Pet Friendly Vacations – 10 Tips for Hassle-Free Travel with Your Pet

Pet friendly vacations and travel planning make sense — after all, pets are family members too! In the United States alone, over 60 million households have one or more pets. Pet owners in 15 million of those households travel with their pet, and the majority stay in pet friendly lodging. Fortunately, pet friendly hotels, condos and vacation home rentals do exist. If you will be planning pet friendly vacations, here are some tips for safe and trouble-free travel.

1 – When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you can see in writing whether or not pets are permitted and any restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt that includes the “pets allowed” information. Verbal reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the “pets allowed” information.

2 – Is your pet an experienced traveler? If not, you should begin getting your pet more accustomed to traveling so that pet friendly vacations won’t be something new. Begin by making your car a fun place for your pet. Get in the car with them, play with them, give them a treat — have them enjoy being there with you. Then take a short drive with them. Gradually increase the length of time and distance that you drive with them. Before making a long trip with your pet, the idea is to have them comfortable with being in the car for extended periods of time.

3 – Remember that securing your pet while traveling in the car is crucial for their safety and yours. Consider purchasing a dog safety harness for your pet to use while traveling in the car. If you have a station wagon or SUV, you can purchase a vehicle barrier that keeps your pet confined to the rear area. They are usually sold at pet stores or are available online.

4 – Pet friendly vacations planning should include taking steps to ensure your pet can be found if it accidentally becomes lost while on vacation. Be sure that your pet has an identification tag and wears it while on the trip. The tag should have your pet’s name, your name and phone number. If possible, use your cell phone number, a home number and the number of where you will be staying.

5 – Carry a photograph of your pet with you on your trip. If your pet should ever become lost, you’ll be able to show others exactly what your pet looks like instead of just relying on a verbal description.

6 – Check with your vet for any recommended vaccinations appropriate for your trip — exposure to ticks while hiking, exposure to other dogs while being boarded or heartworm prevention if your dog will be exposed to mosquitoes are examples of important preventative measures to take before your trip. If your pet is a dog, have an up-to-date rabies tag for your dog’s collar. If you decide to day board your dog while taking pet friendly vacations, you may be required to show paperwork proof of the rabies vaccination.

7 – Once you arrive at the pet friendly lodging, inform the check-in person that you have your pet. You can inquire if there are any restricted areas where your pet should not be taken. Pet friendly lodging staff should be very accustomed to answering these kinds of questions and will appreciate your awareness.

8 – In your hotel room, condo, cabin rental or vacation home rental — never let your pet use the furniture or beds to sit, lay or sleep on unless you’ve covered the furniture or bed with your own cover. Place your pet’s food and water containers on a mat or newspaper in the bathroom, where cleanup will be easier. When staying in pet friendly accommodations, you may even choose to feed your pet outdoors.

9 – If you’ll be leaving your pet alone in the room or vacation rental, make sure the front desk or rental agent knows. Be sure that you leave your pet secured in their travel container or crate if housekeeping staff will be entering the room at any time to clean. You certainly don’t want a housekeeper to enter and be surprised or even attacked by your pet! A pet may also run out of the room when housekeeping enters if left unsecured.

10 – Be very careful while taking pet friendly vacations in warm or hot weather. Leaving your pet in the car can be deadly. Even when the outside temperature is only in the 70′s or 80′s, the interior of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees and higher, especially when parked in the sun. It doesn’t take long at these temperatures to cause serious or even fatal harm to your pet.

Traveling with pets and staying in pet friendly lodging can be lots of fun — after all, your pet is part of your family too. Just using common sense and planning ahead makes for enjoyable and surprise-free pet friendly vacations.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

How to Make the Maid of Honor Wedding Toast Memorable

The maid of honor is usually someone who is very near and dear to the bride’s heart. It will usually be a sister, or a very close friend. This person will know a lot about the bride, maybe even some things that her own parent’s don’t know about. Being the maid of honor at someone’s wedding is a wonderful privilege, so don’t miss your chance to help make this the most memorable day in the bride’s life.

You can make the maid of honor wedding toast memorable in many different ways. You can use humor or sentiment but either way you should entertain the crowd and touch the bride’s heart. The downloadable eBook “You Can Be a Wedding MC” is filled with information you can use to make your speeches fun to listen to.

Start out with a funny story about the bride and yourself to share with guests. It might be a story that happened in childhood, an embarrassing moment, or even an instance where the bride helped you in some way, or was a big part of your life. Just use one story and take the speech from there. Avoid using multiple stories because the speech should be short and sweet. You want to avoid people getting bored because the speech is taking too long.

The maid of honor wedding toast is a very important part of any wedding so you should not take it lightly, or show up unprepared. Make the speech memorable without stealing the thunder of the bride or her mother. Your speech is going to be very memorable to the bride so make sure that you put a lot of thought into it and don’t be surprised if she starts to tear up while you are giving it.

Define Your Essence

Before you can define your Brand Essence, you must first understand what we're calling a Brand Essence.

Your Brand Essence is a simple sentence that sums up everything that your organization is all about. It captures your brand experience. It defines your raison d'etre. And every aspect of your organization – specifically your marketing – must exude your Brand Essence.

In its simplest form, your Brand Essence can be defined by filling in these blanks.
______________ is all about _____________.

The first blank is simply simple to fill in. It's simply the name of your brand. Depending on your organization, it's either the name of your organization or the name of the product or service you're marketing.

For a professional service organization, the first blank is filled in with the name of the company.
42Fish is all about _________________.
Jones, Smith & Washington are all about ____________________.

For consumer products, the first blank normally is filled in with the name of the product.
Dr. Pepper is all about _______________.
Speed ​​Stick is all about ________________.
(In cases such as these, the consumers do not care what company manufactures or sells the product.) The consumer cares about only the product.)

For some organizations, deciding whether the brand in question is the product or company can be a difficult process. In some cases, you will need to define the essence of both the company and the product, and then you must make sure that everyone implied clearly understands when the corporate Brand Essence is your guiding factor (primarily in how you conduct business as a company) and when the product Brand Essence must take priority (for example, when you're marketing a product that you sell).

The second blank is the relatively tricky part. It would be pretty easy to fill it in with some half-thought-out answer like a categorical definition of what you sell, but that would not do anyone any good.

For example, we could say that 42Fish is all about marketing, advertising, and design.
However, that's either helpful or stimulating.

To be a truly effective Brand Essence statement, your sentence must be experiential, emotional, evocative, esoteric, and exclusive.

Experiential

Your Brand Essence must capture the tangible and intuitive experience that a member of your target audience will have when working with you or using your product. Is it fun? Educational? Well organized? Extremely personalized? Quick? In-depth? Consultative? Confidence building? Heart warming? Your experience may be all, some, or none of these specific examples. You simply need to decide what the experience is – or what you want it to be – and then make sure that your Brand Essence captures it.

Emotional

Although many of us will claim that we make all of our decisions based on logic, research, and past experience, emotion plays a huge role in every decision we make. Whether we're buying socks, shopping for a new camera or computer, selecting a raw material supplier, choosing how much to donate to a charity, or even deciding how to vote on election day, our decisions are always affected – at least in part – by our emotions. Your Brand Essence can be an important aspect of building an emotional connection with your audience members that will lead to long-term customers.

Evocative

Your Brand Essence should make the members of your target audience think a little. When people see or hear anything associated with your brand, you want them to think about good times, past or future successes, refreshment, picturesque sunsets, last-second victories, being the hero, the unwavering affection of a loyal dog, homemade chocolate chip cookies, a sense of accomplishment, or some other memory or image that creates a positive links between your brand with your customers' mindset, self-image, or world view.

Esoteric

If your Brand Essence is too straightforward, it will not mean anything, and it'll probably need to change as technology and the market place evolve. To be both effective and timeless, your Brand Essence should be less than obvious, not tied to a specific attribute, hard to put your finger on, and something that makes your audience members feel somewhat elite in "getting it." By making your Brand Promise intangible, you add to the je ne sais quoi of your brand, elevating it above the brands of your competitors and helping you move beyond a direct comparison of price, features, or benefits.

Exclusive

By exclusive, we're not talking about a specific product feature or benefit that none of your competitors can provide – and which will probably change over time. We're talking about something that no one else stands for, something that no one else is talking about, something that is specifically woven into the fabric of your organization, product, or service. Your Brand Essence must deliver a message, that once you've stated it, no other organization can say anything even similar without coming across like a copycat.

And one last thing to keep in mind: Your Brand Essence is an internal statement. Do not worry about what it will sound like to your audience; in most cases, they will never hear it. The purpose of a Brand Essence is to have a simple statement that you can use to judge every decision you make – from the headline and photo of an advertisement, to your employee dress code or the message on your voicemail system. Everything you do and say must exude your Brand Essence.

What do you think?

Please share any comments or thoughts you have about this article
or a related topic by emailing [email protected] .

We'll post reader feedback at http://www.42Thoughts.com .

Tips for Holiday Travel With Your Pet

Most people travel for their holiday celebrations and they usually take their family with them. There are some that just can not live without their pets as well. If you intend to travel with your pet you have to plan ahead to make the journey pleasant and comfortable for both you and the animal.

· Traveling by Car

If you are going for a road trip for the holidays, make sure that you do not let the pet loose inside your vehicle. You can get your pet a safety harness that can be attached to your car's seat belt system. Or you can just put your pet in a cage. A pet carrier is also a good idea, but could be more expensive too. Always put your pet in the back seat.

· Traveling by Air

If you are flying to your destination, a pet carrier is a must to comply with airline regulations. Check with the airlines regarding the pet carrier dimensions to ensure that you will be buying the right-sized one. A pet can travel by air in the cabin if it does not exceed 22 pounds in weight, 18 inches in length and 11 inches tall.

For international traveling, you will need certain documents for your pet before you can take it with you. It would best if you can give at least 6 weeks permission to start taking care of the papers.

Do not travel with your pet unless you have it checked and vaccinated by the veterinarian. Always carry your pet's current health certificate along with the record of vaccinations.

· Pet Foods

Take plenty of pet foods; you can never be sure if your pets' favorite brand of pet foods will be available at your destination, so it is better to be sure.

· Feeding Instructions

If you are flying, feed your pet with a light snack 5 to 6 hours before departure. Do not give your pet any liquid 2 hours before departure. If you are going by the car, try not to feed your pet while you are moving.

· Put ID Tags

Whether you are taking your pet for domestic or international traveling, it is best if you can attach an ID tag to your pet. The ID tag must contain your home address and telephone number as well as your destination's address and telephone number.

Before you take off it is also important to check if your pet is going to be welcome at your destination. If you are visiting relatives, you need to let them know that you will be bringing your pet. If you are staying at a hotel, check about the accommodation's rules and regulations regarding pets.

Also make sure that your pet is travel-ready. Animals can be more fidgety than kids during long journeys. If your pet has never been anywhere else but home, you can start making him travel-ready by taking him to the supermarket, the park or at the mall.

Finally, try to be as patient as possible. You need to understand that you are not going to deal with your pet alone; you are also going to have to deal with other people's reaction to your pet.