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Austin Relocation Guide: The Best Neighborhoods To Live In And Why

Welcome to your very own Austin relocation guide! Whether you’re a native moving within the city or a newbie moving from out of state, it helps to understand the lay of the land in advance to choose the best neighborhood for yourself and your family.

Now, for many people, the definition of the “best neighborhood” will vary dramatically. A young, single entrepreneur in Austin may be looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood in the heart of the city. A family moving to Austin for a job opportunity will want a safe, friendly neighborhood with parks where their kids can play.

To give you a better idea of what neighborhood in Austin is best for you, consider these recommendations:

• Young Hipsters: If you’re young, hip, and looking for a good time in the wacky city of Austin, head straight to South Austin when searching for real estate. Insiders recommend neighborhoods in the zip code of 78704 for quick access to boutiques, bars, and restaurants galore. One notable, up-and-coming neighborhood in 78704 is Bouldin Creek, located near South Congress. There, you’ll have countless apartments, bungalows, and modern homes to choose from when renting or buying.

• Affluent Families: West Austin was once considered the rich side of town, especially in the area of Westlake Hills. Nonetheless, if you can afford it, West Austin provides a beautiful glimpse of the Texas Hill Country with both modern and older homes. Most families move here for the top notch school districts, making the commute to downtown Austin worthwhile. Specifically, Steiner Ranch is recommended as a new neighborhood surrounding Lake Travis with an exclusive subdivision that contains parks, golf clubs, and new schools.

• Affordable Housing: The good news is that you can still find affordable family housing in a good school district if you look in Central Austin. Specifically, neighborhoods like Crestview and Brentwood have older 1950s homes and quiet streets with good schools for children of all ages. Families or singles that are attracted to older homes will enjoy the neighborhood near the University of Texas called Hyde Park, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. There, you can rent or buy classic Victorian homes or small cottages, making the area popular for both families and students.

• Country Living: If you want the best of both worlds – country living near the big city – check out neighborhoods in Southwest Austin like Circle C Ranch and Oak Hill. Circle C Ranch has attractive neighborhood amenities like swimming pools, golf courses, and parks. It is also a modest commute from downtown Austin at roughly 15 minutes. Oak Hill is an older subdivision with a good school district, providing a country atmosphere that is perfect for middle-class families. In some areas, you’ll find properties with larger acreages that invite wildlife, including coyotes and deer.

Depending upon what you are looking for, you can find the perfect neighborhood in Austin to meet your needs. Once you’ve found the right fit, it’s time to get moving by booking Austin moving companies, packing up your furniture, and making the journey to your new home!

Parched and Pampered In Bangkok

Thailand’s bustling capital is on a high, literally! From the towering high walls of the Royal Palace to the soaring skyscrapers that block out the sun, everything about Bangkok is lofty without being patronizing. With a perfect mix of cultural high spots, modern infrastructure, inexpensive, yet excellent hospitality and world-famous street food, Bangkok is ideal for your holidays, no matter what you’re looking for.

Typical tourist itineraries in Bangkok dedicate a day to visiting the Grand Palace with its Emerald Buddha, the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho and the Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Other cultural attractions include Wat Benchamabophit, the Bangkok National Museum and the Dusit Palace.

For children, the Dusit Zoo, Safari World and the Siam Oceanworld are exciting places to visit and enjoy. Don’t miss the experience of petting tigers that sit relaxed among a group of monks at Kanchanaburi.

Though these are some of the key attractions of Bangkok, they are not the reasons that make Bangkok one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In fact, recent surveys claim that Bangkok IS the most popular tourist destination, surpassing both London and Paris in the number of visitors the city is expected to receive this year.

The reason for this is, apart from its unique cultural attractions, the city also offers amazing hospitality for backpackers as well as luxury seekers, terrific spas, exceptional shopping and of course, sensational food.

The spa culture of Bangkok in particular, gets a lot of attention from tourists. A traditional Thai massage soothes the body and makes you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated. After a hectic day of sightseeing under the sun, there can be nothing better than a gentle Thai massage to soothe your nerves. From inexpensive, but efficient 250 Baht massages at beauty parlors like the Take Care Beauty salon to high-end boutique packages offered at spas like Coran Boutique, there are treatments for different budgets and expectations.

Shopping is another lovely adventure in Bangkok; if you were planning to get nothing more than a tan in Bangkok, you’re in for a surprise. With affordable prices, fun markets like the Patpong night market and the Chatuchak weekend market and plenty of malls like the MBK Shopping Centre and Erawan, Bangkok is a haven for shoppers.

And when you’re done with shopping, make sure to taste the excellent street food for which Thailand is famous. Take your pick from Tom Yang Kung, a sour prawn soup, Pad Thai and Somtham, crispy fried noodles, khao man kai and for dessert, kanom roti. If your taste allows, try the deep-fried grasshoppers and crickets of Khao San road. Ice creams, fresh fruit juices and shakes are a favorite with locals as well as tourists. Forget your calories and take a plunge!

The nightlife in Bangkok is naughty and notorious; Silom is famous for its nightlife. Best haunts are Slim & Flix, Demo at Thong Lor and Bed Superclub in Sukhumvit. Take your pick, get yourself a glass and dance away!

Understanding a Hotel’s Place in a Bed-And-Breakfast World

Unlicensed lodgings represent a growing change to the hospitality industry. Hotels must now face a new competitor in the form of any person with a spare room and access to websites such as AirBnB. However, consumers must also understand how the two services now differ as far as expectations, regulations and more.

For those who are unaware, new websites allow properties owners-or sometimes simply those with lax lease agreements-to list their spare rooms for lodging. There are certain expectations, but these are largely negotiated between the owner and occupant, with the websites acting simply as an intermediary for money exchange and advertisement.

At first, these upstarts represented less than a fraction of a fraction of the lodging industry revenues, warranting little more than an idle eye from the hotel industry. In the last year, however, these services have exploded-AirBnB, for example, has now coordinated over 10 million stays since its founding.

It’s important for savvy consumers and worried executives alike to understand the inherent differences between traditional lodging and these new services.

First, hotels are a regulated industry. In addition to star ratings, laws at the city, state and federal level define a minimum guidelines for cleanliness and safety. This provides travelers with a degree of certainty when booking lodging. BnB websites claim to mitigate these concerns through a review and returns process; however, such a process is reactive, leaving jilted travelers stranded in the event of a bad rental. The onus is on the consumer to vet any new or uncertain rentals.

Cities across the world are moving to address the regulatory issues of these under-the-radar rentals. Many cities already have requirements for buildings acting as BnB to be licensed, but many avoid this requirement. As a result, tax revenue is lost and minimum standards, such as handicap access, are avoided. The use of profiles, lauded as a way to connect the community, differs from the traditional lodging community, which is required to offer lodging based solely on the ability to pay. The process by which an AirBnB renter can choose who stays bases on photos and personal information opens the door to discrimination.

The interest in legitimizing these alternative services, however, lies in the consumer demand for an alternative way to stay while traveling. While hotels serve a fantastic function for business and short-term travelers, they can be ill-suited for theme and longer-term stays. Alternative lodgings often include apartment-like amenities geared towards longer stays and lower prices-services that few companies can afford to maintain in high volume. Online BnB rentals can often have fascinating themes. One example includes a jungle “tree house” on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Though many resorts can be “themed,” these themes are often limited to common areas and in-room décor.

As the two industries play to their strengths, it’s the consumer who will win. Hotels will likely save costs by no longer needing to pander to the demands of boutique and long-term rentals, while online rental services will slowly develop the legitimacy needed to guarantee a minimum level of service.