4 Essential Tips for Solo Foodie Travelers
There are travelers, and then there are foodie travelers. They’re the ones who have food illustrations in their kitchen, follow the latest food porn stars on Insta, choose food-inspired baby names and love learning about food culture around the world. Foodie travelers are known to spend countless hours with DIY food kits trying to recreate meals they tasted abroad, which is why getting to taste the real deal is nothing short of heaven. Traveling solo can be a dream come true for a foodie, because it gives them the freedom to eat whatever, whenever. To really get out and experience the BEST local cuisine in any city, follow these four tips.
1. Don’t be afraid to talk to locals. Travel definitely breeds serendipity. Randomly finding yourself in an Italian grandma’s kitchen for a traditional meal is a totally feasible scenario. Strike up conversations with waiters, and ask for recommendations from store clerks. People love to talk about their community and culture, especially when you’re interested in more than just the tourist traps. Check your set of safety tips before accepting invites from strangers, but be open to new experiences. Your taste buds will thank you.
2. Trust the restaurant rule. If it’s packed, it’s probably good. Better yet, look for places that have communal tables. Family-style seating automatically situates you in a social setting and increases your odds of good conversation and food sharing. Other cultures LOVE sharing food, which is an awesome way to try more than just one dish at each sitting. That is the tragedy: So many foods to try and so little time.
3. Embrace the perks of being alone. Most people want to accuse you of secret loneliness when you’re traveling solo, but sometimes solitude is a great change of pace from our hyper-socialized everyday lives. The anonymity of traveling, especially in a country that speaks a different language, can be a welcomed divergence. Bring a book or journal, and make the experience about enjoying your meal and you time.
4. Wander to find gems. You have the luxury of just poking around a city without catering to someone else’s itinerary. Take advantage of that! Grab a map and wander the streets to get a feel for a new city. Not only is this a great way to actually see a city, but you’ll be surprised how many gems you can find. Side streets sometimes have the best and cheapest off-the-beaten-path restaurants, so let your nose guide you.
What’s the best dish you’ve tried while traveling? Tweet us your yummiest story @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com