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5 Effective Ways to Maximize Your Time When Traveling

Traveling is one of the most exciting things almost everyone looks forward to. When you finally have the time off from work or school, you will definitely want to spend it somewhere with your loved ones. It is a much-awaited event, which you can fully relax and have the time of your life.

Planning your vacation can be both tough and stressful. However, all you need to do is to maximize your vacation and simply enjoy it. Since you will only have a limited time to spend, it is important that you carefully plan for it.

Here are some ways on how you can make the most out of your time traveling:

Plan ahead

When you know you only have a short period to travel, then you have to plan all the things you want to do beforehand. You may list down all the tourist attractions you want to visit, restaurants you want to try, or activities you want to experience. Even if your stay would only be for a few days, at least you are able to maximize your visit.

Research about your destination

It is very important to know things about the place you are going to visit. In order to save time, you have to research everything, from getting to your hotel to the train system schedule to the closing time of the must-visit attractions in your destination.

Pack light

Every traveler should learn how to travel light. You have to keep in mind that you don’t have to bring your whole closet whenever you are going on a trip. Hauling around luggage is not a good idea, especially when you are just out for a short travel. If you can pack your things in a carry-on bag or a hiking bag. Remember, traveling lightly lets you explore comfortably.

Choose attractions close to one another

Knowing that you only have a limited time, you will surely want to spend your vacation wisely. Instead of wasting your time in waiting for public transportation to arrive and traveling from one place to another, you can opt to select attractions which are near each other. With this, you are able to save more time. It is also wise to take a car hire in London, Sydney, New York and other major cities than take the bus or train. The traffic and the number of commuters can be overwhelming and you won’t maximize your travel time if you are left waiting for vehicles. Car rentals are very convenient whether you decide to visit attractions near each other or a popular tourist destination on the outskirts.

Relax

It is called “vacation” with a purpose, so you need to unwind and enjoy every moment of it. There is no reason to get stressed when you are on a holiday break. Take advantage of this time to loosen up because you deserve it. It’s not all the time that you get this chance, so grab the opportunity.

To maximize your travel period is such a challenge. You really have to plan it all properly, to enjoy every minute of your vacation. Nevertheless, these tips mentioned above will assist you in making your trip worthwhile and stress-free. Though you only have a few days of time off, you will still be able to make your vacation one for the books.

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Stay Safe: How You’re Vulnerable to Identity Theft When Traveling

travelThere are many risks that travelers face when packing up and jetting off. The nature of the pursuit leaves people unprotected and very vulnerable. Over the years, the type of crime that travelers are a risk of falling victim to has changed. Now, more than ever before, identity theft is on the rise, and many unwittingly adventurers are finding their journeys cut short due to an unsuspected attack.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s time to put away the hiking boots and backpack for good! Although the risk is there, it should never stop you from doing what you love and getting out to see the world. By taking a few simple steps to help understand the threats and do what you can to minimize them, travelers can protect themselves and continue their journey without having to constantly worry about the chance of disaster.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft comes in many different forms, but they’re usually the means to a similar end. When criminals intercept your details, they do so in order to use that information for their own monetary gain. In the simplest form, they could merely aim to collect enough information to be able to access your bank account and drain the money from it; however, more complex variations on the scheme include fraudulently applying for loans or credit using another person’s identity and then leaving the victim to deal with the fall out.

Although most good banks and organizations will resolve with the situation accordingly and make sure you’re not out of pocket, the immediate repercussions when on the road and traveling could be disastrous. You could easily face your funds being frozen, bank accounts locked and even police enquiries, so avoiding the situation at all cost is a necessary practice.

Physical Theft

Physical theft is a common and, unfortunately, likely problem that all travelers are potential victims to. Due to the fact they carry so many personal and sensitive documents around with them, tourists regularly become targets for pickpockets and thieves. Similarly, the lack of secure storage when backpacking and staying in hostels leaves valuables at significant risk.

Fortunately, this is a problem that has been acknowledged by many, and steps have been taken to reduce the threat. Many hostels offer lockable safes to all their customers, and many money belts are designed to keep your cash and documents safe and close to your body while traveling around. However, it’s still important to be aware and stringent with these practices. Avoid leaving your bag lying around unattended when on the road, and make sure you hide valuables in hidden pockets so no sticky fingers can reach in and grab them.

Public WiFi Networks

Identity theft is not just a problem in terms of physical crime; one of the most vulnerable points for travelers’ information to be stolen is when connecting to the internet. This is because, often, people on the road have to rely on public WiFi networks to be able to connect. These networks are notoriously unsecure as they leave your data flying around unprotected and completely visible to prying eyes. As you input passwords and credit card details into websites, then malicious hackers can intercept and gather that information before using it for their own benefit.

Unfortunately, public WiFi is a necessary evil for life as a traveler; however, there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid becoming victim to online identity theft. First, try to ensure you only use dependable WiFi spots. There are many rogue hotspots set up specifically for data collection, so sticking to named and trusted brands—such as Starbucks and McDonalds—or using traceable sources—such as your hostel WiFi—ensures that you won’t stumble into one of these digital traps. To protect yourself further, it’s worth installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This handy piece of software acts as a middleman and encrypts your data before you access the public network. This means you can input information without worrying about onlookers and can surf the internet safely and securely.

Credit Card Interceptions

Unsurprisingly, credit card information is some of the most sensitive, and most coveted, data out there. This is because, although other information allows criminals to commit fraud, having direct access to someone’s bank account is a much quicker and straightforward payout. There are numerous techniques all over the world that criminals use to try to intercept card details, so any traveler could be exposed to many scams and tricks during their journey.

Some simple steps to take to improve your security include being stringent with cash point usage. ATM’s are a hotspot for credit card fraud. Criminals tamper with the machines to prevent cards coming back out, and watch over your shoulder as you repeatedly input you pin number, or even use heat-sensing technology to pick up which buttons you pressed. To avoid this, aim to use trusted cash points that have long queues and report any thing suspicious immediately. Also ensure you always cover your pin and even press a few extra buttons for good measure to avoid heat tracking! If you are worried about a certain transaction, make sure you ring your bank as soon as you can, as reporting it early can make a big difference in ensuring a refund.

While worrying about the risks should never be enough to prevent you from traveling, it is always worth being cautious! These few steps are a great place to start to optimize your security and stay safe on the road. If you have any more tips that you feel should be added to this list, then be sure to leave a comment below.

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Travelling to Vanuatu? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Vanuatu is arguably one of the best destinations in the Pacific. With its pristine beaches and serene environment, Vanuatu can be the perfect place to spend your holiday this year. For those planning to visit Vanuatu, here’s what you need to know:

Best Time to Travel to Vanuatu

The busiest season in Vanuatu is from April to October because of the pleasant weather. Airfares during this time of the year are also the most expensive. They are cheapest from November to March because weather is humid and water temperatures are not so ideal for swimming. February and earlier are a little slow, which means that there may be some fantastic deals available. However, there may be fewer people to meet or locals to make friends with during this time of the year. Depending on the season, you can take advantage of travel deals and discounts when you booking online. ­

While the changes in climate are not so drastic in Vanuatu and you can actually travel there any time of the year, choosing the date of travel will really depend on what you want to do during your trip.

What to See and Do

In Vanuatu, you can go scuba diving, go on a village tour, roam around Port Vila, go hiking to the Mele Cascade, visit Chief Roi Mata and the National Museum and Cultural Center, fly to the “Mystery Island” where you can hike and swim in the beaches, go boating, soak in the hot spring or go fishing. Vanuatu offers landscapes, rainforests, diving/fishing spots, and stunning island views you will truly enjoy.

Shop for a Holiday Package

Vacation packages are not difficult to find if you know where and how to look for excellent travel deals. It is possible to find all-inclusive vacation packages with discounted prices on hotels, car rentals and even flights. Save yourself some money by taking advantage of holiday packages to Vanuatu.

One thing you need to realize is that not every holiday package is the same. Some may look like a great deal when it actually doubles the actual price. Ultimately, you can save tons of money by choosing among great holiday packages to Vanuatu than booking everything one by one starting from your hotel room to your airfare. It can save you time and money—guaranteed. The trick is that travel companies are aware of the best airfares and hotel rates better than you do. Also, they buy in bulk so their offered rates that are much lower than the rates offered to you when booking everything individually.

Money Saving Tips

For those exchanging money, Port Vila (capital of Vanuatu) offers the best rates. If riding the bus, save huge amounts by getting one heading to the Cascades for only 500 VUV and 2,500 VUV for entry price. For those on a budget, avoid the resorts if at all possible. Resorts tend to overcharge for everything from services to food. Opt for a local hotel and pay for a fraction of the price. While prices in Vanuatu are relatively lower than in other more well-known destinations in the Pacific, saving even more money from a vacation is always good.

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Securing Your Currency Overseas

Saving money while overseas shouldn’t always equate to scrimping (though finding great deals and discounts is always a surefire way to stay in the green). Sometimes, it also has to do with using the right currency.

Using your credit or debit card while overseas can result in some
exorbitant charges
like transaction fees. Most banks make consumers pay a percentage of their total purchase, while others have a set minimum amount to be paid as a transaction fee. Even the use of ATMs entails a charge for every transaction made. Instead of incurring all of these unnecessary charges, it’s more advisable to use cash for any and all transactions made overseas.

You may think that getting cash from an ATM is the obvious choice – after all, ATMs can article-2187285-14832612000005DC-869_306x423
take your money and convert it to the local currency, right? Well, unbeknownst to many, ATMs can be quite unreliable when it comes to currency conversion as well. The same goes for credit and debit cards which ask you whether you’d like to be charged in the local currency or your home currency – a decision that seems harmless enough, until you realize how arbitrary their exchange rates are. Instead, a great choice is preordering your currency, and collecting it at your destination.

The process of preordering currency is quite simple: you contact one of the many companies that offer such a service and buy the local currency from them using your home currency, and you collect it from a set point once you arrive at your destination. Most major airports now offer currency services as well, so you can secure your finances the minute you land. Gatwick Airport, which is described by Parking4less as the tenth busiest airport in Europe with 30 million passengers serviced per year, has secured the services of Moneycorp to provide preorder currency to their passengers. Passengers can avail of free exchange rate protection and even pay on collection, so they can rest assured that they’re getting the best deals on local currency.

Just make sure to make your arrangements for buying currency ahead of time. Moneycorp requires 24 hours’ notice, and most airports will also charge more for walk-in customers who haven’t made previous arrangements to buy local currency.

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