5 Free Spots to Visit in Orlando

When you think Orlando, pricey theme parks are typically the first thing that comes to mind. There is no denying that the theme parks here are second to none, which is why over 20 million visitors travel here each year. Yet, many don’t realize that Orlando is also home to some wonderful attractions that don’t come with hefty admission fees. In fact, there are excellent spots to visit in the City Beautiful that are absolutely free.

If you are looking for some budget friendly entertainment or just something different than that your typical stops in Orlando, check out our top five free spots to check out during your next vacation.

CityArts

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Not every family can afford multiple days at a theme park, which is why it’s great to add a few cost-effective venues to your itinerary. CityArts in downtown Orlando offers 20,000 square feet of art from all over the world. This art gallery welcomes visitors admission free, Tuesday through Saturday. Check out their website for dedicated events such as live performances and entertainment that are sure to wow everyone in your group.

Orlando Brewing

The craft beer connoisseur may love our next suggestion. Orlando Brewing is a local favorite that offers a large variety of organic beers. While tasting the beers may not be free, you are welcome to tour the brewery for no cost, Monday through Saturday. The tour is a fun way to see the beer making process from start to finish. This brewery is family friendly, offering games and live music on the weekends.

Disney Springs

Typically, Disney and the word free do not go together. However, Disney Springs is the exception, offering many fun free things to do. While there are a plethora of restaurants and stores to spend money at, there are also some great options that won’t cost you a cent. The World of Disney store is a must see when visiting this location. Disney Springs is also home to many festivals and events that occur throughout the year. If you have children in your group, make sure you stop at the Lego Imagination Center, which houses a playground and Lego building stations for kids to play for free.

Fort Wilderness Resort

Fort Wilderness Resort is a camper’s paradise with cozy cabins and camping sites. Yet, many don’t realize that you do not need to stay in a cabin to enjoy some of the outdoorsy fun this site offers. Each night, weather permitting, feel free to stop by and enjoy classic movies under that stars on their big screen. Bring friends and family along to sit around the fire, make smores and sing songs with other Disney lovers. Fort Wilderness is the ideal sport to enjoy a lowkey budget friendly night outdoors.

Lake Eola Park

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Since Orlando is known for its beautiful weather, we couldn’t leave Lake Eola Park off of our list. This gorgeous area is ideal location for nature lovers. Beautiful trees and birds are plentiful around the lake which is a favorite for joggers. It also is home to a farmer’s market on Sundays and many other events throughout the year including two synchronized fountain light shows held each night.

They say sometimes the best things are free and this rings true for several spots in the Orlando area. Whether you are planning to stay in Orlando resorts or with friends and family in the area, you can keep a little extra cash in your pocket by heading to these spots on your days off from the theme parks.

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Better To Be Safe Than Sorry: Common Insurance Mistakes You Need To Avoid

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Insurance. You name it; you probably have it. Car, life, medical, travel… the list goes on and on, so it’s no wonder you feel the pinch in your pockets at times. Of course, without sufficient insurance, you may be worse off financially when disaster strikes. We can’t preempt illness, and while you might be the safest driver on the road, you can’t control what other road users do when they are driving near you.

Before you commit to your next insurance policy, consider the following mistakes people make before parting with your cash. Making the right moves now will save you money in the long term.

Not shopping around

You might find it easier to renew with the same company every year, but you may get a better deal elsewhere. Unique policies, such as this medical insurance with exclusive privileges, or a cheaper premium may be just what you need, but if you don’t shop around and do a little research, you will be stuck with insurance coverage that doesn’t match your needs.

Failing to ask for discounts

From buying healthcare insurance to car insurance, make sure you get the discounts you are entitled to. We know insurance companies are sometimes reluctant to pay out money in times of need, but they may also keep details of their discounts hidden from you. The best way to get what you need is to pick up the phone and directly ask them. You may be entitled to a no-claims discount, and you can also reduce costs by going paperless. When it’s time for renewal, you can get often get a discount from your current provider if you evidence cheaper prices elsewhere. So, don’t be shy, get on the phone, and save yourself some cash.

Giving wrong information on the application form

We all make mistakes, and if you realise you have made a mistake on the form, let the insurance company know as soon as possible. A quick scan of your policy will let you know. On the other hand, you may tell a few white lies to get cheaper insurance. However, you will run into trouble if you get found out, and your car insurance policy will be declared void. You might have told your provider that your car is parked on a driveway for example, but a quick Google Maps search may give away your lie if there is no such parking space available.

Forgetting to update the insurance

Your needs probably change over time, so you need to keep your policy up to date. Take contents insurance as an example. You will have made an inventory of your items when planning your coverage, but as soon as you buy something else of sufficient worth, you need to add it to the policy. From burglars to breakages, you will want to make sure everything is covered, so always ring your provider with an update. The same applies to your car insurance. You may actually have a driveway to park your car on if you move house, so let your provider know to reduce your monthly premium.

Finally

The worst mistake you can make is not getting insured in the first place. You might not need coverage for everything, but shop around, do your research and heed the mistakes we mentioned above.

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Running A Successful Online Store

Being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibilities, including the upkeep of your store. If you’re an online trader, then it can be a little more difficult to manage your ‘store’ because it’s virtual. If you’re not tech savvy and something goes wrong, you could risk losing out on days, possibly weeks of all important business. Here’s how you can run a successful online store.

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Man the decks

In every sense of the phrase, you should be manning the decks of your business. This means having someone on the phones during business hours to deal with enquiries and complaints. You should also hire someone that can sort out any technical issues for you if something were to go wrong and you don’t know how to resolve the issue. Finally, making sure that you have members of staff ready to pack and distribute the items that you’re selling is also very important to business.

Sort out your delivery service

One thing that many online stores fail with, is their delivery services. Often, companies will go with the cheapest option for them so that they can offer free delivery to their customers. It’s a well known fact that customers would rather pay for the delivery because it means that their package is in safe hands and often means that it will get to them much faster. Shiply offers courier services and offer very competitive prices. Choose a courier and stick with them.

Ditch automation

If you’re using a service like eBay to sell your products, then make sure that you don’t have any automatic messaging services turned on for your customers. This often comes across as spammy which turns customers away from using your service again, if at all. As mentioned earlier, make sure that you have someone on hand to answer any queries or complaints rather than sending back an automated message.

Give customers as much information as possible

Buying items online is risky because until the item arrives to you, you never know if the picture is anything like the item you’re going to be receiving. Make sure that you give your customers as much information as possible so that when they are viewing your items, they can better make a decision on whether to buy it or not.

There’s nothing worse than looking at clothing online and the sizing chart being vague with a chart that says xxs-xxl. Nobody wants to risk getting the wrong size, so make sure that you have measurements to each of your sizes so that your customers can pre measure before buying. The same goes for other items too. Make sure all sizes and weights are displayed so that your customers don’t have a shock and are disappointed when they receive their delivery. This also protects you as a company too, because you’re not lying or hiding information from your customers.

Take these things into consideration and enjoy running a successful online store!

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What To Look For In a Home Health Care Provider

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The challenge with homecare health is finding a suitable caring professional that is also affordable. When all is well, it’s easy to overlook and underestimate the value of a good healthcare insurance policy but whatever your financial situation with regard to accessing this care, here are some principles on how to approach finding a caregiver.

These principles are universal, in that they are applicable to finding caregivers for younger adults just as much as they are for older adults.

You’ll need to establish the prospective carer suitability on a number of levels. This can be broken down into the following areas:

1. Safety and Security
2. Reliability
3. Care and Compassion
4. Specialist Medical Expertise
5. A Good Fit

SAFETY & SECURITY

Whilst the majority of caring professionals are trustworthy, there are a number of horror stories where carers take advantage of vulnerable patients, particularly the elderly, in the context of financial gain and manipulation. Safety and Security is understandably one of the main priorities that will first need to be established.

Are the prospective carers trustworthy? Have they been fully vetted? Do they have contactable references from previous patients (or the family of previous patients)? Have they undertaken a criminal records check? What is the recruitment procedure?

RELIABILITY

Reliability and consistency are both critical when it comes to home healthcare. Not just whether the patient will receive care on a regular and reliable basis, but will there be consistency, in terms of having one regular carer who is emotionally consistent too. The relationship between carer and patient is reasonably intimate and it’s important the emotional side of the relationship is considered in terms of reliability and consistency.

Will the careworker be reliable? Will they come on a regular and uninterrupted basis? How many different carers are likely to visit each week, or month? What happens if the primary carer is off sick? What happens if there are adverse weather conditions?

CARE AND COMPASSION

This would appear to be a no-brainer, but think about the motivation the carer had to get into the caring profession. Does it come from a place of care and compassion or is it simply a job that pays their bills? Do they have personal experience where their lives were touched by an amazing carer who inspired them to get into this profession, or is it a career choice they were forced into by necessity?

The best way to gauge the carers level of compassion and empathy is to interview them and request references from previous patients, or the families of patients.

SPECIALIST EXPERTISE

There are different types of carers each with specialist skills in specific areas. You want to make sure you work with a carer that is experienced with the particular issue they will be working with. Questions to ask are what sort of training do the care workers receive? What qualifications and experience do they have in this specific area?

The further question to consider is how often is their training updated? Within medicine and healthcare best practice is constantly evolving. You want to make sure the carer has an up-to-date knowledge and actively engages in continual learning.

A GOOD FIT

Having been through the above aspects, the most important thing to look for in a home health care provider is a good fit with the patient. They should meet and see if they get on – this is going to become a very important relationship and a “good fit” is critical.

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Is Your Business Secure?

Running a business isn’t an easy thing to do, I think many of us can agree on that. There is always so much to think about when it comes to the day to day management of your business and staff that sometimes things that matter can become less of a priority to you, and one of those is business security. But yet, in any office, you have technology that has a value. Many businesses have stock that has a huge value and not to mention some of the damage that can be done digitally, so why wouldn’t it be a focus of yours?

That being said it can be easy to be distracted by other aspects of your company, and with that in mind, I thought it would be an ideal time to share with you some of the ways you can ensure your business is fully secure moving forward.

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Are you covered from digital theft?

Much of what is important to a business is stored digitally these days through hard drives and smart devices, and so this means that all businesses are at risk of theft digitally. In a nutshell, this means that someone hacking into your servers and gaining all aspects of your business. From personal information and records to bank details of your business and even personal information of customers. Being hacked is not something you want to happen, so it’s always a good idea to ensure that all hard drives and technology aspects of your business have some form of protection placed on them. It’s also a good idea to only keep the information that you need and regularly audit to ensure that other sensitive information won’t be put at risk.

Is your premises secure?

Not only do you need to think about your business security digitally, but you also need to think about the offices and business premises that you have. A good security alarm these days can now be linked to local police departments so that if something were to happen the authorities would be notified straight away. Other aspects of physical security could be surveillance cameras, or even hiring someone to keep watch during out of hours.

What about sensitive information?

Most businesses have some form of sensitive data, that could be customer information and payment details, or that of members of staff when it comes to HR records, payroll and employment details. It is vital to keep this information safe and secure, and so it might be worth having some form of extra security placed on those records. Sometimes people can use services to verify your customer’s identity through visual and verified documents, and the same could be done for members of staff. For example, there could be visual checks placed on sensitive information of customers or staff, and only verified people can access it at any time. This could also protect you from rogue staff members trying to sabotage your business.

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The use of strong passwords

It may sound very basic, but when was the last time you changed your password? Some people can be guilty of using the same password for a multitude of things or worse still not changing them for a number of years. This puts your business at risk so it is always advisable to regularly change passwords and encourage staff to do the same.

Create a social media policy for your business

Social media is a great tool for business, but it could also put your business in jeopardy. This is when it is advisable to have a social media policy for your staff members, for example, not mentioning company practices or sensitive information that only certain people are privy to. You may also want to put in a clause in regards to slander from disgruntled ex-staff members.

Have some form of signing in and out book

Many businesses have a lot of people coming and going, but do you really know who is entering your business on a day to day basis. This is when a signing in book could be a real simple feature to add to your business and could help in regards to security. Knowing who has been in your business and subsequently left can help you keep track.

Is there anything else your employees could do?

Finally, your employees can also be responsible for the security of your business but ensuring their desks are tidy and that records and sensitive information are locked away. If you have people locking up on your behalf then ensure that they follow certain procedures.

I hope that some of these tips help you to increase the security of your business.

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