes it impractical for you to continue with the TPU. Include statements from your employer to back this justification.

Change of address:

You accept a new job within your company. It’ll pay you more, it’s something that you love doing, and it represents a move up in your civilian career. The catch? You have to go somewhere that’s two days away from the nearest Army Reserve center. Your employer isn’t able to spare you enough time to get to, and return from, the nearest Army Reserve unit.

In this scenario, you’re a TPU Soldier that can’t drill with any Army Reserve unit.

Or, you get a promotion that sends you overseas. Your job location is a long flight away from the nearest Army Reserve Center.

For something like this, you’d be able to submit a packet to transfer to the IRR. In your statement of soldier justification, include employment orders, employment promotion documentations, new job description, an objective picture that details your new job location, your new residence, etc.

Cogent personal reasons:

This is sort of a “catch all” to cover other reasons not specifically covered in AR 140-10.

What you think is a very good reason to transfer may not be what the Army thinks it is. You also have to see this from your unit’s perspective.

You’re asking them to release you, when they need you at the unit during drills and summer training. They don’t have a guarantee that they’ll get a replacement Soldier. You have to convince them to “sign off” on your IRR packet.

Let’s say that you’re “burned out” from doing drills. You just want to “sit around” in the IRR until the “burnt out” phase ends. In your unit’s eyes, this is a subjective reason. They could work with you to where you wouldn’t need to submit an IRR transfer packet.

In this example, your soldier justification letter needs to provide an accurate, objective, picture of how your Army reserve duties contribute to you being burned out. You’ll need letters from your medical professionals to help bolster your justifications.

Whatever the personal reason that you choose, make sure that you could provide an objective picture. Make sure that you could provide factual information from subject matter experts involved with your situation.

You also want to prove that there’s no other way to “solve” your current issue other than to transfer to the IRR. Before you do this, you have to exhaust the means to resolve this with resources that your unit could reference you to.

You completed the TPU portion of your contract, now you’re ready to transfer to the IRR:

As of this writing, everybody that joins the military, for the first time, signed an eight year contract. When a first time enlister signs a 6 year Army Reserve contract, they’re not just signing up for 6 years. When those 6 years are over, that Soldier has an additional 2 years of commitment. They can request transfer to the IRR after their TPU commitment.

This concept applies even if the TPU part of the contract was 3, 4, or 5 years.

Once the TPU portion of the contract is over, they can request transfer to the IRR. They have to continue drilling with the unit until they receive their IRR orders.

Surviving son or daughter:

You’re in the reserves, and pursuing your civilian career. Two years later, your last remaining sibling passes on. You’re now your parents’ only surviving child. This is an unfortunate event, but one that gives you an opportunity to transfer from the TPU to the IRR.

When you write your Soldier justification letter, include documentation proving that you’re now the last/sole surviving child for your parents.

Dependency or hardship makes it impractical to participate in TPU:

Let’s say your family situation changes, and you have to provide extra care and supports to one of your family members. This family member is someone on your dependents list. You don’t have an alternative care plan… nobody else could afford to give up a lot of their time, and sacrifice their employment, to help you out.

This dependent family member needs your presence. Without you, this family member’s welfare is negatively impacted.

Two examples of this category is an “assisted living” situation and a “direct support provider” situation. In these scenarios, a family member is unable to care for him or herself. The family member requires a soldier’s attention, supervision, and direct support to do basic functions.

Statements from doctors, social workers, case managers, and other related people should be included in this packet. Their statement should focus on the nature of the dependency hardship, and on the need for you to be consistently available.

Pregnancy:

If you’re pregnant, you may be able to transfer to the IRR. You have to be MOS qualified, and you can’t be within 3 months of your ETS.

Non selection for retention:

This impacts TPU Soldiers that have received their “official notification of eligibility to retire with pay at 60” letter. This is the “20 year letter.” By regulation, these Soldiers are subjected to a Qualitative Retention Board.

Prior to this board’s convening, the impacted Soldier receives a “pre board” packet. The Soldier is given a couple of options. If the board removes the Soldier from the TPU, which control group would the Soldier like to transfer to?

The Soldier could elect to be transferred to the retired reserves, or to the IRR. Should the qualitative review board decide to remove the Soldier from the TPU, orders will be generated transferring the Soldier to the control group that the Soldier selected.

This is also applicable to TPU Soldiers subjected to the actions of other types of retention boards. In this situation, a Soldier may have the option to transfer to the IRR.

Enrollment into a non-scholarship ROTC:

A “non-scholarship” ROTC program is one that offers the student a chance to participate in an ROTC program without financial benefits. These students don’t get a monthly stipend. These students pay for their own tuition, fees, and other expenses.

Soldiers that get accepted into this type of ROTC program can submit an IRR packet.

Merchant Marine Academy:

If you get accepted into the Merchant Marine Academy, you can submit an IRR transfer packet.

Army Regulation 140-10:

For details on each of these categories, and how to apply under them, read Army regulation 140 -10, Assignments, Attachments, Details, and Transfers.

Counseling statements from the commanding officer and servicing career counselor:

Did you get a bonus for enlisting into your current TPU contract? If your IRR transfer gets approved, you could lose the remainder of your bonus. Depending on your bonus stipulation, you could end up having to pay back the part of your bonus that you received.

If you’re receiving a bonus, you need to be informed of this fact when you submit your IRR packet.

This counseling statement should also inform you of your IRR responsibilities. The commanding officer will include any information that’s important to you. This includes the fact that you must continue to drill with the unit until you receive transfer orders to the IRR.

The career counselor will inform you of opportunities that are available to you in the IRR, including opportunities to reclassify and transfer back to the TPU when personal conditions favor such a move.

IRR transfer packet tips:

1. Are you on your initial contract, with IRR time following your TPU time? By regulation, you’re not supposed to submit your IRR packet until your TPU obligation is complete. You can submit your IRR transfer packet the day after your “TPU ETS” date.

2. After you submit your IRR packet, you have to drill with your unit until you receive orders transferring you to the IRR.

Don’t simply go by what somebody at your unit says. Some Soldiers have stopped drilling after they “completed” their “TPU years,” because they thought they were automatically in the IRR. This wasn’t true, they had to report back to drill.

3. Follow up on your packet. If HRC doesn’t get your packet, they might extend your TPU status to the end of your military service obligation. In this case, you’ll have to drill until your 8 years is up.

4. If you have unresolved medical issues, you have to have these issues resolved before you can transfer to the IRR.

5. IRR Soldiers still have obligations and point requirements to make. However, you could consider the active standby reserves instead of the IRR if you want to “get away” from the TPU temporarily.

In the IRR, you have to get at least 50 points a retirement year.

In the active standby reserves, there’s no requirement for you to get at least 50 points. You maintain your military affiliation, but you’re generally not required to maintain a good year. The active standby reserves is what most people assume the IRR is.

Additional References:

1. AR 140-10; provides details on the above categories as justification for IRR transfer.

2. AR G1 Policy Letters.

3. USAR Pamphlet 600-5.



Source by Travis Hill

Cheap Holiday Deals to Stalis Provide Perfect Holidays For All


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Family holidays to Stalis are about as popular as couples holidays, beach holidays, 18 – 30’s holidays, and mature holidays to Stalis. In fact, it is difficult to find a group that can’t appreciate holidays spent in Stalis. Greek island holidays seldom have as much to offer visitors as you will find in the resort of Stalis-a resort that offers a little bit of everything you could possibly want from a beach holiday and a little bit more.
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First of all, you should check out various package holidays to Stalis. You might be able to learn a little more about the possibilities that holidays to Stalis present for the entire family simply by taking in the long list of package options that are available to you. More importantly, in these economic times, packages are a great way to make cheap holiday deals to Stalis and other locations on Crete.
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The nightlife in Stalis is rather lively though not nearly as dominating as the nightlife and club activities are in Malia. Stalis is a more well-rounded option for holiday fun than those resorts that are designed to appeal to party crowds or even those that attract more mature holiday crowds. What you have in Stalis is a healthy mix that makes it a worthy choice for family holidays.
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The beaches of Stalis provide excellent opportunities for families that enjoy beach holidays and are content to spend the entire time on the beach. There is much more to this charming resort than a few beaches though so you don’t risk running out of things to do. Popular excursions to enjoy from Stalis include mini trains to Malia, boat trips to Santorini, and the traditional villages that can be found further inland. Greek island holidays are about experiencing the best Greece has to offer. Don’t miss out on the cultural treasure chest waiting for you away from the primary resorts.
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Cheap holiday deals to Stalis are a great way to enjoy the very best of Crete. Don’t miss out on package holidays and prices that are lower in price now than they have been in years. Family holidays to Stalis may be the perfect way for you and your family to enjoy Greek island holidays. Make your plans today and you could be enjoying the beautiful views and gorgeous waters of Crete before you know it.

Source by Wayne Bromiley

Lessons in Boosting Self-Esteem

This summer my 11 year old Godson, Kendon, is spending a few weeks with me. Despite having an 11pm bedtime, he tends to wake up every morning around 6:30 am and this morning was no different. In my hazy fog of sleep, I could hear the "bing" as he turned on the X-Box so that he could watch Power Rangers on Netflix. Luckily, I had set him up with a pair of headphones, so I never had to hear the TV and could sleep in perfect silence.
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Shortly afterwards, I decided that it was time for me to get up and get ready for the day. As I made Kendon a bowl of oatmeal, he took his headphones off and approached the kitchen. My first thought was that he was hungry and wanted to know what I was cooking for breakfast. But to my surprise he asked if he could stay home from summer camp today and work on making a paper boat.

Exactly one week ago, I explained to Kendon that in one week there would be a paper boat challenge where the winner would win a prize.
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I took the time to explain to him what a paper boat was and we even watched YouTube videos of last year's challenge. I then told him that it was up to him to figure out how to make the paper boat and to determine what type of paper to use.

Six days went by and Kendon did not utter a sound about the paper boat. I thought that he had completely forgotten since he is so engrossed in the Power Rangers during every waking moment of the day.
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So that's why I was taken aback when he woke up remembering that the challenge was today.

I took a few moments to figure out how I wanted to answer this question. Part of me wanted to allow him to stay home and we could make the paper boat together because I really wanted to make a boat and enter the challenge myself. But the other part of me saw this as a learning opportunity concerning procrastination. So as I faced him, I decided to tell him no.
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I rarely tell ever him no, since I only get to see him once a year. But I knew that this lesson would stay with him for a lifetime.

I gently told him that waiting to the last minute was not the proper way to do things. I reminded him that he had all week to work on the paper boat but chose to do other things like watch the Power Rangers in his spare time. I ended by explaining to him the importance of priorities and planning.
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As he sat at the breakfast bar eating his oatmeal, he looked like a sad puppy. His melancholy face almost made me give in until I asked him what was wrong. He replied by saying that he "really messed up" and he was very upset with himself. That's when I realized that the critical view of one's self that a majority of adults possess, start at moments like this.
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And I was not about to let my own Godson put himself down so it was time to raise his self esteem up!

The following things that I told him can apply to anyone who needs a little help with self-esteem.

1. Accept your mistake. Once you have made a mistake, do not ignore it, accept it. What is done is done. Move forward by either fixing the mistake or letting it be. Not all things can be fixed so ask for forgiveness and let it go.
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2. Do something that feels good. After you make a mistake, you feel bad about it. So replace that bad feeling with a good one. Do something that you know will be a smile on your face. For Kendon, I knew that he loves to eat chicken. So instead of packing some boring lunchmeat for his lunch, I replaced it with two pieces of chicken from last night's dinner! That put a huge smile on his face.

3. Learn from it. There's a life lesson in every mistake. So take a few minutes to think about what lesson the universe is teaching you at this moment. Your mistake is an opportunity for growth and development. Kendon learned that preparation is important and procrastination may cause you to miss out.



Source by Lolita Korneagay

Some Gift Ideas for Summer Season

Summer is a season which provides you opportunities to make some lifetime memories. There’s a lot to do like playing for hours, swimming, soirees, bonfires, barbeques and much more. It’s the season to set yourself free and relax.
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It’s also a season to make your friends realize how important they are to you. Nothing other than a gift can express your feelings. There are several gifts that can prove to be wonderful companions in this season of joy and journeys.

Let’s see some great gifting ideas which can make summers of your loved ones even more enjoyable.Attending a garden party can be a great idea to spend a lovely day this season. You can take a gift which is made for birds and those who like and pet them. You can gift them a pretty egg bird house which is an exceptional thing with a lot of style. It facilitates aviary activities to a great extent.
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It’s designed for nesting and encourages the rest of the birds to act likewise. It’s an amazing gift for birds. And in case you want some other gift as well, you can think about gifting a bonsai tree which can be a nice thing to install in the yard.

Taking tequila shots in the summer is a must to do. You can gift your friends a beautiful set of Himalayan salt tequila shot glass. These glasses are very stylish and make your shots even more enjoyable. They last very long and add a humble salty note to the tray as you sent them bottoms up. They make a perfect gift for any occasion. And the best thing about gifting these glasses is that may be the person you gift it return the favor with a few shots.

And if, you are going to a family reunion, you definitely want someone ready to do some master grilling. A groove with a smart speaker system can be a very nice gift at such occasions. You can get it easily at physical or online stores. These systems can be used wirelessly and easily as these portable systems are controlled by mobile devices through Bluetooth.

With the help of these systems, you can double the fun of the party. They are made of rugged ABS and are absolutely water resistant. They are also very durable. So whether it’s sun or rain, you can have a party anytime.

You can find some more exciting gifts for summer by executing an online search. There are lots of online stores and other sites which offer or suggest several gifts to be selected from.



Source by Mike Henson

Too-Simple Ways to De-Stress Holiday Gift Shopping

Many of us are painfully familiar with the anxiety and stress that the ‘happy’ holidays can create. That feeling of drowning in indecision – that sensation of falling behind – that inability to enjoy events because we might not get everything done if we relax for even the briefest moment. Familiar frantic frazzly tingles starting at the back of your neck when you think about what to get for Aunt Julie this year? Do you swallow the dread in your throat and settle for yet another ceramic deer statue for Cousin Ellen, just because you saw one on her mantle ten years ago?

Do the gifts you receive reflect the panic and anxiety building up in someone else? Is this the third year in a row you’ve gotten a size three pink sweater from your dearly beloved, even though he should know by now you’re not a size three, hate pink and never wear sweaters?

It’s not uncommon for gift-giving to cause stress and panic, even when your gifting target is someone you’ve known all your life. We try to select the ‘perfect gift no matter what’ even as the other person is trying to do exactly the same thing FOR US.

If the thought of digging into holiday shopping is leaving you short of breath and teetering on the edge of panic, take a deep breath and try a few of these simple ideas.

  • Make a list – but not of gifts…

    Remember the 3-by-5 card approach in debate class? Each topic got a card, and that card contained hints, not the entire text of the debate point. Grab this idea and use it for your gifting guidance. Start this as early in the year as you think about it (like NOW!) and you’ll have a priceless shopping resource for the holiday season. At the top of a card, print the person’s name. Below that, put the gift that you gave last year (no sense risking duplicate). Then right below that, add in pearls of wisdom… does she play tennis? Does he fly-fish? Jet ski enthusiast? Bookworm? Techie? Keep that list of hobbies as current as you possibly can and, if in doubt, ask Jerry if he’s still taking that sailboat out every weekend. If the sailboat sunk last year, a brand new set of flotation cushions may not be well-received.

  • Use Gift Registry services – and don’t forget yourself

    Gift registry services are not just for brides… encourage those you’ll be shopping for to sign up at registry services online and leave hints, clues, even specifics. I prefer the one at http://www.mygiftlist.com – give it a try. Whatever you decide to use, get your gift-target friends involved early so that they’ve had time to post their preferences long before the shopping crunch begins to hit.

  • Pick a done-shopping-date – and keep it.

    For instance, pick two Mondays after Thanksgiving weekend (for 2006, that will be December 4th.) This gives you two weekends after that US holiday to get to the stores, battle the crowds (way too many folks try to cram their holiday shopping into the Friday after Thanksgiving!), get clear of the crammed parking lots, and get things wrapped and shipped in plenty of time.

  • Make a budget – and stick to it.

    If you have $235 to spend on gifts, and you’re shopping on the ground (not the Internet), go to the bank or ATM, and get that $235 out, and spend ONLY what you have with you. Stow the credit cards at home. Stick an extra $20 in the back of your wallet for gas money and wrapping paper, but spend only what you plan to spend on the gifts themselves. If you’re wary about hauling cash around (and there are places on this planet where wariness of that sort is wise!), arrange for a debit card or use checks.

  • Shop early in the day – and deal with smaller, calmer crowds.

    Know your crowd-control limits. If you find it annoying to stand in line at check-out counters for ten minutes, do your shopping as early in the day as possible. Don’t put yourself into situations that you know will add to your stress level.

  • Shop the Internet – and let someone else handle the shipping.

    Use SAFE sites which prominently display TrustE, Hacker Safe, Better Business Bureau stamps and the like. Look for secure shopping carts – look for the HTTPS:// in the cart address as you head for the checkout page. Many browsers will alert you if the security certificate associated with the site is out of date or inaccurate.

  • Can’t find the perfect gift? Consider Time

    If you can’t find the right gift, find the right gift certificate, or make your own little booklet of certificates for services like a personal shopper day, a month of lawn-mowing, a three-week laundry reprieve, ten errand runs. Sometimes the most meaningful gift is the gift of your own time and attention.

  • Above all, Don’t Panic

    Take a deep breath, light a scented candle, relax and smile. T’is not the season to get mired in panic, anxiety, guilt and hassle. T’is the season to express our fondness and caring for our family and friends.



Source by Casey Van Bronkhorst

Wondering about a second Date? Do These Things and You Will not – How to Get a Second Date!

For most daters, one of the main reasons of the first date is to get to the second, third, and fourth date, etc etc. I'm sure you know how the script ends. Sometimes it's harder to think about all the things you want to say or do on your first date, however, if you want to ensure that you never have a second date, do these things.

Show up late for your first date … and do not call to inform your date
It's inevitable that at one time or another you're going to be running late for a date. This is more appropriate if you live in a larger metropolitan city like New York or LA where traffic is notoriously bad. Running late for a date is a possibility that most people understand. However, you'll find very few people understanding of your being late to a date and not calling to inform them that you're going to be late. Usually nothing starts a date off worse, or ends a date quicker than arriving late without calling. 10-15 minute is the acceptable 'fashionably late' time period. Anything over that warrants a call.

Arriving with no plans for the evening
"I thought we would be spontaneous tonight." Let's not and say we did! That's what your date will be thinking the whole time while they're steaming about how ill prepared you are for the evening. It's not unreasonable for your date to have the expectation that you planned the evening. After all you're the one who asked them out on a date. It's usually a good idea to make sure you have a properly planned evening for the date and not leave things to chance at the last minute. At the last minute you'll often find that restaurant had no available reservations, the movie times did not match, and the ticket to the event has already been sold out.

Trying to advance to 'coupledom' to quickly
It's just a first date, not a binding agreement to a lifelong of activities and matching clothes. There's no sense in talking about all the things you can do together as a couple because you've yet to spend enough time together to decide if you want another date, let alone if coupledom is right for you. Just like you have to learn to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run, you have to learn to go on a successful amount of dates before you can begin to talk about being a couple … or sharing food. It's still me and you … not we and us.

Talking or comparing your date to your ex's
Nothing will get the ire of your date more than if you compare them to your previous relationships. Behind that polite laugh and fake smile is a cold veneer just hiring you'll compare them to your ex again so they have permission to rip out your tongue with your fork. Angerside, lamenting about your ex is in poor taste and poor judgment. There is a reason why you call them your ex and in its best to keep that part of your life in the past and enjoy the person in front of you. Even if they do not laugh at your jokes like your ex did!

Making your date the butt of every joke

Everyone likes a good laugh, but not necessarily at their own expense … all the time. If you're the type of person that enjoys telling a joke or two, remember the object of a joke is to have your date laughing with you and not about you. So it's always good to make fun of yourself first, before you attempt to make fun of your date.

Forgetting your date's name

There's certainly nothing wrong with informing your date that you had an enjoyable evening with them … and there's nothing wrong with thank Sue and Steve for a great date; as long as, Sue and Steve are your dates names. In your busy dating schedule it's possible to confuse the Wednesday date with the Friday one or vice versa. Certainly if you've had too much to drink, alcohol could have played a part. For whatever the reason, forgetting your dates name is a great way to leave an impression. A 'definitely not ever again' impression. Word association has been known to help the name remembering impaired.

No call no-show

Of all the dating faux pas you can do, this one is the grand daddy of them all. The ultimate classless thing that you can do to ensure that you will not get a second date is to pull a no call no-show before the date. Everyone should operate under a certain level of dating courtesy (or decency some would say) to inform your date if you're unable to make it for whatever reason. The only thing that should precede you from calling your date to inform them is that you will not be there an emergency, accident or death of you or a loved one. Nemo the goldfish which floating on the fish tank does not count. In the instance your death, your date will certainly have to forgive you for that.



Source by Obi Williams

Can You Really Travel for FREE?

There are very important reasons why the Travel Industry is looking for reliable Travel Coordinators. One of the major reasons is ‘International Travel Safety’ has become a major concern.

The Travel Industry has long since provided a way to help Americans Travel more safely. Again, this is an ancient old method of travel. Even the wagon trains traveling west were not exempt from this method.

Group Travel

Agencies are looking for Travel Addicts; I mean Coordinators all the time. I guess you are wondering why a Travel Agency would be looking for Travel Coordinators? Most people would say that would be the job of a Travel Agent. Wrong! Most Travel Agents do not travel that often. They are busy booking travel for their clients. They loose money every time they leave their office or computer. Its the Travel Coordinators that travel often.

Travel addicts are the people who arrange their life to accommodate last minute travel. Travel addicts usually will pay the rent or mortgage, however the 401K or any savings or investment of any kind is subject to finance travel at any given time.

A Group Travel Coordinator would have the following attributes: commitment, loves travel, likes people, have confidence in marketing themselves and their travel destination, can give attention to detail, love to coordinate, and can use common sense, then you qualify to Travel FREE.

This opportunity works out best when you start out as a hobby and turn it into a part-time job then a full-time business. It is not necessary to re-invent the wheel – do what others have done before you. I know one retired man who started out selling an exotic travel party in the Caribbean each year. Word of mouth took over, because people really enjoyed themselves, and now he does not have to work a 9 to 5 job. The commission from booking 300 to 500 people a year into a 5 star resort on the islands each year, pays off BIG.

I suppose you are wondering how a Travel Coordinator just starting out travels FREE? Easy, when you book 6 people or 15 people or what ever number the Travel whole seller sets; one person goes FREE.

Example: Say you have 9 people that want to go to China. You have a mark-up of 15% on the wholesale price, plus you get one free hotel and air if 6 people sign-up. Your mother and father, sister and cousin, your girlfriend and her husband want to go and the lady at the church wants to go. And when another lady at the church found out from the Pastor that Mrs. J was going, so she decided to go. (Your husband said if he wants to see China he will go to Chinatown!) So you now have 8 people, 9 counting yourself. You get one free travel pass and you can decided to lower your package price at the last minute because you did not need the extra 15% mark-up, or you can keep it for any emergency during the trip or you can use it to market your next trip. It’s up to you!

Travel Coordinator Trivia. If you can see a problem already with the above travel group, then you truly understand Group Travel. Think about how you would handle the above situation BEFORE a problem occurs.



Source by Cassandra A. Ingraham

Last Minute Holidays Are Always Fun

Last minute holidays are always the most successful and energizing ones. We live in a world where planning is critical due to our hectic schedules and lives, but once or twice a year we get to go on direct holidays where relaxation, fun, recharging our batteries is what we do all the time.
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Whenever we plan our holidays, usually something will come up, like a last minute project, or a last minute business trip, or some kind of a family event, problems with the kids or the wife, stuff like that can totally ruin the will to go on vacation.

As last minute holidays are always unplanned we do not have time to worry about details, details can be really bugging and can take up a lot of our time, so we will feel the need to allocate time to plan details as well. Some people over do it. So it is not advisable to pay attention to details. Just let loose for once. After all, that is all what last minute holidays are all about.

That is all, vacations in general, are all about. No worries, no cell phones, no responsibilities, no one to bother us, just relaxing in the hot summer sun, or the fresh mountain air, climbing hills, discovering territories, visiting history sites, visiting other countries, capitals, remote places or villages , experiencing other cultures.

These are the stuff we do on last minute holidays which will recharge out batteries for sure, and we will be able to continue our hectic daily lives back at home when our vacation is done. When it comes to the vacations season, and most of the time of the rest of the year, many travel companies have special offers for so called direct holidays.

If you are thinking about where to go on your vacation you should really check out one of these offers that come in special packages with special prices for airline tickets, special prices at the hotel in the place you choose to stay in and so on. When you ask for help at such a travel agency, you should leave some notes about what places you want to visit and for how long you want to stay in one place, so they can get in touch with the local hotels and airline companies, and depending on how earlier you plan your trip you will be able to get discounts and special offers.

So that is the opposite of the last minute holidays, when you carefully plan it and save some money. However, planning is boring and monotony is killing the life out of people, so last minute holidays will always be pleasant. It all depends on what kind of a person you are, but even if you are very taken take a chance and let yourself lose on last minute holidays for once.



Source by Relakh Smith

7 Do-It-Yourself Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is nearing, and if you still haven’t thought of costumes for the upcoming scare-fest, you might be wracking your brains for ideas that can’t be beat. Unfortunately, many of us are really busy. As much as we would like to focus on Halloween costume hunting, there’s such a thing as real life, and we all have to attend to work, chores, and errands. So when your kids come knocking at your bedroom door begging to get a Halloween costume on the morning of October 31st, you know you’re in for it.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much, as there are literally hundreds of Halloween costume ideas that you can DIY for yourself or your kids on a short notice. What’s great is that you don’t even have to break the bank doing it. Here are a few ideas.

1 – The Athlete

Surely you have someone in your family who has played ball. You don’t have to be the star quarterback or the pointguard. You just have to look the part. If your kids are into sports, then why not suggest that they go out trick or treating as a team-complete in their athletic uniforms. This also goes for cheerleading attires.

2 – The Ghost

You’ve seen it in the cartoons, so why not try it in real life. Get an old white sheet and cut out eye holes. You’re a ghost! The getup is not complete without moans and groans, so practice your moaning and groaning before midnight. You can add chains for that tormented soul effect.

3 – Ninja

Get a ski mask and wear an all-black attire. If you have a toy sword (or maybe even a decorative sword), then wear it on your belt. Now what makes you a ninja is not only your attire. Try to move stealthily around all day. Move against walls and don’t get caught in plain sight of people. When you cross the lawn, don’t walk. Tumble!

4 – Mad Scientist

Wear an old white lab coat and eyeglasses. For effect, mess up your hair and set it with mousse or gel. Bring test tubes and beakers wherever you go. Think of Dr. Emmet Brown from Back to the Future. Now that’s a crazy costume idea.

5 – The Backwards Person

Wear your clothes all backwards. Wear your shirt and pants backwards, complete with belt and necktie. You can even wear sunglasses or eyeglasses at the back of your head for effect.

6 – The Corpse

Wear your best formal attire. Make it so formal it would seem you’ve come straight out of the coffin. Now apply very pale makeup and wear very dark lipstick. Apply thick, black eye shadow. To complete the effect, act the part. Walk slowly-as if you haven’t used your joints for decades.

If you haven’t got the time, don’t sweat it. You can rummage around your closet and maybe you’ll find something that will look scary or novel enough to be your Halloween costume. If you can find an outfit from the 80’s, now that’s something to scream about:

7 – The 80’s Guy or Gal

Sure, the 80’s are making a comeback. But the 2010’s 80’s are different from the real thing. Maybe you still have some leftovers from the past few decades sitting at the bottom of your closet. Wear skinny jeans and a white T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Wear high-cut sneakers. Get yourself a thick headband and try to wear your hair as if you had a mullet. If you have long hair, you can curl it like crazy. Bring along a big boombox on your shoulder to complete the effect. Now, that’s scary!



Source by Shauna Milton

Getting Cheap Flights for Your Vacation

Houston is a lively and a fun city to be in for any kind of vacation or break. The city has great green landscapes and parks and the architecture is simply breathtaking. Art lovers as well as nature lovers will find the city quite impressive which will leave them with good memories for the longest time.

Everyone wants the best rates when traveling to any destination and Houston is no exception. If you need to get to this city without having to stretch your finances too hard, you can choose to get assistance from the various travel consultants. Most of the consultants are well experienced and are dedicated to getting you very good offers and rates for your vacation. You can also search through the internet to see the price ranges offered by the airlines flying to the region to get the very best out of the many different airlines that service the region. Leading airlines have a tendency of offering very good ticket rates and typically have discounts and other good offers.

The spring and fall months attract a greater majority of people compared to summer months. This is due to the months of October and November have favorable weather conditions compared to the humid conditions of summer. Most people therefore prefer the warm conditions to the more humid ones. If you are looking for cheap flights, you can choose to travel during the off peak months when everyone else is staying away from the region because of the weather.

However, you can still enjoy your vacation during the peak months and not pay too much for your ticket by conducting the right kind of research and getting all your facts right. It is always advisable to make early reservations to get the best offer available or register with travel companies which will give you alerts every time something interesting coming up.

Houston has a lot to offer not just to the visitors and tourists traveling to marvel in its glory but also for business people and the locals who know how important the city is to the whole of the United States. Never let high ticket rates change your mind about visiting the region since you can still enjoy the very best of the city without spending too much.



Source by Harley Heller