Here at Network for Good we experienced a busy giving season right up to the final hours of 2013. This is good news for nonprofits, as we saw a 16% increase in dollars donated compared to the year-end fundraising season of 2012. After all of that activity, it can be tempting to take it easy for a few weeks now that January is here. Of course, the reality is that your work with donors is just beginning. Now is your opportunity to begin turning year-end donors into your long-term partners in good. To do so, you need a solid plan to welcome these donors, keep them informed, and build relationships with them throughout the year. The first step is to keep the magic alive with a well-planned donor gratitude strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind:Thank your donors as soon as possible. Ideally, your online donors have already received an automatic thank you and receipt, and offline donors are receiving their thank yous in the mail shortly. Thanking donors promptly is not just common courtesy, it’s positive reinforcement of their decision to support and trust your organization.A receipt is not a thank you. Yes, you must make sure your donors get donation receipts that include information on tax deductibility. That said, if the most interesting line your response to a donor’s gift is “No goods or services were received by the donor as a result of this gift,” you’re doing it wrong. (See also: IRS rules on acknowledging contributions.)One thank you is not enough. You’ve acknowledged all of your year-end donations with a proper thank you. You’re done, right? Not so fast. One great thank you is a good start, but don’t forgo regularly thanking donors to keep them up to date on the impact of their gifts. Don’t leave donors wondering, “Whatever happened to that person/animal/cause in need?”Don’t forget other donation sources. Acknowledge every donation your organization receives, whether they come from your direct mail campaign, your online donation page, or from third-party sources such as employee giving programs, peer-to-peer fundraisers, or online giving portals. Understand all of your donation sources and tailor your notes of appreciation, where necessary. New donors coming in from a peer-to-peer campaign, for example, may need a more formal introduction to your organization than donors you’ve directly solicited.Make sure your thank you is sincere and memorable. You may have a template for your donor thank yous, but if your thank you feels like a form letter, it needs more work. Express authentic gratitude for your donors’ generosity and put them in the middle of the work you do. Use photos, quotes, and even video to help bring these stories to life for your supporters. Give donors a thank you so amazing that they can’t wait to show it off to their friends and family. Need some help with your thank you letters? Here are a few resources from our learning center: How to Treat Your Donor Like Your SuperheroKey Qualities for Amazing Thank You Letters3 Things Your Donor Thank You Should Do6 Keys to Donor RetentionAre you sending an amazing thank you this year? Have you received one? Share your examples in the comments and we’ll feature the best ones in an upcoming post!
Posted on December 1, 2013November 27, 2017By: Tamil Kendall, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Globally, HIV and complications of childbearing are the leading causes of death among women of reproductive age. The epicenter of poor maternal health outcomes associated with HIV is sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of pregnant women living with HIV reside. In this region, women with HIV are six to eight times more likely to die during pregnancy and the postpartum period than HIV-negative women, approximately a quarter of maternal deaths are due to HIV, and WHO estimates that maternal mortality has actually increased in eight countries with high HIV prevalence over the past 20 years. Addressing the intersections between HIV and maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa is necessary to make good on international and country commitments to end preventable maternal mortality and achieve an AIDS-free generation.Fortunately, we know what some of the problems are and how to address them:In 2012, only 49% of pregnant African women were tested for HIV—scaling-up voluntary HIV counseling and testing to reach 90% of women attending prenatal care is needed to support women to access treatment for their own health and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. African countries like Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia have shown it can be done.To achieve better outcomes coverage of interventions that can radically reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, such as provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART), malaria and tuberculosis screening and treatment, and family planning must increase through better integration of HIV and Maternal-Child Health (MCH) services.Too many pregnant and postpartum women either do not begin or drop out of HIV and MCH services. HIV stigma, disrespect and abuse, gender discrimination, and financial and geographic barriers are associated with low uptake and retention in care and treatment. Social support for pregnant and postpartum women and community mobilization to promote women’s health and rights can contribute to increased demand for and delivery of high-quality, respectful HIV and MCH services.Addressing maternal morbidity and mortality among women living with HIV and improving outcomes for all pregnant and postpartum women requires health system strengthening, integration of HIV and MCH services, and transformation of the social context.Research and evaluation is needed for better policy and programs. The forthcoming Research and Evaluation Agenda for Maternal Health and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa identifies three priorities:Clinical Questions about Maternal Mortality and HIV: What is the relationship between HIV infection and rates and causes of maternal morbidity and mortality? How can increased illness and death among women with HIV be prevented? How will new treatment guidelines and increased availability of ART for women living with HIV effect maternal and neonatal health outcomes?Integrating Health Service Delivery to Address Maternal Health and HIV: What are the most effective models for integrating HIV testing, treatment and care with antenatal, intrapartum, postpartum and family planning services? How can additional critical interventions—specifically screening and treatment for malaria and tuberculosis, postpartum family planning, and preconception counseling—be integrated into the continuum of HIV and MCH services while maintaining quality? What levels of staffing and mix of skills are needed to safely and effectively deliver integrated services? How does service integration effect coverage, quality, retention and satisfaction of users and providers, and health outcomes?Transforming the Social Context to Improve Maternal Health: What are the effects of programs which reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination, disrespect and abuse in maternity care, and violence against women on uptake and retention in HIV and MCH services, adherence to antiretroviral treatment, disclosure of HIV status, and postpartum depression? How does increasing social support for pregnant and postpartum women and community mobilization to promote respectful, high-quality HIV and MCH services, effect maternal health outcomes?The 2013 World AIDS Day theme “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation” is a call for researchers, policymakers, healthcare providers and women living with HIV and their communities to redouble efforts to improve responses to HIV and maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa.Read the policy brief or visit the MHTF topic page on Maternal Health, HIV and AIDS for more resources.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Monaco have announced the signing of Chile international defender Guillermo Maripan on a five-year deal from Alaves.The fee is said to be €18 million (£16m/$20m).Monaco have endured a difficult start to the season in Ligue 1 after being in relegation difficulty throughout 2018-19. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? They have gone down to consecutive 3-0 defeats to start this campaign, and have seen a player dismissed in each game.The club welcomed the signing of the 23-cap international, who moved to Spain from his native Chile in 2016.“We are very pleased to welcome Guillermo to AS Monaco,” Oleg Petrov, the French club’s vice president, said in a statement.“He is an athletic defender with personality, who has demonstrated his potential in the Spanish league, and also with the Chilean national team.“I am convinced that Guillermo will find everything he needs to continue to progress and do very good things with AS Monaco.”Maripan turned out 47 times for Alaves over the last two seasons, which have seen them finish 14th and 11th.He played all 90 minutes at centre-half in their opening La Liga game this year, helping his team keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Levante.He said he was excited to join Monaco who have struggled to regain the form that saw them win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2017.“It’s an honour for me to join AS Monaco, one of the biggest winners in French football,” the 25-year-old said.“It’s an ambitious club with great players. I look forward to stepping on the field and being able to demonstrate my qualities.”Monaco have already played two different pairings at the heart of the defence this year.Highly-rated England Under-19 international Jonathan Panzo started their first game alongside Kamil Glik, but was relegated to the bench for the second match of the year.Glik retained his place, with another teen starting alongside him. Benoit Badiashele, like Panzo, is just 18, but his inclusion saw no change in the outcome as Metz put three past the new-look pair.
The marquee matchup in MLS this week featured the top two sides in the Eastern Conference facing off, with the winner offered the chance to book a place in the MLS Cup playoffs. Only Los Angeles FC, the runaway leader in MLS this season, had already locked up a place in the playoffs so far – Bob Bradley’s side having clinched a berth in mid-August thanks to a historically good run through the campaign. LAFC came as little surprise, coming off a first season in the league in which the club looked like a budding power, but for the Union, being the second team in could be seen as something of a shocker. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Last season the club earned the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference before being bounced in the first round by New York City FC. The 2019 campaign has been a different story for Philly. With just eight losses this year compared to 14 last season, the club has already passed its points total from their last campaign with five games to spare. Saturday’s match against Atlanta United was a test of the highest order for the Union, and Jim Curtin’s club passed with flying colours. The two sides entered the night locked at the top of the East with 48 points each, and Atlanta went in front through Josef Martinez, who continued his impressive scoring run in the process, just before halftime. It was a lovely goal from Atlanta, with Martinez working a clinical one-two at the top of the box before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home, but it wasn’t enough to dent the Union’s resolve. Brenden Aaronson answered just after the hour mark, pulling Philadelphia level, and a brilliant finish from Kacper Przybylko put the Union out in front in the 86th minute. Sergio Santos added a third for the Union two minutes later, giving the Union a 3-1 win on the night. The Union still needed help to lock up their playoff place on Saturday, but the San Jose Earthquakes were more than happy to lend a hand. A Magnus Eriksson opener and a pair of goals from Chris Wondolowski had the ‘Quakes up 3-0 at halftime over Orlando City, with San Jose holding on for the win, giving the Union the gap needed to mathematically secure one of the top seven spots in the Eastern Conference.
Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford should embrace Cristiano Ronaldo as a role model, according to former Red Devils coach Rene Meulensteen. The 21-year-old, who is currently on international duty with England, has previously described the Juventus striker as a childhood hero having watched on as a fan while the Portuguese star was still playing at Old Trafford.While hesitant to make any direct comparison between the two, Meulensteen has urged Rashford to use Ronaldo as inspiration as he looks to follow in his goalscoring footsteps. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “In many ways, Cristiano is unique because he had such huge belief in his own ability. But I do think that Marcus Rashford has got a similar mindset to be the best player he can – and I think he should use Cristiano as his role model,” Meulensteen told The Mirror.“I’m not saying Marcus can be the next Ronaldo – because I think Cristiano is a one-off talent. Ronaldo is one of the all-time greats who will be remembered alongside Pele, Maradona, Messi, Eusebio, and Cruyff.“But Marcus can create his own reputation as a fantastic player if he wants it badly enough.”Cristiano’s natural instinct was to always try to score the most beautiful goal possible – and that is something I also see in Marcus Rashford. Ronaldo was always trying to find the top corner from 30 yards and win the goal of the season.“I made him realise that he had to become a great goalscorer rather than a scorer of great goals. That meant scoring more goals, not more spectacular goals.“Of course, we worked on his technique for finishing, but we also worked on his thinking process so that he would naturally get himself in the right positions to help him score more goals.”After starting the recent Premier League season with a brace against Chelsea in a 4-0 win, Rashford has failed to score in his past three games for United and also missed a penalty against Crystal Palace. The Three Lions attacker scored 10 goals in the league last season and will be hoping for a few more this campaign as he leads the line in the wake of Romelu Lukaku’s departure. Rashford has made no secret of his admiration for Ronaldo, revealing the first ever match he watched live involved the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. “I used to watch a lot of him growing up, all of his games,” Rashford said of Ronaldo in 2017.”I watched all those clips on YouTube and my first-ever game that I saw live, he was playing in it. It was at Old Trafford and I always remember it. It was in 2003. He scored a hat-trick.”He always played free. No matter where he was playing, he played free and went out there and expressed himself. When you do that, that’s when you play your best football.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Ross Barkley has been backed by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and captain Cesar Azpilicueta, after his missed penalty in the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at home to Valencia in the Champions League.The England midfielder swept his spot-kick against the crossbar after appearing to step ahead of regular penalty takers Jorginho and Willian, with the latter seemingly protesting his decision. Barkley had only been on the pitch for some seven minutes after coming on as a late substitute for Mateo Kovacic.Former Chelsea forward Eidur Gudjohnsen slammed Barkley for the call after the game, but Lampard was adamant that Barkley is one of his designated takers. Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “Ross is a penalty taker and is when he starts games,” he told BT Sport . “He took it and missed it.“It is a great story to say there is contention between players. If he scores it is not a story. But he took it and missed. That is it. The disappointment to all of us is that we didn’t get chance to win the game. There is no issue in the dressing room.”Azpilicueta was also targeted by Gudjohnsen as well as fans on social media after the game, with suggestions that the captain should have taken charge of the situation.But the Spaniard reiterated Lampard’s claim, and said the players talking to him were simply trying to build his confidence before taking the kick.”Ross is one of the best penalty takers in the team and one who takes them,” he said. “He had the confidence and he was unlucky hitting the bar.“They [the other players around him] were encouraging him to have the confidence to score. There was high expectation. They were trying to get him into the best condition. Hopefully next time it goes in.”The defeat, a potentially damaging one at home against a club in turmoil behind the scenes, came as a huge disappointment to Lampard following their confidence-boosting win over Wolves at the weekend.However, the biggest concern may well have been the ankle injury which saw the in-form Mason Mount forced from the pitch early on. Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge to face a daunting clash with Liverpool at the weekend, and the loss of Mount would be a significant one.”It did affect the game and we know how well he is playing,” Lampard admitted. “He looked sharp. It is an ankle injury and hopefully not too bad. It needs to be assessed over the next few days. “We shouldn’t lose the game. Clearly. At least not lose it. We had a fair few chances. And then the penalty, which we miss. We have to keep our heads up. There is a long way to go. It is a lesson. Teams at this level can hurt you. “I saw Liverpool lost tonight. This is the Champions League and there are tough games. There will be bumps in the road for us with the youth we have and changes we are trying to make. But we need to be strong and be ready with Liverpool here at the weekend.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has offered an encouraging update on the progress being made by Alisson and Naby Keita in their respective recoveries from injury.The Reds boss is hoping to have both men available to him in the near future.Keita is closer to making a return to action than his Brazilian team-mate, and the Guinean midfielder is now back in full training. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career He does still have work to do when it comes to match fitness and sharpness, after an unfortunate knock picked up ahead of a UEFA Super Cup clash with Chelsea kept him on the sidelines.A hip complaint has been shaken off, allowing him to rejoin the Reds fold, and Klopp is pleased to have the 24-year-old back under his watchful eye.The hope is that Alisson will soon be taking a similar step, as Liverpool’s No. 1 is working his way back from a calf problem.Klopp will not be rushing the South American shot-stopper, and it has previously been stated that he will not be considered again until after the October international break, but he is stepping up his workload.Divock Origi, who has been nursing an ankle issue picked up against Newcastle, is another of the walking wounded at Anfield and it is unlikely that the Belgian forward will come into contention for the trip to Chelsea on Sunday.Klopp told reporters: “Naby Keita is back in training at least, with the team. Today for the first time with the team.“Ali is making big progress, but is still away. He had a proper session yesterday with John Achterberg, but is not in team training yet.“Div, we have to see day by day, that’s how it was from the first day – how can he deal with the pain and stuff like that. We will see. It is pretty early, so I don’t know exactly what the medical department will tell me about that case.“I think it’s unlikely [he will be fit for Chelsea] but why should I rule him out? But it’s unlikely.”As he prepares to welcome key men back into the fold, Klopp insists that the fear of seeing others ruled out is not keeping him up at night.Quizzed specifically on Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, who remains a talismanic presence for Liverpool, the German tactician said: “Not yet! That’s the reason we have four centre-halves.“It’s not easy for the No.4 centre-half in the moment, not playing, sometimes not in the squad. But if something happens, like it happened last year, then you end up with one centre-half and a defensive midfielder like against Bayern at home.“That can happen, but you cannot think about injuries before they happen.“We all need luck to be really successful. From my point of view, we have four world-class centre-halves who can play together in any partnership. Hopefully that will be enough for the season.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has asserted that academy graduate Mason Greenwood’s finishing is so good that it’s “a joke”, but is hopeful that the club’s current lack of striking options will not see too much pressure heaped on the young centre-forward.Greenwood, still only 17, has hit the ground running this season, netting his first two senior goals in recent match-ups against Astana in the Europa League and Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, missing United’s trip to West Ham in the Premier League only through a bout of tonsillitis.And Cole, a five-time Premier League winner and one-time Champions League winner with the Red Devils, wants to see the youngster properly managed as his former club struggle with a current lack of options at the head of their attack. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “He’s got a chance, he has got a chance,” Cole said on BBC Radio 5 Live when asked if Greenwood has the quality to succeed long-term at the Theatre of Dreams. “His finishing is a joke. Left or right foot, he’s got quality in abundance.“I just hope they don’t – which Manchester United won’t do anyway – that they don’t put too much undue pressure on him. He’s got great ability. They (Man Utd) are looking at it and saying ‘We’ve got Mason, we’re going to give Marcus [Rashford] the opportunity to play centre-forward.“The disappointing thing is he’s going to have to get thrown into the deep end a little bit earlier than they would have liked. [That’s] due to injuries and due to them being prepared to allow [Romelu] Lukaku and [Alexis] Sanchez go.“Ideally it would have been nice if they bought themselves another centre-forward.”Speaking after United’s narrow win over Rochdale, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expressed that Greenwood would indeed be properly managed, but added that he could well lead the line when the Red Devils welcome Arsenal to Old Trafford on Monday.“He’s proven when he’s been on the pitch in the last two games he started that, when you get him in the box, he’s dangerous,” added Solskjaer. “What’s pleased me about him in the period that we’re in is he doesn’t turn down chances to finish. He’s not 18 yet but keeps trusting himself.“He gets the chances so we’re not worried about that at all. But we can’t just throw him in the deep end all the time. He’s proved in those games he’s ready for it. Now, Premier League… I’ll have the weekend to think about it.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Zdenek Ondrasek admitted he is still coming to terms with the mind-blowing moment of scoring the winning goal against England in his first international appearance for the Czech Republic.Debutant Ondrasek, 30, was the hero in Prague as the Czech Republic came from behind to boost their hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-1 victory on Friday.The Czech’s moved level with England atop Group A having played an extra game than their star-studded opponents with three rounds remaining.Ondrasek, who plays for Dallas in MLS, replaced Roma forward Patrik Schick after 65 minutes with the game level at 1-1 and the striker could barely believe he had scored the winner against the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists.”I think it still doesn’t feel right, I’m happy that I scored, but I don’t feel it,” he told UEFA.com. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career GET IN!!! FULL-TIME!Fantastic performance and even better result! 2-1 pic.twitter.com/FPybUblhcp— Czech Football Team (@ceskarepre_eng) October 11, 2019″It’s so big I think my head will explode soon because I played my first game for my country, which I was waiting for so long, and I scored the winning goal against England. I’m so happy it’s unbelievable.”The other guys on the bench said, ‘score a goal, man’. So after an amazing pass from [Lukas] Masopust I hit it perfectly and I’m so happy it went in.”The Czech Republic play third-placed Kosovo at home next, and victory for the hosts would assure them of an automatic qualification spot. Kosovo are currently four points behind the top two, and defeat would leave an insurmountable gap.If England beat Bulgaria and Kosovo do not win, Gareth Southgate’s side would also confirm their place at the finals of the tournament.While qualification is still likely, the nature of the Three Lions’ performance in Prague was cause for concern, with a number of players underperforming. Danny Rose and Michael Keane were among those singled out for criticism as they struggled to impose themselves on the contest.The Czech Republic finish their qualifying campaign in November with a home game against Kosovo before a trip to Bulgaria in the final round, while England face Montenegro and Kosovo in their final two qualification games.
Gareth Bale says he wants to finally get one over on Luka Modric when Croatia visit Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying.The Real Madrid team-mates will be the two biggest stars on show for Sunday’s Group E game in Cardiff.Croatia lead the pool on 13 points with Wales six back in fourth spot, although Ryan Giggs’ side have a game in hand. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Wales drew away to Slovakia on Thursday, Bale sustaining a knee injury, but he is expected to be fit to face Croatia.The forward is looking forward to testing himself against Ballon d’Or winner Modric, Croatia having won the reverse game 2-1 in June.”Whenever we have played we’ve always lost by one goal and it’s always been quite a tight game,” Bale told reporters.”We know what a great team they are, they had a great World Cup and they have shown year after year how good they actually are.”We know it is going to be very tough, but I think being at home gives us a little bit more of an advantage and we know the Welsh crowd will be behind us.”We’ve played together for a long time in Tottenham and Real Madrid so we know each other quite well. It would be nice to get one over on him finally because they have beaten us a few times in the past.”Bale is one booking away from missing a qualifier through suspension, which he accepts will be on his mind against Croatia.”I can’t make too many silly tackles or anything, I have to be mindful of that,” Bale said. “I don’t want to miss any games for Wales and especially at the crunch time of the group.”I guess I have to be clever with what I’m doing but maybe I have to expect that someone is going to wind me up to get me suspended.”Meanwhile Wales boss Giggs has warned that his side are coming up against strong opponents in the 2018 World Cup finalists who will punish them for any errors.“They are a fantastic team with brilliant individuals, but we are a good team as well,” he told reporters.“We showed that on Thursday night but we need to be better and we need to do it for 90 minutes.”Any mistakes, any lapses in concentration, you get punished at this top level against the top teams.”It’s not easy but we have got the players to do it and the players are ready.”
August 30, 2017 (Omaha, NE) – Travelex Insurance Services (Travelex) and Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company’s Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) have formed a strategic relationship to provide innovative travel protection plans under the name of Travelex with the underwriting and claims services of BHTP. This strategic relationship brings together the financial strength, product underwriting, and claims handling of BHTP with the extensive sales and marketing expertise and vast, long-standing travel provider network of Travelex, with the intent of bringing a high level of service, product innovation and claims handling expertise and expediency to travel professionals and their clients. Dean Sivley, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection President, said: “My colleagues at BHTP and I are excited to be working with the great professionals at Travelex to continue our efforts to bring innovative solutions in the areas of product, claims and distribution to the travel insurance industry. By joining forces with Travelex, we have further committed ourselves to the travel insurance space and look forward to supporting the many great travel professionals that are part of the Travelex network.” Michael J. Ambrose, Travelex Insurance Services President and CEO, said: “We spent the last 21 years building a trusted reputation with some of the industry’s most prestigious travel providers and thousands of entrepreneurial travel organizations. Travelex will continue to evolve and seek unique ways to provide the quality protection plans which meet the needs of today’s travelers while providing the excellent service our clients expect.” Through this strategic relationship, customers of Travelex and BHTP will continue to have access to traditional and fixed benefit travel protection plans along with the exceptional, personal service they have come to expect and trust. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection is the trade name for the travel protection products and services of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Concierge, LLC, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, part of the National Indemnity group of insurance companies. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection created AirCare™ flight and other travel related protections. The ExactCare Value, ExactCare Extra, ExactCare, and AirCare™ products are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company or National Liability & Fire Insurance Company. Visit bhtp.com for more information. Travelex Insurance Services, a leading travel insurance provider in the United States, develops and distributes a comprehensive suite of travel protection products for travel agencies, tour operators, cruise lines, vacation clubs and timeshare operators. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Travelex Insurance Services was founded in 1996 when the Travelex Group purchased Mutual of Omaha Companies’ travel insurance distribution services. Travelex Insurance Services became a subsidiary of Cover-More Holdings USA, Inc. in November 2016, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group Limited (“ZIG”), headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. For more information: travelexinsurance.com.
New expansions, property enhancements, unique experiences, eco-initiatives, and irresistible deals await this holiday season at Mexico’s most popular destinations Mexico City, MX (October 17, 2018) – La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana is ringing in the holiday season with five exciting new milestones and developments for travelers to experience at its 13 resorts across Mexico’s most renowned destinations. From expansions and enhancements to new experiences and eco-friendly initiatives, now is the best time to consider this curated collection of resorts offering the best in Mexican hospitality. As if that were not enough, travelers can take advantage of the current Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday deals offering guests up to 50% off, with a travel window of more than an entire year, spanning from mid-November through to December 28, 2019, letting the joys of the holiday last well past the New Year. Below is the latest from La Colección Resorts’ four brands including Live Aqua Resorts, Grand Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts and The Explorean by Fiesta Americana: EXPANSIONS:o Get a taste of one of Mexico’s most cultural destinations at the newest addition to La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana – Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende set to open November 1st. Boasting all the elements true to this luxury lifestyle brand, the new Live Aqua property will offer guests 153 beautifully appointed guestrooms, state -of -the -art amenities and services, fine dining restaurants, a full-service spa and a variety of meeting and events spaces perfect for incentive and group meetings, weddings and social events. The opening of Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende marks the 5th Live Aqua brand opening for Grupo Posadas in Mexico and will be the largest guestroom property in the city of San Miguel de Allende. Reservations for Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende can be made starting on October 15th and by visiting the property’s website. ENHANCEMENTS: o Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All-Inclusive recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar renovation, which included extensive upgrades to over 500 premium rooms and suites in all three towers. Among the improvements include new décor using local materials like marine shell to maintain a room’s temperature cool; wooden furniture; new electronic lock doors with proximity key; redesigned bathrooms and new modern guestroom furniture encompassing all-natural materials. Guests can enjoy the property’s refreshed Grand Ballroom and five refurbished onsite dining venues. The newly-upgraded Kid’s Club, now nearly triple the size, features new comfortable furniture, a large ball pit and all-new arcade-style table games such as air hockey and foosball. o Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun is undergoing a much-anticipated renovation slated for completion by December 2019. Guests can already enjoy its 371 fully-renovated premium rooms boasting new modern yet warm elements to personalize the ambiance of the room such as an aromatherapy menu and controlled surround music and lighting intensity from new bedside smart consoles. Travelers are invited to indulge in the property’s newly-remodeled outdoor restaurants led by Executive Chef César Germain. With a refreshed modern look and feel and new signature menus, the restaurants continue to delight with traditional and fusion dishes from around the world. One of the most anticipated dining venues is Azul Restaurant, a semi-open Mayan palapa with modern décor that offers both indoor and outdoor seating and mouth-watering cuisine. EXPERIENCES: o Kids 5- to 15 years old can enjoy an array of treatments and beauty services at Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun’s renownedGem Spa including a kid’s massage, a 25- or 50-minute light massage by the spa’s team of gentle and warm-hearted spa therapists, Chocolate Facial Treatment, a 25-minute hydrating and nourishing facial treatment incorporating prime-pressed cocoa butter, French cocoa absolute, chocolate extract and pure cocoa powder, a Barbie Manicure & Pedicure and more. o Whale watching season is in around the corner in Los Cabos and there is no better place than Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All-Inclusive Golf & Spa to witness these majestic creatures. The resort’s concierge also provides various tours for those who want a closer look as well as a complimentary snorkeling class and excursion right on its private beach where guests will get to know and learn about the exquisite wildlife of the Pacific Ocean during this fun-filled activity. o With the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive & Spa’s La Veranda restaurant provides guests with a unique dining experience due to the magnificent chef’s table. Guests can enjoy exquisite culinary demonstrations and only the best offerings such as juicy T-bone steaks and fresh lobster. La Veranda also features a vast lawn ideal for an elaborate occasion where entertainment can easily be set up. o Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive Adults Onlyoffers a guided 7-hour tour to Las Caletas Beach Hideaway aboard a spectacular catamaran cruise along the beautiful south coast of the bay as well as kayaking, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding in the crystal-clear waters and much more. Visitors are also encouraged to embark a luxurious snorkeling expedition aboard a first-class yacht equipped with an open bar, five-star accommodations and exquisite service. o Fiesta Americana Villas Cancun’s revamped Uru Spa invites guests to enjoy an ancestral journey of physical and spiritual harmony. The renovated spa offers hydrotherapy treatments, renovating and balance, purification and rejuvenating rituals for guests to experience a relaxing vacation in Cancun. ECO-INITIATIVES:o As of October 1st, all La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana properties have eliminated the use of single-use plastic straws and offer guests biodegradable straws for them to enjoy upon request. o The company has been ranked #20 in the top 36 companies in Mexico with the highest social commitment by Forbes Magazine. o All La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana properties have a process for the collection and storage of used cooking oils to be delivered to specialized companies that recycle the product to produce biodiesel. About La Colección Resorts by Fiesta AmericanaLa Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana is comprised of 12 distinctive resorts located in Mexico’s most desired beach destinations. The resort collection encompasses the brands Live Aqua Resorts, Grand Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts and The Explorean by Fiesta Americana. Showcasing the best of Mexico including its rich culture and warm hospitality, guests are privy to unrivalled accommodations, amenities and entertainment that ensure a superior, world-class vacation experience. The resorts within La Colección include: Live Aqua Beach Resort Cancun All Inclusive Adults Only, Live Aqua Boutique Resort Playa del Carmen, Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Adults Only, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa, Fiesta Americana Cozumel All Inclusive, Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun All Inclusive, Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa, Fiesta Americana Villas Cancun, Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco, The Explorean Cozumel and The Explorean Kohunlich. For further information, please visit: www.lacoleccionresorts.com/
1 of 11 Editors’ Recommendations The Best Podcasts to Listen to On Your Commute If you’ve ever tried catching some shut-eye on a train, you know the struggle. It’s loud, it’s jarring, your seatmate probably didn’t shower. However, Platform 1346 is no ordinary train. The World War II-era rail car has been beautifully restored as a legit Airbnb tiny house with plenty of luxury amenities to boot.From the outside, only a custom-built deck indicates that Platform 1346 is anything more than a repainted vintage rail car. Inside, it’s a thoroughly modern affair. Bright white walls and cabinetry are accented with beautifully refinished hardwood flooring to provide a modern farmhouse aesthetic. Large windows on either side illuminate and brighten the space. It’s an entirely self-sufficient setup with a well-equipped kitchen (including high-end cookware and Smeg kitchen appliances), a fold-down writing desk, a lounge space with a pull-out sofa, a Murphy bed, and a private bathroom with a clawfoot tub. There are even free Wi-Fi and a selection of streaming TV services. Next Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Outside, guests will find little to do beyond counting the critters in the fish pond, playing fetch with one of the nine resident pups, or relaxing by the fire pit. The six-acre property feels quiet and secluded. For guests who can’t sit still, the Maryville, Tennessee property is a stone’s throw from the hiking and outdoor opportunities of the Great Smoky Mountains. Downtown Knoxville is also just 20 minutes north.The vintage train car began life nearly 80 years ago as a kitchen for the U.S. Army during World War II. After a decommissioning in 1955, it would go on to serve as a Strategic Air Command center in the 1970s before eventually being retired in the late 80s. It sat in a U.S. Army rail yard until 2005 when a Lieutenant Colonel purchased it at a military surplus auction. Subsequent owners eventually spent the better part of a year gutting and renovating it. The top-down redesign is now worthy of a feature on Tiny Luxury.Platform 1346 is available for rent exclusively on Airbnb with nightly rates starting around $130. Conductor’s hat not included.If boats are more your speed, the Le Koroc tiny houseboats from Daigno might be just the trick. How to Use a Vibrating Foam Roller Like Tom Brady Give Your Hypercar the Garage It Deserves with a Custom Aston Martin Lair Previous Live Out Your Westworld Dreams at Casteel Creek Retreat
8 of the Most Dangerous Hikes in the World 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States Editors’ Recommendations The Alps are one of the great mountain ranges in Europe, stretching across Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, and Lichtenstein. Switzerland is typically the first country that springs to mind when referencing the Alps, however, the largest portion lies within Austria — the region also twice hosted the Winter Olympics. While the Austrian Alps have been made famous by The Sound of Music, there’s more to this area than twirling through alpine meadows.There are six regions within Vorarlberg, the westernmost state that houses the Alps: Lech Zürs am Arlberg, Bregenzerwald, Montafon, Kleinwalsertal, Bodensee-Vorarlberg, and Brandnertal-Alpenstadt Bludenz-Klostertal-Grosses Walsertal. Here are three that need to make your short list — it’s not too early to break out your essential gear and begin making preparations for your next hiking adventure.Hiking the Vorarlberg RegionAlexander Schnurer/Getty ImagesBregenzerwaldBregenzerwald is known for its alpine cheese and hiking can offer the opportunity to explore many dairy farms. The 22 villages in the region have sought to remain true to their heritage with both traditional and contemporary architecture that creates a harmonious relationship with the surrounding environment. Some of Bregenzerwald’s peaks can be reached by cable car or serve as a launching pad for exploring the diverse landscape.Lech Zürs am ArlbergKnown as the birthplace of alpine skiing, the region welcomed its first skiers in 1906. Alpine meadows are set against a backdrop of mountain lakes and staggering peaks. The ski infrastructure of the region provides a catalyst for reaching new heights providing access to trails like the Green Ring and Lechweg. As you stroll, keep an eye out for some of the more than 20 orchid varieties and possible fossil sightings from the ancient ocean that once covered the landscape.MontafonAnchored by the region’s highest peak, Piz Buin, the most southerly of the aforementioned regions is a 24-mile, high-alpine valley that is ideal for all outdoor activity. The valley is dotted with almost a dozen villages to utilize as basecamps. Hiking trails range from gentle and rolling to summit tours of some of the imposing peaks. Some interesting trails to consider include the Smuggler’s Trails, which were used to run items across the border into Switzerland, and the Knappenkapelle (“miner’s chapel”), which offers a peek into the area’s mining history.Essential GearJohn Borthwick/Getty ImagesHiking is one of the most engaging pastimes and is great for people of all ages. If often requires very little gear and minimal preparation. However, as your foray into the sport increases, it is advantageous to acquire a few items of essential gear. Here are a few of our favorite products for enjoying the great outdoors.BootsBoots provide great ankle support while walking over uneven terrain. Paired with natural (wool) or synthetic fiber socks, a great pair of boots are undoubtedly one of the most underrated pieces of gear you can own. Recommendation: We like the LOWA Locarno GTX Mid. These boots work great on trail and are stylish enough to wear around town.DaypackWhile shorter hikes can be achieved without carrying additional items, packs are ideal for transporting extra water, snacks, emergency gear (first aid kit), and rain gear. Recommendation: The Osprey Skarab 32 is ideal for carrying the essentials and so much more.Trekking PolesTrekking poles are almost always necessary. They provide extra points of contact and therefore increase your stability while trekking over varying terrain. Recommendation: The LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Black Series is our trekking pole of choice.Rain GearThere’s a saying that notes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation.” A good rain jacket (waterproof pants optional but often worthwhile) can protect against rain and wind, as well as aid in conserving body heat. Recommendation: Norwegian brand Norrøna knows a thing or two about making products to wrangle tough conditions. The new Bitihorn 3-layer jacket is highly compressible and easily stashed in an outer pocket for quick accessibility.For more gear suggestions on what to carry on your hikes, check out our picks for day hikes and thru-hiking treks. 12 Reasons South Dakota Deserves Your Attention
Miles Branman/The Manual But the great outdoors introduce uncertainty, the nemesis of our manicured existence. For some, that sense of unknown is thrilling; for others, it’s damn near terrifying. Thankfully, there are ways to bring a bit of security wherever you travel. We’ve touched on great rooftop tent options that hold up against the elements while offering off-the-ground safety, but equally important to your home-on-the-road setup is an awning.Hiding in your tent every time you want a reprieve from the sun, wind, or rain can get old quick, which is why retractable awnings have become popular among campers and overlanders. Collapsible into long narrow tubes that mount on side of a vehicle’s roof rack, awnings extend to provide protection overhead or, with wall extensions, to make a mobile shelter. Whether you live in a 5,000-square-foot mansion or a 500-square-foot studio apartment, it’s hard to escape the feeling of confinement. Though they provide shelter, our artificial structures limit mind and body from straying too far from responsibility. And so we daydream of adventure – of breathing fresh air, taking in stunning vistas, and, above all, finding room to roam.Further ReadingBest Off-Road VehiclesMost Extreme Overland Vehicles Miles Branman/The Manual The New Land Rover Defender Is Just as Glorious as We Expected Miles Branman/The Manual The Best Backpacking Chairs for Your Next Adventure Miles Branman/The Manual Editors’ Recommendations Following the success of its single-direction Sun Seeker awning, Rhino Rack introduced a new model that spans a full 270-degrees around your vehicle — significantly more coverage than traditional awnings — while retracting into the same slim form. To see whether the Batwing makes camping easier or more complicated, we mounted the awning to an 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser and headed out for a weekend in Joshua Tree, California.To see whether the Batwing makes camping easier or more complicated, we mounted the awning to a Toyota Land Cruiser and headed out for a weekend.Before ever unwrapping the Batwing from its black PVC cover, we note the large, high-quality zippers and thick shielding that we expect will hold up well to years of use. Unzipping the bag reveals four powder coated poles that are magnetically locked in place. Pulling the top pole from its position and walking it around the side of the vehicle releases each successive pole to eventually cover the entire side and rear of the car. Once fully extended, we wrap the strap around a fixed cleat on the opposite side of the roof rack and tighten the strap to make the awning taut.Miles Branman/The ManualThough our awning is positioned on the driver’s side of the Land Cruiser, Rhino Rack also offers mounting on the passenger side if you prefer. Two types of included mounts work with any Rhino Rack or Thule roof rack, but Rhino Rack offers alternative mounting hardware work with just about any rack (including our Front Runner Slimline II).More Overland Gear ReviewsFront Runner Slimline II Roof RackDiscoverer AT3 XLT Tires Previous To make the shelter stable, we pull four hidden poles from their clips and unscrew them to release leg extensions. To stabilize the structure, Batwing includes ropes and pegs that can be used in a few different ways and are stored right into the awning cover. The simplest setup method is to hammer two opposed pegs through each pole leg (following the molded pass-throughs), but a strong wind could still unsettle the base. For greater security, Rhino Rack includes ropes that clip into four points along the awning and are pulled tight with ground pegs. Choosing the more secure method means adding another couple minutes of setup, but even so, the whole process takes under 10 minutes by one person. With a bit of practice, we expect we can cut that time down even further. Next Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual How to Clean a Fish: A Quick Reference Guide Previous Miles Branman/The Manual For added protection, Batwing offers zip-in extensions that can either expand overhead coverage with a pair of included pole legs or be pulled vertical and secured with additional pegs and ropes to make a wall. Like the main structure, these extensions are brilliantly simple and are made up of the same UV50+ rated material endorsed by the Cancer Council. With our work done, our eight-member caravan can enjoy plenty of shade during lunch.When it’s time to get the party moving again, the Batwing breaks down quickly and easily. In five minutes we’ve pulled and stored the pegs and ropes, retracted and secured the pegs, and folded the awning back into its cover. If the Batwing were more fussy or complex, we might be concerned that we’d hardly use it (we know plenty of overland friends who almost never use their awnings for that precise reason). But the ease of setup and tear down, plus the incredible coverage, means we can rely on the Batwing for all our upcoming adventures.Some elements of nature will always be a little unsettling, but with tools like the Rhino Rack Batwing Awning, we can stop making excuses and start making plans to explore more. 1 of 3 1 of 14 The 2020 Living Vehicle Is a Swanky Luxury Apartment on Wheels Next Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Miles Branman/The Manual Tuxedo Tips: Your Guide to Nailing Black-Tie Attire Miles Branman/The Manual
$50 from Bloomingdale’s $59 from Blunt Umbrellas $20 from Amazon Totes Luggage Wooden Stick UmbrellaWe like this umbrella from Totes because it’s got a super classy look at an affordable price. The traditional J-handle aesthetic is complemented by an auto-open design, which makes for easy use whether exiting a car or the subway. Plus, the exterior is fully rain- and windproof, so it should definitely keep you nice and dry. Samsonite Windguard Auto Open UmbrellaThis umbrella’s Teflon-coated, double-canopy opens to a 36-inch diameter, offering a remarkably sturdy, waterproof shell to save you from springtime showers. It also has a curved handle for comfort and an auto-open and close button that can be easily used with just one hand. All-in-all, an uber-functional pick for the commuter on the go. Runners, Say Goodbye to Chafing with Path Projects Running Shorts How to Shave With a Straight Razor $24 from Amazon $23 from Amazon 9 Socially Conscious Sweaters for Cozying Up in Comfort This Fall Hunter Original Bubble UmbrellaFor something a bit more stylin’, you may want to check out the original bubble umbrella from Hunter. A clear shell (and fun “mustache” rim detail) makes for a playful look that’s a welcome departure from the sea of dark-colored umbrellas typical of a rainy day. Though the price is a little steep for an umbrella, we think it’s well worth it. Keep Your Pants On With the Best Belts for Men Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon CoatingWeighing less than a pound, this umbrella may be incredibly compact, but it’s also fortified with nine fiberglass interior ribs for optimized durability. Add to that a lifetime replacement guarantee, and you should be set for many rainy seasons to come. Certain Standard Gramercy Large UmbrellaThe Gramercy Large Umbrella from Certain Standard is an eye-popping beauty sure to stand out in a drizzly crowd. While the silhouette evokes the umbrellas of yore, this baby’s outfitted with all the modern tech you could possibly want: A durable frame, fiberglass reinforcements, an all-natural cork handle, and premium canopy fabric that’s UV rated to 40 UPF. $95 from Certain Standard Editors’ Recommendations Nothing is worse than leaving home in a tidy three-piece only to arrive at your destination looking like Gene Kelly after a song in the rain. Whether you’re a city commuter, an avid hiker, or somewhere in between, having a reliable umbrella is a must if you plan to be out and about during rainy weather. Don’t let spontaneous showers rain on your parade this year – it’s time to ditch that free umbrella you got when you moved into your freshman dorm and upgrade to something that’ll stand up against the elements.So, without further ado, here are the absolute best umbrellas of the season.Best Umbrellas to Buy Now Blunt Metro UmbrellaBlunt is a company that takes umbrellas very seriously. The team tests every design to measure its breaking point (the Metro can withstand winds up to 55 mph) and the canopies are constructed with extra tension to make them more aerodynamic. This particular model is perfect for city-dwellers and travelers alike as it’s designed with round edges for safe crowd navigation. G4Free Automatic Open Golf UmbrellaSo, a golf umbrella may not always be the most appropriate choice for a rainy day (especially if you’re in a crowded area), but they do provide insanely good coverage. As far as the big boys are concerned, we like this one from G4Free, which comes with a whopping 54-inch canopy built with microweave technology for maximum weather resistance. $23 from Amazon Seriously Cool Desk Toys for the Kid in All of Us
I go camping about a half dozen times a year these days and I’m the first to admit I’m obsessed with the gear that goes along with it. When not actively planning a trip or already on one, I often spend the evening rearranging the shelves on which my various tents, packs, sleeping pads, and other such supplies are stored. I suppose I try to justify how much of the stuff I’ve accrued by reorganizing it when not actually using it.But really, I don’t have to justify anything; I like the outdoors and the gear that goes with it, so that’s where I’ve chosen to spend some of my money.However, you can get completely kitted out for camping for less than what some people spend on a single sleeping bag. If you’re new to camping (or hiking or mountaineering or paddle travel and so forth) and not sure it will grab a hold of you — or if you’re already an outdoor enthusiast but need of new kit — it’s OK to supply yourself on the cheap. You can always upgrade items as the need arises.I’ve put together a $200 list of camping gear that’s surprisingly well made given the price point and I have tested products from every one of these brands myself. What you won’t find on this list is apparel and hygiene products or items that need to be resupplied before each excursion, like food, stove fuel, and beer. What you will find is everything you need for a weekend campout or an overnight trek.Backpack Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Backpack – $21If you’re going car camping, you can save your $21 and spend it on stove fuel or whiskey. If you have a bit of trekking to do (not long-distance and not mountaineering, mind you) then this $21 pack from Venture Pal will serve you well. It’s comfortable enough for a few hours of use when moderately loaded and it packs down small enough to fit in a drawer when the outing is over. Also, it comes in lots of color, if that’s a factor for you. $16 from Amazon Tent Coleman Two-Person Sundome – $35Your tent is arguably your most important piece of gear. It’s your shelter from the rain and wind (though not from the cold — see the next item for that) and it’s where you’ll store your stuff, change clothes, swap stories (or smooches), and get some rest. Amazingly, it’s not the most expensive item on the list. The Coleman Two-Person Sundome tent retails for $70, but you can easily find deals on Amazon. It’s about a two-and-a-half season tent, perfect for later spring, summer, and early fall. It has sufficient though not copious room for two and is spacious for one. If the rain is coming down in sheets and blowing in sideways, you may get wet. Light drizzle? No problem. $69 from Walmart Editors’ Recommendations 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States The Best Car Camping Gear for Any Season $21 from Amazon Stove Etekcity Ultralight Portable Backpacking Stove – $14Again, you’ll need to provide fuel, and as that’s a recurring cost, not part of your base kit, I’ve left it off the list. But considering this amazingly compact, reliable, and user-friendly stove costs just fourteen bucks, you’ll be able to afford the added cost of a fuel canister. The Etekcity Ultralight Portable Backpacking Stove weighs four ounces, and when folded down, it’s about the size of a pack of playing cards. Yet it produces more than 6,650 BTUs and can bring water to a boil in minutes. And its Piezo ignition system lets you light it up without matches or a lighter. $12 from Amazon Sleeping Bag Outdoor Vitals OV-Light 35-Degree Bag – $45If your tent is the most important part of your kit, your sleeping bag couldn’t be much closer in second place. Your bag is what keeps you warm and safe. This bag from Outdoor Vitals features StormLight insulation that is highly water resistant, so even if your tent lets in some rain, you will stay dry in your OV-Light 35. And of course, that number refers to the low temperature at which this bag is rated for use. $50 from Amazon Fire Starter SE All-Weather Magnesium Firestarter Kit – $5Assuming your campground allows for fires, there’s nothing like a campfire crackling away to make your site feel like home. In an emergency situation, a fire might be the difference between life and death. So go ahead and spend the $5 and get this little bar of magnesium with handy spark striker included. It will help you start hundreds of fires, but do practice using it a few times before you head out. First Aid Kit M2 Basics First Aid Kit – $12This 150-piece first aid kit has everything you need for treating cuts or scrapes, bee stings, burns, and other minor injuries. It also has a tourniquet, gauze, tape, and gloves in case you face a more serious injury. The emergency blanket is handy in case of shock or if you end up lost in the woods away from the comforts of your tent and sleeping bag. $18 from Walmart The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain How to Sleep Outdoors: Bring the Best Gear for a Good Night’s Sleep $5 from Amazon $7 from Walmart Light UCO 100-Lumen Headlamp – $15Being out in the woods at night is great, but being relegated to darkness once the sun sets is not. A good headlamp is your single best choice when it comes to lighting and a great affordable choice of headlamp is the UCO Hundred Headlamp. It has a long throw when set to its brightest mode and a long battery life (75 hours) when dimmed to its lowest setting. At less than 2 ounces in weight, it’s comfortable enough for hours of wear. (Note that prices vary by color and style here, but you can find a $20 option if you browse.) $15 from Amazon $50 from Walmart Sleeping Pad My Outdoors Lightweight Sleeping Pad – $36If you’re headed out for a three-week trek through the Grand Canyon or you’re pushing for the summit of Denali, spend the extra cash and invest in Klymit Inertia O Zone pad — it weighs about three-quarters of a pound and packs down to measure three by six inches. If you’re doing a bit of car camping or a friendly two-day hike, save your cash and get this perfectly decent sleeping pad from My Outdoors and enjoy padding, support, and a built-in inflatable pillow. $45 from Amazon $15 from CampSaver.com $29 from Amazon It’s Time to Ditch Your Sleeping Bag for a Versatile, Lightweight Camping Quilt
Boca Raton, FL (September 30, 2019) – OASIS Travel Network – the independent contractor division of Smart Travel Group – is pleased to announce that it was awarded Travel Weekly’s prestigious 2019 Silver Magellan Award for its Diamond Plan. The agency’s newest membership tier designed especially for independent travel agencies and advisors, the Diamond Plan is open to those who produce upwards of $3 million in annual land and cruise sales. The company earned the award in the Travel Agent Innovation subcategory, which is part of the Travel Agent Organizations – Overall category. “We are proud to receive such an amazing accolade from an industry leader like Travel Weekly for our unique Diamond Plan, which debuted earlier this year,” said Kelly Bergin, president of OASIS Travel Network. “This award serves as a testament to our team’s dedication to providing unique programs for agents at every level of the business, and we look forward to continuing the work and providing the tools and resources our agents need to succeed.” As one of the industry’s most financially rewarding options, the Diamond Plan offers members numerous benefits, including an outstanding 100 percent commission with no monthly fees, along with the highest commission percentage offered by suppliers. In addition, members have access to accounting and administrative support services, as well as digital and print marketing services offered by Signature Travel Network. Additional perks available through the Diamond Plan include:An agency-branded website with a consumer booking engine for cruise and hotel Participation in Signature Travel Network’s email and print marketing campaigns and OASIS’ direct-mail marketing program, SmartMail Cutting-edge technology platforms, like the Axus Pocket Travel Consultant App, Client Reach, and CruiseFinder Sales achievement recognition through the Chairman’s Club, which includes annual awards, exclusive travel opportunities, and waived cost for the agency owner on the top producers’ annual trip Ability to add up to five associate agents with no additional fees Clientbase Online for customer-relationship managementSince 2009, Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards program has recognized movers and shakers in the travel industry across several segments, including online travel services, travel agents and agencies. Each year, winners are selected by a panel of seasoned, top-tier industry professionals that use a 100-point performance scale to hand-pick victors. For information on OASIS Travel Network’s Diamond Plan or to sign up, visit https://www.oasistravelnetwork.com/. About OASIS Travel Network:OASIS Travel Network is the independent contractor division of Smart Travel Group, a full-service retail travel agency. The host agency encompasses ten full-time employees and 850+ independent contractors across the country who sell cruises, escorted tours, land packages, air, and more. OASIS Travel Network has become a leading host agency in the United States and is a proud member of Signature Travel Network – currently holding more certified STN agents than any other host agency. To provide agencies with a plan that works for their personal goal in the industry, OASIS Travel Network offers various choices for agencies to pick from including a basic, elite, and platinum plan. The Diamond Plan, the agency’s newest membership tier and recent winner of a 2019 Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Award, was designed especially for independent travel agencies and advisors producing upwards of $3 million in annual land and cruise sales. New2Travel, the agency’s program for “New Sellers of Travel” and recipient of a 2018 Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Award, is a hand-picked curriculum that the host agency created to prepare new independent travel professionals, which includes an in-person three-day boot camp training. OASIS Travel Network also offers its agencies various technologies and marketing solutions free or at a very reasonable cost to help grow their business. For more information on OASIS Travel Network, visit www.oasistravelnetwork.com.