Travel Tips – Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.The best international travel tips is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary travel tips for documents.Vacations and Business travel TipsWhether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek travel tips for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.Airline Travel Tips and Visa RequirementsMost countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.Luggage Documentation TipsIf you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good travel tips is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable. Travel insurance tipsMost countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.

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Get Better Yield For Your Rental Property

The four core principles in getting good rental yield;Increase rental fees
Decrease vacant period
Increase tax-deductible expenses
Manage proper accounts1. Increase rental fees (monthly rental rates) This will obviously help to improve your rental returns. Stay updated on the market rental rates, so that you will know how much to increase for the next renewal or new tenant. Do remember to keep your rental competitive because over-pricing will result in longer tenant-searching period, and result in longer vacancy period. You can provide incentive monetary schemes (on top of the commission) to attract more agents to bring tenants to your rental property. Many corporate tenants (especially for budgets above $5000) are exclusively handled by specialist agents. Getting them to like you and your property should result in your property getting better rental. A good rental property specialist who has a close network with the corporate specialist agents will be highly beneficial to you.2. Leave your rental property vacant for as short a time as possible. Expect realistic market rental rates instead of pricing yourself above the market range and subsequently having to reduce down to the market level after 2 months of vacant period. 2 months of vacancy already equates to at least 15% decline in gross rental revenue. During a downturn, the time taken to source for a tenant will naturally take longer because of the economy and job market situation. There is no solution for the market’s cyclical nature, however, you can work to mitigate the situation by capitalising on the depressed rental market to do improvement works to your property. Depending on your budget and range of work to be done, you can time the renovation to finish at the time your new tenant decides to commence the lease. Once the rental market starts to improve again, at the next rental revision, you can then get to re-rent your property faster (being renovated) and at a better rental value than others. A good property manager will be able to advice you properly on how and where to do the improvement works – doing a complete overhaul may not be the best solution.3. Increase tax-deductible expenses (and reduce other unnecessary expenses)A few deductible expenses to note (which may sometimes be neglected) includeRepairs done to restore the property to its original state
Cost of maintaining the property (e.g. painting, pest control, monthly maintenance charges to management corporations)
Agent’s commission, advertising, legal expenses for getting subsequent tenants
Costs of supervision and rent collection if you rent out a number of properties and incur costs in engaging a third party (e.g. property agent / company) to supervise the properties and to collect rent on your behalf, a sum not exceeding 5% of the gross rent or the actual amount spent, whichever is less, may be considered. Each case will be considered on its own merits.NOT-DEDUCTIBLEPenalty imposedon property tax (or late-payment)
Cost of renovation, additions, alterations to the property or repairs done resulting in improvement
Agent’s commission, advertising and legal expenses for getting the first tenant
Depreciation of furnishings (e.g furniture, fixtures, electrical appliances)4. Keep proper accounts for your rental propertyManage your rental property like how you would operate a business. The contracts and accounts should all be kept properly and in a systematic manner. This will help you to get a good overall picture of your “business” and substantiate appeals if tax expense claims are rejected by the authorities. Download for free – Rental Income Statement (excel spreadsheet) for reporting to IRAS.

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Information On How You Can Rent Your Vacation Home, Condo or Other Rental Property With Ease

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