What Is Residential Hard Money Lending?

Some people ask us: What do you mean by residential hard money lenders? The term simply means that you can come to certain lenders such as us; we ignore your credit rating and give you a loan on a single family home or duplex. The term “hard money” dips up and under with names such as “no-doc”, private loans, personal loans or bridge loans – it’s all the same. The bottom line is that the underwriting process is based on the borrower’s hard assets. In this case, the lender uses your real estate as collateral for the transaction and you can find yourself with a loan in as short as 3 or 4 days depending on circumstances.

You will find some hard money lenders who lend directly, lend their own funds, and do not charge any advance fee. Residential hard money lenders also provide loans for up to 10 years (or longer depending on circumstances). This gives borrowers the flexibility that they need to maximize their opportunity on a residential property.

How is residential hard money different from a bank loan?

Here’s what you can expect from the bank:

To apply for the loan, you’ll need to show them proof of income, credit score, tax returns, financials, appraisals and so forth. That’s just the least of it. You’ll need a typical minimum FICO score that is at least 700. The higher the better. You’ll need loads of documentation, and you’ll need to provide the money for upfront fees that include appraisals, application fees, and so on. You can only apply for owner occupied and investment properties. And your loan request is capped on loan amount and on the number of properties that you want to invest in. The entire procedure typically takes more than 60 days.

In contrast, residential money lenders look at your residential real estate as basis for loan approval. Your credit rating can be zilch. You need sign only a few documents. The amount varies according to the particular lender. Some ask you for as few as three forms and these assess the value of your property. Some lenders ignore your credit history and score altogether. You’ll find residential money lenders who waive the upfront fees. And the entire procedure takes less than ten days. Note, too, that personal money lenders will offer a range of requirements on how much they will lend (loan to value), what types of real estate they will lend on (commercial, residential, multi-family, land) and minimum and maximum loan sizes.

What you should look out for

All bridge money lenders should be certified through their state regulatory agency and through the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). Borrowers should verify the lender’s license through the NMLS in order to prevent problems at closing, as many states require the lender’s license number to be listed on the loan documents. Borrowers should be sure to carefully review the lender’s interest rate, prepayment penalty, loan to value, default rates, APR, work out solutions, points (fees for the loan), and so forth. For example, a private individual may offer a lower interest rate than a bridge money lending company, but may be unwilling to offer a work out plan, in the event the loan becomes delinquent, or a bridge money lending company may offer a lower interest rate, but demand a high pre-payment penalty fee, costing the borrower more money if he decides to sell or refinance the loan within one to five years. Because these terms are not standardized across the industry, it is important to check with each lender and ask her for her “terms”, as well as how long it will take her to close a loan.

When is a residential hard money loan appropriate?

Residential loans carry high interest fees, so we suggest that you approach a residential money lender only in the following circumstances:

When you have impaired credit. This includes bankruptcy, history of bad loans and instances of defaulting. In other words, when you are shunned by conventional lending associations and need to move forward.

When you need fast funds on your residential investment property such as you’ve already bought a home but can’t move out until you’ve sold the present. To do so you need to do repairs. That’s where we come in.

Property repositioning – i.e. you want to snap the opportunity to buy and flip a home before the market turns. Residential hard money loans help you here, too.

You’re a time-constrained borrower who needs a quick closing on a home either because you need to move out in a hurry or want to sell it whilst the market is ripe.

To avoid foreclosure

You live outside the USA and want to buy a home here. A personal money loan will help you out.

You don’t have the time or energy to jump through the multiple hoops of a conventional lender.

You want to buy several properties or need complex loans that involve multiple collateral. Forget the banks. Approach residential hard money lenders

In short…

Residential hard money lenders may be your route when you’re ignored by your bank but need that loan to move forward. Bridge money lenders overlook your credit score and history and may provide you the money based on your collateral. The risk is higher – you may lose your property and prepayments. On the other hand, if you’re able to cover the costs, hard money loans may be your best way forward.

Yanni Raz is a hard money lender and trust deed investing specialist from Los Angeles California. Yanni write related blogs to educate potential real estate investors. “Before investing your money in any deal, read my articles”

JP Morgan and the Future of Direct Hard Money Lenders

Early December 2015, J.P. Morgan announced a strategic partnership with OnDeck Capital, an alternative lending company, to originate, underwrite, and distribute loans that are targeted specifically at small businesses. The news impacted the banking world, as evidenced by a 28% single-day spike in OnDeck share price and has long-term implications for alternative lenders – of which hard money lenders are a core part.

The partnership scared many private lenders into worrying that major banks may be thinking of controlling their realms. JP Morgan’s partnership with OutBack does seem to indicate as much. Banks are already large. Are they going to take over alternative lending, too?

On the one hand…

Banks, such as JP Morgan, do have definite advantages over direct hard money lenders. And they know it. These include the following:

Product Construct. The biggest names in the traditional lending institutions, such as Charles Schwab or Bank of America, are able to afford giving clients long-term loans and lines of credit that sometimes extend to five or more years. In contrast, alternative lenders who fund from their own pockets can only supply loans that at best cap three years. These suit people who are desperate for some sort of money even if ‘short term’. Banks have the advantage in that their loans last longer for cheaper rates. Moreover, some major banks (such as Wells Fargo) have recently rolled out evergreen loans with no maturity date. This makes it harder for direct hard money lenders to compete.

High interest. Pricing hard money lenders charge notoriously high lines of credit – think of somewhere in the 70-80 percent range. Traditional banks, on the other hand, half this. To put that into perspective, consider that one of Bank of America’s basic small business credit cards (MasterCard Cash Rewards) carries an APR range between 11 and 21 percent – not for a term loan or line of credit, but for a credit card! Alternative money lenders may advertise their business by touting their efficiency and impressive speed, but it is the high interest factor that deters potential clients. And once again banks have the upper hand.

Borrower Risk Profile. Banks only accept applicants who they are convinced can repay. Banks consult credit history and FICO score to determine worthiness. Hard money lenders, on the other hand, get their business by taking on the more fiscally risky cases. As a result, and not surprisingly, hard money lenders have a median range of 16% default with forecasters predicting that many more borrowers will default in 2016 as prices stretch still higher. In short, one can say that banks bank the ‘cream of the crop’. Hard money lenders, on the other hand, tend to take the ‘cream of the crap’ (because those borrowers are the ones who usually have no option) and, sometimes, although not always, lose accordingly.

Macro Sensitivity. Just yesterday (December 16, 1015), the Federal Reserve issued its long-expected interest rate hike. The increase is insignificant (from a range of 0% to 0.25% to a range of 0.25% to 0.5%.), but it adds to an already onerous private lending interest rate. The slight increase may add little to the impact of the banks. It adds a lot to the already high interest rate of the private money lender.

Furthermore…

Most of all, banks have access to troves of data that private hard money lenders lack. Data banks include the years of experience and libraries of accounts, spending, and risk data. They are therefore able to underwrite credit with more predictive certainty and confidence.

Banks also have diversification and connection to one another. They are one homogenous body with access to shared information. Hard money lenders lack this. They’re theoretically unable to assess a single borrower’s creditworthiness based on metrics captured from a variety of bank-offered products.

On the other hand…

This is not to say that banks are going to dominate the industry of hard money lenders and capture their business. Hard money lenders have succeeded as evidenced from their growth and the industry is becoming more stabilized. Tom SEO of TechCrunch.com predicts that unconventional lenders – hard money lenders among them – will survive and may even thrive. This is because of three things that are happening right now:

Hard money lenders lowered their loan-to-value (LTV) levels – That is huge. Until a month ago, one of the aspects that most frightened potential borrowers was the low LTV ratio where borrowers received pittance for their property (as low as 50-70%). More recently, competition pushed lenders to stretch it to 80%. Some offer complete percentage rates. This has gone a long way to increasing attractiveness of the hard money lending industry.

Technology – Technology helps with online Directories sorting lenders according to localities, loan offerings, rates,and prices. Aggregation causes bidding which stimulates lenders to convenient and fast schedules – and, sometimes, to more reqasonable prices. The internet also assists hard money lenders in that it helps them investigate a client’s background. Banks may have access to helpful troves of data. But Google (and other engines) give lenders access to unprecedented resources. These resources improve with time. Private lending individuals use these data resources to guide their transactions.

Alternative lenders that build full-service solutions will survive. Tom SEO believes that private lenders who offer a ‘a one stop shop’ for all sorts of banking needs will reach the finish line. By offering a range of products and service that are compatible to traditional banks, while at the same time avoiding excessive overhead and maintaining operational efficiency, these private hard money lenders could hew their own niche and displace trial banks for a certain population.

What Is Residential Hard Money Lending?

Some people ask us: What do you mean by residential hard money lenders? The term simply means that you can come to certain lenders such as us; we ignore your credit rating and give you a loan on a single family home or duplex. The term “hard money” dips up and under with names such as “no-doc”, private loans, personal loans or bridge loans – it’s all the same. The bottom line is that the underwriting process is based on the borrower’s hard assets. In this case, the lender uses your real estate as collateral for the transaction and you can find yourself with a loan in as short as 3 or 4 days depending on circumstances.

You will find some hard money lenders who lend directly, lend their own funds, and do not charge any advance fee. Residential hard money lenders also provide loans for up to 10 years (or longer depending on circumstances). This gives borrowers the flexibility that they need to maximize their opportunity on a residential property.

How is residential hard money different from a bank loan?

Here’s what you can expect from the bank:

To apply for the loan, you’ll need to show them proof of income, credit score, tax returns, financials, appraisals and so forth. That’s just the least of it. You’ll need a typical minimum FICO score that is at least 700. The higher the better. You’ll need loads of documentation, and you’ll need to provide the money for upfront fees that include appraisals, application fees, and so on. You can only apply for owner occupied and investment properties. And your loan request is capped on loan amount and on the number of properties that you want to invest in. The entire procedure typically takes more than 60 days.

In contrast, residential money lenders look at your residential real estate as basis for loan approval. Your credit rating can be zilch. You need sign only a few documents. The amount varies according to the particular lender. Some ask you for as few as three forms and these assess the value of your property. Some lenders ignore your credit history and score altogether. You’ll find residential money lenders who waive the upfront fees. And the entire procedure takes less than ten days. Note, too, that personal money lenders will offer a range of requirements on how much they will lend (loan to value), what types of real estate they will lend on (commercial, residential, multi-family, land) and minimum and maximum loan sizes.

What you should look out for

All bridge money lenders should be certified through their state regulatory agency and through the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). Borrowers should verify the lender’s license through the NMLS in order to prevent problems at closing, as many states require the lender’s license number to be listed on the loan documents. Borrowers should be sure to carefully review the lender’s interest rate, prepayment penalty, loan to value, default rates, APR, work out solutions, points (fees for the loan), and so forth. For example, a private individual may offer a lower interest rate than a bridge money lending company, but may be unwilling to offer a work out plan, in the event the loan becomes delinquent, or a bridge money lending company may offer a lower interest rate, but demand a high pre-payment penalty fee, costing the borrower more money if he decides to sell or refinance the loan within one to five years. Because these terms are not standardized across the industry, it is important to check with each lender and ask her for her “terms”, as well as how long it will take her to close a loan.

When is a residential hard money loan appropriate?

Residential loans carry high interest fees, so we suggest that you approach a residential money lender only in the following circumstances:

When you have impaired credit. This includes bankruptcy, history of bad loans and instances of defaulting. In other words, when you are shunned by conventional lending associations and need to move forward.

When you need fast funds on your residential investment property such as you’ve already bought a home but can’t move out until you’ve sold the present. To do so you need to do repairs. That’s where we come in.

Property repositioning – i.e. you want to snap the opportunity to buy and flip a home before the market turns. Residential hard money loans help you here, too.

You’re a time-constrained borrower who needs a quick closing on a home either because you need to move out in a hurry or want to sell it whilst the market is ripe.

To avoid foreclosure

You live outside the USA and want to buy a home here. A personal money loan will help you out.

You don’t have the time or energy to jump through the multiple hoops of a conventional lender.

You want to buy several properties or need complex loans that involve multiple collateral. Forget the banks. Approach residential hard money lenders

In short…

Residential hard money lenders may be your route when you’re ignored by your bank but need that loan to move forward. Bridge money lenders overlook your credit score and history and may provide you the money based on your collateral. The risk is higher – you may lose your property and prepayments. On the other hand, if you’re able to cover the costs, hard money loans may be your best way forward.

God, Money and You

What does the Bible (God’s word)Say about Money?

We all know the importance of money and it makes no difference whether you are a Christian or otherwise. Just like anyone else, a Christian’s finances can be stable and good, or poor and unstable. However, for the believer, there are some sound biblical money principles that we can and should follow if we want our financial health to be sound.

If you find yourself needing more stability and growth when it comes to finances, consider what the Bible has to say about money. There is much wisdom about money and all else (not just hell fire) that’s found in the Bible. As a matter of fact, the bible talks more about money than hell. It’s been said that the bible makes reference to money over 2,000 times!

To say that God thinks that money is important enough to mention so many times is an understatement. We all may have heard the saying “Money is the root of all evil”, but that’s not exactly true. This is what the bible actually say in 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”.

One valuable lesson taught concerning money in the bible is that a Christian cannot have two masters. We cannot be a servant of God, and be a slave to our worldly possessions and money too. This is taught us in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

We live in a very materialistic world, sometimes greed and desperation get the best of us. People are known to have lied, cheated, stole, begged, borrowed, and even killed for the love of money.

What About Being Financially Prepared?

Another idea that many Christians lose sight of is the idea of being financially prepared. According to CNN Money, only 1 in 5 American actually have something in their savings account. The bible; however, encourages us to save. In fact, Proverbs 6:6-8 says: “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer, or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.”

In addition, Proverbs 21:20 reads: “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has,” and Proverbs 21: 5 states: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

In other words, by careful planning and management, along with Gods wisdom, grace and guidance, our needs will be provided for, and our financial life can be more stable. When we put our trust in God and plan accordingly, we need not worry as Matthew 6:25-27 teaches us: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Are You Generous or Greedy?

Lastly, we see throughout the Bible concerning money, is the obligation of the Christian to provide for others out of love and reverence for God.

1 Timothy 5:8 clearly states: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

There’s a story in the bible that Jesus tells about “The Rich and The Kingdom of God” found in Matthew 19:16-24 that reads: 16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? 17 Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments. 18 Which ones? he inquired. Jesus replied, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself. 20 All these I have kept, the young man said. What do I still lack? 21 Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

So why is it hard for a rich man to go to heaven? Clearly the gentleman in the story was unable to let go of his possessions and in fact, his possessions had a hold on him. When we begin to rely on our money and less on God, is when we run the risk of losing sight of who we really are. Sadly, we live in a world where we rely on money to solve all of our problems and God is no longer needed. We become our own gods, as we see this depicted in our culture where those who have money, fame, and fortune rule the world.

In summary, what the Bible really teaches us about money is that it should not be a master over us. We should be in control of our money and not the other way around. Money is merely a tool provided by God as a way to provide for our needs. We should use this tool to enrich not only the lives of ourselves but that of our fellow man. As a Christian, we should have only one master and that is God.

7 Ways To Form A Healthy Relationship With Money, Which Doesn’t Own You

“Too many people spend money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

Although the economy looks fine for some, if you talk to many of your friends and family I’m sure they’re not feeling the love of the economy.

People are working much longer hours for a lot less pay than they were before 2008. That’s the reality. I’m not sure it’s going to change much any time soon. In the meantime, families have concerns about money and for many this is an ongoing topic which causes incredible strain and pressure.

It’s a tough thing when you want to do something for yourself or your family and, day after day, you simply find yourself as a cog in a wheel that’s spinning with no benefit to you.

Even if times are tougher and the financial gains have gone to a few, it doesn’t mean that your life has to slowly come apart. Here’s the deal: Yes, we all need money to live. And, we all absolutely have to put more in to get close to what we had before the economic recession. But, it’s been nearly 8 years. It’s definitely time to move on in the “new world”, which is really not so new.

After I wrote my motivational book last year, I heard from people who were really suffering. I hurt for them. We all should. Many of these people can’t get past the idea of where they are supposed to be versus the reality of where they are.

I know families lost jobs and economic stability. Families were undone. And, some people ended their lives rather than live in whatever they perceived to be as poverty.

I do a lot of traveling and I’ve had the opportunity to speak to people all over the world. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. There’s nothing I enjoy more in the course of my business or personal day than to connect with people.

But, sometimes I just want to tell someone who is clearly suffering to get it together, if at all mentally and emotionally possible. We have all had nearly 8 years now in living life through a different lens. In fact, if this new reality were a career, that’s a solid amount of experience in living and operating in a new reality.

One of the biggest things I see with the countless people out there who’re looking for something better is their relationship with money. They think that money owns them!

Because of it, they don’t see any other “way out” than working longer, harder and in greater poverty to the grave. Family vacations never go beyond their local neighborhood. It’s a big deal when the family gets to Disney World and it’s mind-blowing if there is a trip overseas. In many ways, that’s what some think they deserve, because they view money, their boss and the work they do as their master. They see no alternative in their life. It’s just simply what it is.

It’s not.

Money does not own you. Your boss does not own you. Your job does not own you. The first thing to living a healthy life is to have a reasoned relationship with important aspects of it. That includes money.

Forming a Health Relationship With Money

You have to get all of the emotion around money out in the open: whether it’s fear, anger or jealousy. Be aware, these are all toxic feelings. They actually make you miserable. Negative feelings affect your health and well being. If you’re looking to make and save money, you need to own money, not the other way around.

Then “grip & rip” and follow the principles I use in life:

1. Change Your Attitude

Change your attitude about money. That’s the first place you have to begin. Become aware of the negative and toxic feelings that arise when you’re talking or thinking about money. Then, you have to commit to forget about those feelings. Place them to the side every time they arise. Anger, jealousy or fear – all these emotions have to go out the window of your life. You have no time for these things anymore.

If you spend beyond your means, cut it out of your life. If you hold every cent as if it’s the last one you’ll ever make, end that too. If you buy all of those books and tapes out there that tell you how YOU will be rich in as little as one month – save your money! Earning money does not arrive on a magical train that comes into your station in a month or two. It takes work, commitment and planning. All of these are extreme emotions, not healthy and toxic.

2. Take Ownership

Once you’ve decided to take control of your relationship with money, you have to own that relationship. That means this is YOUR relationship. It’s no one else’s. It’s not your wife’s. It’s not your bosses’. Your relationship with money and how you’re going to manage it going forward is all on you.

You have the power.

If you’re suffering from hypertension and are thinking of working two jobs so your kids can get the latest and greatest electronics, you’re in deep trouble. Your kids want you around. They don’t need the latest smart phone. They need time with you. Take care of your health first. Forget about the second job. Your life is more valuable than a new electronic toy or the most expensive sneakers for your kids.

If they don’t understand what’s happening, have that conversation with them. Trust me, they’ll understand if they get less stuff but more of you. Kids are smart. Trust them.

3. Erase “I Can’t” and the Excuses

People have had mountains of debt, and they’ve figured a way to get through it. They’ve had jobs that they don’t like, and they’ve managed to open up their own businesses or change careers.

When people get older, I do understand that things get tougher. Decisions we’ve made do have consequences, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change your life. It absolutely does not mean that.

So, put all the excuses to the side. When you find yourself answering a question by explaining how much you’d like to be able to change things but you can’t, stop it. It’s not easy. I’m not selling you a bill of goods and telling you it’s easy. It’s not.

But, you can change your life, beginning with your relationship with money and everything that flows from it, one step at a time.

4. Get Off the Couch

I always say this to people who know me: “Get off the couch!” You know the difference between the haves and have nots? It’s not the size of their bank account. It’s in the drive they have, or don’t.

If you’re working a job you simply can’t stand and you’re not doing anything to change your circumstance, well, if you’re not helping yourself out, why should anyone else?

Why are you not chipping away at the situation?

Get off the couch. No one is going to lend you a hand if they don’t see you moving. You’ll get the respect and support of your family and team once you begin to move.

As it relates to money, if people see that you’re doing something positive with your relationship with it for the better good, they’ll eventually support your efforts. It may not happen overnight, though. Remember, people within your own family may also have a toxic relationship with money. But, eventually people will understand the importance of moving and not standing still.

5. Commit

Life is not easy. Neither is ending a relationship with money that is one sided. You have to commit yourself to it each and every day.

So, when your kids are asking you for the latest toy and you realize you don’t have it, you’re going to have to hold firm. When you wish you could eat out with your friends, but you have a bill that’s $500 waiting to be paid by the end of the month, you’ve got to keep focused on your priorities.

You’re going to be tested often. You have to stay the course. And, if you happen to slip one day, you have to get right back on the path. A commitment will help condition your mind consistently to get control of your relationship with money.

Remember, nothing is won without consistency and persistence. That means you’re committed to your goal. Stay with it.

6. Do the Work

Most people do not achieve what they want to in life. Most people will not change their relationship with money.

Why?

The answer is simple. It takes work. It’s not easy. Many people will do anything to not have to take the hard way through things. That’s understandable. Who wants to suffer? But the reality is that there’s no real way to have a healthy relationship with money unless you do the work.

It may take you a very long time to get out of the mess you’re in. That alone may continue to keep you believing that “something” will change. But, it doesn’t work that way. It takes work to accomplish anything worth accomplishing in life. There’s no magic pill for anything. Stop believing there is.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Put that somewhere you can see it. Begin the journey.

7. Accept the Consequences

And finally, accept the consequences. The path from Point A to Point B is not a straight. And if it is, it’s certainly not going to be straight all the way to Point Z. Get my drift?

When you start doing something for you, you will get challenges. It might be that the new job you obtained was not at all what they said it would be. Or, it might be push-back from people you thought would be your best supporters.

5 Ways to Travel Solo Without Going It Alone

Solo travel has become a hot topic. Unlike “single(s)” travel, it is a broader group. It can include those who are single, married or have a partner/significant other. It may be a business person looking to add a leisure weekend or extension to a trip for work. Two stumbling blocks to solo travel can be: I. whether it is lonely to vacation as a “party of one” and ii.whether eating alone, especially dinner, is really uncomfortable.

Now having visited 68 countries and all 50 states, I have found 5 good ways to go alone without feeling you are “going it alone”.

1. River Cruise and Small Ship Cruises

I highly recommend river cruises and small ships. They are especially a good fit for a first time solo traveler. However, they are also great for well-traveled solos in two cases. That is where destinations like Cambodian boat villages are not otherwise easy to reach. Secondly, they work well in places where security is an issue.

Here are the key advantages of such river and small ships for solo travelers, they:

  • Give you time alone but a group for tours and meals
  • Can be competitively priced when compared to a piecemeal approach
  • Make unpacking a one-time chore
  • Work well with land packages
  • Often have discounted package pricing including flights

2. Select your own lodging, and take day trips.

Here are the key advantages of this independent approach:

  • Affords you the opportunity to select your own interests and travel style.
  • Provides more opportunity to interact with local residents.
  • Gives you a “day-off” when you need it.
  • Works with a range of budgets.

3. Combine both of the above approaches.

I really favor this approach when I travel. On solo travel for 17 days at New Year’s, I toured Southeast Asia. I started with a private taxi tour in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I then joined a top Mekong River Cruise on to Vietnam. On the last leg, I had five days in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok. In my last stop, I tried all 3 ways of sightseeing: 1. A large bus tour 2. A private guide and 3. Self-directed subway tour.

This blended approach puts you in the driver’s seat and:

  • Will let you set your own course while being free to pick and choose
  • Gives you a part-time group of travel mates but also time alone
  • Makes it possible to follow a budget (or splurges) tailored to what works for you

4. Sign up ahead for a class abroad.

This has become very popular now for cooking classes in France and Italy. However, for decades, language classes abroad have lured students for short-term or full summer programs. Add to that options for photography classes, skiing and scuba diving.

Here are the key benefits to this approach:

  • Provides you with a ready-made group
  • Gives you a local contact to hear what not to miss off the tourist path
  • Make it possible to connect with classmates for meals or sightseeing
  • Results in providing local contacts in an emergency

5. Join a volunteer group or exchange program.

I have done this twice. My first trip out of the US was at 18 joining 5 other girls on a summer YMCA project in Trinidad and Tobago. It was the best way to learn about day-to-day life in another country and participate in community activities.

The benefits were endless. They included:

  • Meeting local residents outside of the typical tourist path
  • Seeing distant and often more unusual destinations
  • Providing volunteer efforts to communities than may have experienced natural disasters or other hardships.

If you are new to solo travel, take a look at each of these options. You will be surprised how fast solo travel gives you the chance to make new life-long friends from around the world so that you feel you are solo to more.

Thailand Is a Very Beautiful Country

Mueang Thai, as local people call the nation, is an intriguing mixture of old kingdoms.

For more than five centuries, the Khmer Empire governed its properties – until ousted in the thirteenth century. At that point, the Thai Kingdom was effectively brought together and built up by King Sri Indraditya of the Kingdom of Sukhothai (1238).

From that point onward, the nation has been separated into four fundamental districts – each bragging extraordinary traditions, conventions, and attractions.

The assorted variety brings an astonishing exhibit of things to do in Thailand. Underneath she will talk about the best vacation spots in Thailand.

Top Tourist Attractions in Thailand: The Central Plains

There’s no better place to get a look at Thailand’s history and culture than around the Central Plains. In this locale is the place its capital, Bangkok, is found.

Bangkok, an energetic kaleidoscope

I whole up Bangkok with three terms: exceptional customary nourishment, old sanctuaries, and crazy nightlife.

The absolute most well-known things to involvement in Bangkok include:

Wat Pho and the rich Reclining Buddha

Fabulous Palace complex (counting Wat Phra Kaew)

Soi Cowboy: BKK’s shady area of town, for sultry nightlife

Boisterous, energizing Khao San Road (you should see it once!)

Grub at Sukhumvit Soi 38, apparently Bangkok’s best road nourishment spot

Vimanmek Mansion: combination of customary Thai design and European neoclassical style

By the time of composing, I don’t prescribe going to Wat Arun. It’s mind boggling structural subtle elements are as of now eclipsed by a broad reclamation venture. Invest your energy at other commendable Bangkok attractions!

Top Thailand vacation destinations

Day treks to the rustic edges

Have a few days to save? Escape the hurrying around by taking one of the accompanying critical day trips from Bangkok:

Ayutthaya: probably the most astounding remains in Thailand

Snack conventional pontoon noodles at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Hua Hin: beautiful shoreline town for the individuals who don’t have room schedule-wise to investigate the Thai islands

Eccentric Wat Saen Suk: to some degree grim sanctuary depicting the Buddhist dreams of damnation

Phraya Nakhon Cave at Khao Sam Roi Yot Marine Park, a standout among the most shocking collapses the world

The previous capital of the Lanna Kingdom has transformed into an exceptionally modest, current school town. Chiang Mai’s rich history, astounding road sustenance scene, and moderately ease of living have made it a mainstream base for Western expats in Asia.

Sanctuary jumping and foodie gets a kick out of Chiang Mai

Sprinkled with more than 300 Buddhist sanctuaries, I thought, which to pick?!

In the wake of spending a few days around the city, I finished up these are the most special, must-see sanctuaries in Chiang Mai:

Doi Suthep: prominent ridge sanctuary with breathtaking perspectives of Chiang Mai and region

Wat Chedi Luang: Lanna cheddar, transcending inside the Old City’s dividers

Wat Umong: novel 700-year-old sanctuary where occupant priests wander among the woods

Wat Suan Dok: fourteenth-century sanctuary where individuals from the Lanna Royal family are covered

The most novel thing to do in Chiang Mai, however? Join a priest visit!

They are social trades, organized by neighborhood Buddhist colleges, so as to enhance the English capability of their understudies.

Priest visits are an incredible approach to become acquainted with neighborhood traditions and conventions firsthand. The MCU Chiang Mai Campus holds priest talks each week at Wat Suan Dok Monday through Friday, from 5 to 7 PM.

While Chaing Mai is one of the best vacation destinations in Thailand it is additionally home to numerous expats. In the event that you’re searching for an extraordinary base in Asia, this is certainly a probability.

Week after week reflection withdraws are likewise advertised. They begin each Tuesday at 1 PM and finish up Wednesday by 3 PM.

Did I go Sanctuary bouncing, as well as getting the opportunity to taste the eccentricities of Northern Thai cooking by going on foodie creeps?

A few dishes you should attempt in this area include:

Moo to: broiled pork tenders with a sweet, nutty flavor

Lab: fricasseed meat, pork or duck dry-rubbed with neighborhood flavors

Nam ngaio: tart tomato soup with rice noodles and pork

Nam park on: zesty Northern Thai plunge made with tomatoes and minced pork

Khao soi: Chiang Mai’s trademark! Thick Burmese-style coconut curry soup, finished with browned noodles

Chiang Rai and the Golden Triangle’s tri-outskirt

Thailand’s northernmost clamoring city lays by the notorious Golden Triangle: Asia’s hotspot for opium creation.

Or, on the other hand, you could just consider it to be the place from which you can visit Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand in one day!

Past this tripoint, there’s very little to do in the zone.

I suggest you base yourself out of Chiang Rai on the off chance that you wish to visit well-known sanctuaries and take in Mae Hong Son’s sloping scenes:

Looking for nearby knickknacks at Chang Rai’s Night Bazaar

Redesigned Wat Rong Khun (White Temple): a nearby craftsman’s artful culmination

But Kwan Village Park: previous migrant slope tribe town, now settled by a wonderful waterfall

Baan Si Dum was otherwise known as the Black House: interesting accumulations of conventional Southeast Asian curious

Top Things to Do in Thailand: The Northeast

Otherwise called Isaan, Northeast Thailand is an intriguing blend of Laotian, Cambodian, and Thai societies.

It’s relative confinement, however, make it a standout amongst the most genuine districts a visitor can visit.

Gulped by the wilderness at Khao Yai

While Isaan is generally out of the way, this districts happens to be the home of Thailand’s most prevalent national stop, Khao Yai.

A whopping 70% of its 2168 km² are lavish timberland!

All the more astonishingly, however, the recreation center brags around 44 waterfalls, one of a kind natural life perception towers, surging rapids, and remarkable perspectives and climbing trails.

This makes Khao Yai a tremendous UNESCO World Heritage Site – ideal for nature sweethearts who wish to be wrapped by the thick wilderness shelter.

Thailand-attractions-Phanom-Rung Explore fascinating Khmer and Mon ruins

The antiquated Khmer and Mon ruins found in this district are a delightful complexity of customary Thai style.

I profoundly prescribe a visit to the accompanying notable destinations:

Wat Pah Nanachat for a bona fide contemplation withdraw in a woods religious community

Phu Phra Bat Park: grottoes, antiquated spray painting, and other intriguing rock carvings

Phanom Rung and Muang Tam: Hindu complex, apparently Thailand’s best-safeguarded Khmer ruins.

Tips For A Smooth And Convenient Bus Charter Experience

A bus charter is a bus that has a professional driver to handle tours, trips, and other transportation needs. A bus charter can be one of the best choices you make when going for a group tour to a preferred destination. With transport from one attraction to another, you will have all the time to enjoy everything in your itinerary without worries. With a professional driver on board, you can relax and enjoy and even take better care of any children you may be taking with you for the trip. A bus charter also translates into no directions challenges because the drivers are conversant with their locations and all tour sites and routes.

Considering that bus charter are many in any given destination, you need to play your role in selecting one. You may need to start by choosing a company that you can trust with your traveling needs and then make a few considerations to select the perfect bus to hire for your tour.

Get details about the driver. A professional driver is definitely a plus for your tour but you should not assume that they know everything about the sites you intend to visit; they may only know how to get there and nothing more. If need be, consider getting a tour guide to handle your other needs in case the driver is not available for such. It helps to be sure beforehand to avoid disappointments.

Consider the size of the bus. A bus charter can be as large as to accommodate 60 passengers but there are definitely smaller sizes. The higher the passenger capacity the higher the rental rates may be. Look at the size options and select a bus that caters to your group for the tour. Everyone should be comfortable including children in the group so select a good size for everyone.

Check out the amenities included. When searching for the bus charter online, you will get very good photos of the buses. To ensure that you get what you see and need, confirm that the bus you have selected is represented perfectly. For instance, confirm that the leather reclining seats you see are the actual seats you get to enjoy. Apart from confirming the features, also consider the availability of amenities such as compact restroom, DVD player, air conditioning, TV monitors and any other that matters to you. If you want internet connectivity during the tour then inquire if that is available.

Ask about allowed driving length. Most bus charters will allow a specific length of time for the driver to be behind the wheel. The legal limit can range from area to area and you should be willing to be flexible in making adjustments to your tour itinerary so you do not end up with a fatigued driver before even getting back. You, however, want to choose company and driver with a considerable allowance so you enjoy the most from your tour in your selected destination.