Part II of The European Travel Guide is on the way!

Just a shout out to my followers that Part II and on for my European Travel Guide is on the way! Last time I briefly covered some guides to help get your European adventure started. In the future, we’ll lay down a city-by-city guide to the sites and hostels and delve deeper into planning the itinerary and how best to travel throughout your journey.

Stay tuned, and please follow the blog for updates, or follow me on social media. Links are on the right side of the page!

-Christopher Smith

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How I Crafted and Completed a 92-Day Adventure through 26 Cities in Europe – PART I

Have you dreamed of crossing the Atlantic and exploring the beautiful continent of Europe? Are you ready for an adventure? Maybe you just want to see a city or two? Wherever your passion for European travel comes from and regardless of how you want your trip to go, I can help.

In 2012 I quit my full-time job, along with my girlfriend at the time, saved up money and planned out a route to travel through 26 different cities in Europe over 92 days. It took planning, it took guts, and it might have taken a little stupidity considering I left my bills and responsibilities behind to craft and complete the trip of a lifetime.

Over the course of a few weeks or months, I plan to bring you the details of my entire adventure, and, most importantly, I plan to give you the tips, tricks, ideas, and tools I used to make this happen.

Today, let’s talk about the basics. Where do you start with your trip? How do you begin to put the itinerary together? What tools can I use to make this a bit easier?

I won’t lie: putting together a trip of this magnitude was no easy task. It took months of planning, preparation, and saving money to make this happen. However, when I first began this journey I focused only on the basics. I wanted to know and document what cities were the most important for me to see, and how I wanted to spend my time in those cities.

I started by grabbing some guides. There’s plenty of them out there to peruse, but you have to make sure you’re getting the ones that apply most directly to what you want to accomplish on your personal venture through Europe. Let’s take a look at some of the guides I looked through or purchased while I crafted my itinerary.

When I was travelling I put a lot of stock in guides by Rick Steves. He’s an accomplished traveler and an amazing guide-book writer, and his publications helped me put some structure to the wildly ambitious idea of travelling Europe when I had no idea how to put it all on paper.

I started with the entry-level Rick Steves Best of Europe.

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Rick Steves Best of Europe is a guide to get you started on choosing the cities and sites you want to see. Rick goes through the best of Europe’s top destinations. He also gives you his personal picks for sights, eating, and sleeping.

Finally, he breaks down his own self-guided neighborhood walks and museum tours right in the book! So he takes you from picking your sites to actually walking you through them.

I highly recommend that you give this guide a try, if only to save you the hassle of booking guided tours in a country or language that you may or may not be familiar with.

Give the Best of Europe a try RIGHT HERE.

After you’ve crafted the general outline of your trip, it can be very helpful to get some tips, tricks, and skills to help you combat a place that is absolutely packed with tourists and lines.

For this part of my trip I chose another great guide from Rick Steves. This one is entitled Europe Through the Back Door: The Travel Skills Handbook.

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This guide dives deep into the intricacies of European travel and how best to navigate a continent that you’re not familiar with. Here’s a look at what this guide can help you with; trust me when I say you’ll want to read every page of this handbook more than once!

  • Plan your itinerary and maximize your time
  • Pack light-and right
  • Find good-value hotels and restaurants
  • Travel smoothly by train, bus, car, and plane
  • Avoid crowds and tourist scams
  • Hurdle the language barrier
  • Understand cultural differences and connect with locals
  • Save money while enjoying the trip of a lifetime

After 30 years of exploring Europe, Rick considers this travel skills handbook his life’s work. He shares his favorite off-the-beaten-path towns, trails, and natural wonders. With this guidebook, you’ll experience the culture like a local, spend less money, and have more fun.

Pick up Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door RIGHT HERE.

Now that you’ve got some skills to show off and an idea of where you’re headed, you need to make sure you’ve got places to stay.

This part was, by far, the most difficult part of planning my three-month trip. There are so many places to stay and so many sites to book and so many reviews that range from 1-star smack-downs to 5-star triumphs. I enlisted the help of a local, small-time travel agent with assistance in booking the actual stays. I wasn’t very good at navigating foreign currencies yet and my bank was having a fit with all the international transactions.

However, I picked the places myself, and to start I sought out some help from another guide.

Take a peek at the offerings from Backpackers and Flashpackers in their guide of 500 different hostels throughout Western Europe.

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Here’s an excerpt of what to expect from this guide from the authors themselves:

Have you heard of hostels, and always thought you’d like to try one, but didn’t know where to start? This book’s for you. And it not only tells you where to start and how to start and when to start, but where to stay in 100 cities of Western Europe, all the major ones in all 25 countries, each with its own language and culture… but not so many currencies. That includes the beaches in Spain, the mountains of Switzerland, the fashion centers of France, the pub culture of England, and the forests of Germany; cities like Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, and Amsterdam, and they’ve all got one thing in common, besides the Euro currency, and that is: hostels. And these are modern hostels, all ages welcome (usually) and no curfew. What they DO have are kitchens, and computers, and WiFi, and lots of other people—just like you. Sound good? You haven’t even heard about the low low prices yet. Accommodations ARE the most expensive part of travel, after all. Hostels have long been around, of course, at least in Europe, but those were youth hostels. These are hostels for backpackers and flashpackers, their upscale urban cousins. There’s a world of difference. It’s not just Europe now, either, or just youth. It includes the whole world, and it’s a way of life. If it’s a cool place to visit, then there will probably be a hostel there by now, in local neighborhoods and staffed by local people, all with at least a working knowledge of the English language. You can easily organize a trip and stay in budget hostels the whole way the whole time now. This book will help, with complete specs and contact info for more than 500 locations, carefully selected for their quality and standards. It will also tell you the history and major attractions of each town, city and country. C U in Helsinki, or Inverness, or Rimini, or Lisbon, or… you name it.

You can grab this guide for almost nothing RIGHT HERE.

There’s a lot of info to go through, but you’ll really want to take your time in finding the ideal spot for you.

In future posts I will go through each and every one of the hostels I stayed at personally, so stay tuned and make sure to follow my blog for each of the updates. The follow link is on the right side of the page!

So, listen, there is a LOT more that goes into planning a trip of the same magnitude as mine. If you’re going for a week or two then these guides we’ve gone over are still going to help greatly! If you’re planning a trip closer to the length of the one I accomplished then I urge you to stay tuned to the blog for the next few weeks and months so I can really help you accomplish this.

Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section, follow me on social media with the links on the right side, or message me directly through this blog.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck out there!

-Christopher Smith

 

Credit bad? Debt high? These 3 Things can help TODAY!

Hello, everyone! If you followed this link and you’re reading this article then I have to assume you’ve got some issues with your credit score and report, or your debt.

I’m sharing this information because I personally have struggled with debt and with my credit score for years. When I was a young man, millennia ago, I loved to use my credit cards. “I can have this TV now and not have to pay for it?” That’s how I thought for most of my young adult life. In addition to frivolous spending, I put a large majority of a 90-day trip through Europe, story coming soon on the Travel page, on credit cards and paid for the rest with loans.

By the time I was ready to be a homeowner, when I was making enough money to cover a mortgage payment, it didn’t matter anymore. My credit would not allow a bank to take me seriously, and the payments to the credit card companies were crippling my lifestyle. I ended up in a sort of debt relief program that I’m still working through. That’s not what I’m here to recommend to you.

Instead, I want to share some tools with you that I wish I had known about when I was going through the toughest of my credit troubles. The cost of these services seem like pennies to what I’ve actually paid for help with my credit score and are far and away less expensive than the interest rates I paid on “debt consolidation loans.” Take a look at what these people and companies have to offer and I hope you find yourself out of debt and with a better credit score soon!

Credit Repair Magic

The first tool I want to share with you is Credit Repair Magic. It sounds like an “As Seen on TV” ad, but it’s the real deal. Credit Repair Magic takes you through a “self-directed” approach, but it is not “do it yourself.” It’s a guided program with computerized follow-up to help you get results in WEEKS, not MONTHS!

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Follow this link to the Credit Repair Magic site, read their FAQ, take a look at the benefits provided to you after their crazy low fee, and see if Credit Repair Magic is for you. I hope it helps.

 

What Lies in Your Debt?

What Lies in Your Debt? is a membership service that allows you to take control of your life on the credit and debt end of things. They offer webinars, live support, tutorials, links to free legal answers and resources, and much, much more.

A quick visit to their front page and a listen to their video is enough to tell you what they can offer you and why taking a methodical and consistent approach towards your debt and credit is the absolute best way to ensure that your credit is always where you expect it to be BEFORE you apply for that new mortgage, or to lease your dream car.

Take advantage of their 60-day RISK FREE trial, and see what you can accomplish with What Lies in Your Debt?

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Dissolve Your Debt

Finally, if you’re into fully dissolving your debt and you’re prepared to do what is necessary to get there, then Dissolve Your Debt is for you.

Here’s a look at what one of their very satisfied clients had to say regarding their experience in dissolving their debit with Dissolve Your Debt’s programs:

Satisfied Customer Testimonial
“Jonathan Hawley…this is Ed Tanny.  I’m in Florida, and I just sent in a $12,000.00 loan on my car!  I think the job you’re doing is absolutely wonderful!  Stupendous!  And, there aren’t words out there to describe it.  And, I think it’s just absolutely great.  Thank you again, Jon.” -Ed Tanny

I have not personally tried a service like Dissolve Your Debt but reading through their front page and checking out their testimonials is enough to at least see what they’re offering and if it can be of any help in your personal situation.

 

I hope at least one of these tools can help you to get your credit and debt in check in 2018. Good luck to you out there, and thanks for stopping by!

-Christopher Smith

Learn Something New Today!

Recently I’ve taken a huge liking to learning online. There are SO MANY resources for gaining new skills and you can find them right here on your computer, tablet, or phone.

Whether you’re trying to branch into a new career, gain more skills to further the career path you’re on, or you just want to learn something new and exciting, there is a course for you. Take a look at some of my favorites below and get your 2018 off to a fresh start!

New Skills for a New Career or Just for Fun

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If you’re like me, then you want to broaden your horizons for work. I’ve spent many hours on the courses below honing new skills and carving out a new path in my professional career.

 

Coding and Programming is For Everyone

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First off, if you want a large knowledge base to start from before you pick out your new career niche, you can snag The Ultimate Learn to Code Bundle from Citizen Goods for an unbeatable price RIGHT NOW.

This course will bring you through introductory web design, to expert app design and web development. You’ll be able to start stacking skills for a new career in web development or software engineering, or you can simply gain some skills to build your own apps, sites, and blogs.

I’ve personally had the most fun in the Python course, learning to manipulate databases and create simple and fun programs that run right from the command prompt in Windows. Check it out here and get to coding!

 

Make Yourself Irreplaceable in the Work Force

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Spending time in any office environment whatsoever will require that you grasp at least the basic functions of many Microsoft Office applications. However, if you want to really up your game and make yourself a distinguished member of the Microsoft professionals, then you need to grab this course now!

The A to Z Microsoft Office Training Bundle will bring you from beginner to expert in everything Microsoft has to offer; Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, and OneNote will all be second nature to you after you cruise through 56+ hours of critical training. Best of all, this bundle is available in a “pay what you want” format, meaning you pick the price you pay and start learning immediately from the comfort of your own home! Click here to start adding valuable assets to your office skill-set.

 

Ever Wondered What Hacking is Really Like?

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We’ve heard the term a zillion times, “hacker.” You’ve seen them in movies, read about them in books, and feared them in local and national headlines. Hackers aren’t all bad, though. In fact, there’s a way to be a completely ethical hacker in 2018 and beyond, and it’s a skill that security firms and businesses the world over are looking for.

Want to be the guy typing furiously at a keyboard and voicing the words “I’m in” dramatically as your day job? I can’t promise you that your experience will be anything like the scenes of the movie Swordfish, but I can tell you that learning how to hack is an absolute blast.

Right now, you can learn how to ethically hack and make yourself an asset to companies that require additional security on their websites, their servers, and beyond. You can get the The Ultimate White Hat Hacker Bundle today in another “I can’t believe it’s this cheap to learn these amazing skills,” pay what you want format.

Click here, start hacking, and make the online world a safer place in 2018.

 

Investing is Easier in 2018 than it has Ever Been

Not a Wall Street Guru? You can be.

Don’t understand what all this cryptocurrency hype is all about? You can learn here.

Have an interest in learning the stock market? Here you go!

In 2018, we can learn just about anything about anyone and any place and any industry we desire. However, the best skills to learn are the ones that pay you back!

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Dive into the financial aspects of Wall Street and become the wolf with the “Wall Street Training” Course Bundle. Get your lifetime subscription to this course for an unbelievable price by clicking here right now.

The course covers fundamental concepts of accounting, finance, modeling, and valuation. If you’re interested in getting involved in Wall Street, then this course is for you!

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Cryptocurrencies are all the rave these days. You can’t go a day without reading or hearing something about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any of the other hundreds of new block-chain currencies making their names in the market.

If you’re interested in understanding how these work and how you can get involved in investing in your future through cryptocurrecies, then look no further than The Complete Cryptocurrency Investment Bundle. This course will take you from the beginning aspects of learning how cryptocurrencies exist and function, to learning how to invest and profit in this complicated new world of money.

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Finally, get educated and tested on how to survive in the stock market with the Complete Stock Market Toolkit for Beginners. Learn the fundamentals of navigating a difficult and volatile marketplace with this toolkit from and start making trades like a professional.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Christopher Smith

Don’t forget to follow the blog by signing up in the side-bar on the right or from the menu. I’ll post new opportunities to learn and grow professionally and personally each and every week. Follow me now!

Looking for a New Job? Your Resume is the First Step!

I recently joined the ranks of the unemployed after my departure from a 13-year term with a company I called home. Suddenly, I was out in the open, with no idea where to look, and no idea where my next check might come from.

The first thing I needed to do was polish a resume that hadn’t been touched for over a decade. As a matter of fact, considering that I spent almost my entire career in the same department, I’m not sure my resume was ever built for anything other than simply having one. It wasn’t there to attract recruiters, it wasn’t there to prove the feasibility of plugging me into somebody else’s department. It was just a piece of paper with my name and a few accolades on it.

Fast forward to two weeks into my unemployment and I’m starting to sweat. The money stops coming in when you don’t have a job, but the bills certainly don’t. I needed to find a way to attract some visitors to my social networking sites and a way to ensure that when they saw my resume they didn’t think twice before picking up the phone and calling me in for an interview.

I started on LinkedIn, and constructed the best view of myself I could manage. It helped as LinkedIn has great networking features and allowed me to connect to various recruiters. Did I land a job from LinkedIn? Nope.

I moved on to Indeed and crafted a similar resume with their platform. I could apply instantly to plenty of jobs and research what I might expect as a salary from most of them. Did I land a job from Indeed? Nope.

Nothing was working because I was still throwing a simple sheet of simple accolades into the inbox of women and men that had already seen my type of resume hundreds of times. I needed a way to stand out NOW.

Take a look below at some of the resume services myself and many others have enlisted to polish their appearance and land the job they actually want.

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You Need a Cover Letter

First things first, a resume needs a cover letter. Most employers will ask for them in their job listings and some won’t even look at your resume if a cover letter is not included right off the bat. Amazing Cover Letters has that handled for you.  Follow their tips in the free video and go from there. As they put it “Your next cover letter will perfectly present the best reasons why a hiring manager should call YOU for the job interview.” Give them a try by clicking here and get your cover letter primed for presentation.

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Time to Craft the Resume Itself

Okay, so your cover letter is looking good already, it’s time for the meat and potatoes of it all, the resume itself!

There are a couple options here: you can have someone critique and build your resume for you or you can train yourself to bring the best out of your resume on your own.

The Amazing Resume Creator is a neat trick and a great service to put the POP in your resume and make it stand out to hiring managers in your field. Take a look at their video, take their free tips, and go from there.

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Why Not Do It Yourself?

If you’re into the DIY of it all, and you know that you can communicate your greatest assets to the employer of your dreams, then brush up on some of the best techniques by enrolling in a course or program suited to make you a resume-writing professional. Also, keep in mind that you can use these tips and tricks to write resumes for your friends, your family, or even your own clients; you’ve got room for a bit of a side-hustle, right?

Blue Sky Resume Writing is an all-in-one course to make you an expert in the art of writing resumes. Click here to check it out and give it a whirl. You’ll be landing your new dream job in no time if you follow their guidance and give it your all.

Do you already have a great resume but you know it could be even better? There’s a service for you, too!

You may have heard of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, for websites and blogs, but did you know that there’s a service that optimizes search terms for your resume as well? Resume Scanner does just that and matches your resume to the keywords that hiring managers in your field are looking for. Click here and load up your resume to Resume Scanner and see how you can better optimize your resume to show up in the search results of your desired employers.

I hope these tools come together to land you a job that you can enjoy day-in and day-out, and most of all I hope they get you out of the unemployment line fast! That’s not a queue that anybody wants to stay in for very long.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Christopher Smith