Travel Tips

Top 5 Summer Travel Tips (2014)

summer-travel-tips

It’s hot, it’s fuzzy, it’s summer time! And despite the heat waves, increase in gas prices, talk of a slump (and the dreaded recession), folks are relentless about enjoying their summer. They are gearing to tour scenic American and offshore destinations. Am sure you are too. A little sunshine, after all, goes a long way. And to make your summer even better and unforgettable, today we’ll explore some tips and well-utilized secrets that will turn your vacation from a drab, so-so experience to one you’ll be regaling your grand-kids with for a long time to come!

Let’s Rock Summer!

#1. Plan Ahead

While it may seem counterproductive to fun, planning gives you more flexibility in what you can do on your vacation. Through planning, you identify alternatives in case your initial plans don’t work out. Carefully plan your itinerary, accommodations and double check your reservations. Due to the large number of vacationers, your reservations might fall through the cracks. Additionally, check out traffic forecasts and plan your trip accordingly. If possible, travel earlier to beat rush-hour gridlocks.

#2. Safety First

Safety comes first. Your goal after all is not only to enjoy summer but also come back (in one piece) and tell-all (or some)! For starters, consider your physical safety. Summer is characterized by a blazing sun and excessive heat in some places. Carry your sunscreen at all times and apply generously especially when exposed to direct sunlight. Keep the sunburns at bay. Protect your eyes from the sun’s glare by investing in a pair of sun-glasses. Stay hydrated at all times.

If you are taking a road trip, invest in a first aid kit and emergency gear such as flashlights, jumper ropes, water and fire-extinguishers. Teach kids basic emergency tactics. Have an agreed upon place for them to go in case they get lost. Dress them in brightly colored clothes to make them easily identifiable. You should also include a contact card with your details in their pockets. It might seem like overkill, but when you consider the sheer number of people traveling in summer, anything can happen. Better safe than sorry!

#3. Save, Save, Save!

Yes, you can have an eventful summer vacation while sticking to a budget. Research and take advantage of package deals (for example those that offer flight and accommodation as a single package.) They are not only cheap but convenient, more so when traveling with family. Summer is also an opportune time to redeem your airline miles for flights and upgrades. However book early since this is the high season for most airlines. Employ smart driving tactics if you are taking a road trip. With gas prices almost hitting the $4 mark a gallon, you ought to get smart about driving.

#4. Pack Smart

You don’t want to over pack, neither should you under pack and be forced to spend more to buy necessary items. Take the time to pack smart. Take a top down approach, going through items you might need from head to toe. Items such as hats to shield you from the sun’s glare and sandals for strolling in the heat. Pack appropriate clothing for the weather your travel destination is experiencing. Summer is pretty wet in some regions. Moreover, keep in mind TSA guidelines if you plan on flying.

#5. Relax

Isn’t it obvious? And yet how often do you break this simple rule? This is not the time to drag dense manuscripts to the beach! It’s a time to kick back and relax. Enjoy the warm air, the breeze, swaying the trees. Live the moment, be in the moment. Take the time to play. How often do you do it anyway? Enjoy time with family, friends and fellow vacationers. Unwind in a way you haven’t done in a while. Ultimately, that’s what will make your summer unforgettable.

Photo Credit: Trey

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The Best Ways to Carry Money When Visiting Multiple Countries

While traveling in multiple countries, the first thing that comes in you mind is how you will go about spending while on your travel. Speaking of spending, you have to think of what you will will have to use to get yourself moving.

Money is very essential that  every traveler should give a thought when it comes to security. It becomes very sad when you lose your money to slick fingered pick-pocket  or some opportunistic thief.

When this happens especially overseas, it puts a big dent to the traveler trip, especially when you figure out the time you need to get access to more funds.

Travelers must make an option of how to carry their money, with security in mind, and also minding accessibility of your money and how you will go about paying for your goods and services. You don’t have to spend more time searching for that note in your pocket, or even go to a point of stripping all your clothes because you cannot  really tell where you last placed your wallet.

With all that in mind, lets have a look at the best ways to carry your money when traveling in multiple countries:

#1 Keep your money in your clothes

We can call this one favor in body storage. In this case you can uses your under-clothing accessories such as sick neck pouches and money belts. Other options include bra stashes, as well as long johns, underwear, and undershirts with built-in pockets for safe storage.

However, apart from the on-body accessories being more vulnerable to thievery, they are more useful since you don’t have to seek for a secure place to have access to you money.

#2 Withdraw Just enough for your use

Withdrawing or changing large amount of money means you will have to pay less for exchange fee. However, you may end up having a lot of local currency hence carrying more money that you would initially have at your home. As you go on packing your luggage, make sure you pack small amounts of bills and coins for purchases such as food and miscellaneous expenses.

#3 Carry theft proof bags

This one goes for backpacks, purses and travel purses.  This usually targets to slow down and maybe deter opportunistic pickpockets.  Backpacks which are reinforced with slash-proof fabric, locking zippers and steel-cable-reenforced shoulder straps are the best for the security of your luggage especially money..

#4 Trim your wallet

If you own multiple credit cards, it s very essential to carry a universal card in your wallet. This will not only make your traveling light but also makes you to have less to replace in case your wallet gets lost or stolen.

Reader Question:

What other ways do you think is applicable in carrying money while traveling in multiple countries?

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Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations In The U.S.

What are your plans this summer?

After the long brutal winter and the so-so spring, it’s time to paint the U.S Red (or Blue depending 🙂 ) And you are not alone. A recent survey by TripAdvisor shows that almost 89% of Americans are planning some travel this summer. Of those, more will be traveling within the U.S. Why is that you ask? The World Cup in Brazil, The Golden Jubilee in the U.K and the summer Olympics have pushed global airfares up (ruining the fun for lots of people!). No worries though, you don’t have to leave U.S to catch all the fun. In fact, this summer might be the one you pack in most of the fun right here on U.S. soil. Today we explore some of the best summer travel destinations that are pocket friendly and offer unforgettable experiences.

Wipe out the sulk on your face! Get out there, soak up some sun and unforgettable memories!

Here Are The Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations

#1. Grand Canyon, Arizona

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You have to see the Grand Canyon with your own eyes to believe it. It’s awe-inspiring! Located in the Northwest corner of Arizona, the Canyon is the perfect destination for your summer travel. Enjoy a view of the mile deep valley from the edges, or take a trail into the belly of the beast! The Bright Angel Trail is just one of the routes down the Canyon. It’s equipped with restrooms, water and shade making it perfect for the average hiker.

Additionally, you can enjoy a cool evening watching the sunset from the edge of the Canyon. It’s one experience that will forever transform your perspective of mother earth!

#2. Yosemite National Park, California

After temporary closure back in 2013 due to Government budget cut backs, Yosemite is back and running. Located in the Eastern portion of California, Yosemite offers 47,956 acres of pure fun and exploration. With spectacular granite cliffs, streams, waterfalls and a biodiversity unmatched in most National Parks. Take your camping and hiking gear and enjoy breathtaking trails in the meadows of Yosemite. A visit to this National Park isn’t complete without a visit to the Yosemite Falls, the fifth tallest in the World.

#3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Need I say more? 🙂 It’s always happening in Las Vegas! Recent drops in per capita gambling and gaming expenditure has seen Las Vegas scramble to attract a new crowd of tourists. This has seen the rise of budget accommodations and a variety of attractions that will rock your summer travel. From vibrant art hubs to adrenalin parked indoor skydiving, Las Vegas will give you an unforgettable time. And you can still indulge in a hand of Blackjack or roll the dice and try your summer luck! Don’t break the bank though, there are still more amazing places to visit!

#4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Summer marked the birth of the new nation! What better way to celebrate and capture that than Mt Rushmore? Located in South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore is a sculpture of the nations founding fathers in granite! Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy? looking upon the nation. Enjoy a panoramic view from the Grand Terrace or take the Presidential trail to the base of the monument.

#5. Washington, D.C

 

The nation’s capital is steeped in history making it a nice summer travel destination. From the White House, to the Lincoln memorial, Washington D.C. has no shortage of fun, educative places to visit. Enjoy a picnic in the National Mall, almost 2 miles of park stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Take in the amazing views of the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials at night. They are beautifully lit and the crowds are smaller at night. Washington summers are often pretty hot, stay hydrated and close to your destinations.

#6. San Francisco, California

San Francisco enjoys cool, breezy summers with temperatures in the 70 degrees range. Enjoy relaxed picnics, walks along the beautiful streets. Take a bay cruise to Alcatraz, a maximum security prison that once housed mobster Al Capone. Stroll across the Golden Gate bridge and catch a sunset there. Tour the city by the famous cable cars, or even drive Lombard Street – “the crookedest street in the world “. It has some of the sharpest turns and an incredibly steep incline. You thought cars couldn’t fly, think again 🙂

#7. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana)

Founded in 1872 and shared by three states; Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone is a 2.2 million acres of forest and wilderness! It has over 300 geysers shooting hot boiling water into the sky. Cool, right. The best known is the Old Faithful, it shoots 8400 gallons of hot boiling water 150 feet in the air, every 90 minutes. Pack your picnic lunch, enjoy the view time and again. You can also camp or take early morning hikes and get to see animals as they go to water!

#8. Ocean City, MaryLand

Two words: Stunning Beach! Located in Worcester County Maryland, Ocean City is an Atlantic Resort town with a lot to offer for your summer travel. Meander the 3 mile Boardwalk beach. Sample treats long the way. Dip into the salty waters. Summer brings with it special concerts and bonfires that will make your stay in Ocean City and unforgettable one.

#9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Located in the East Coast of the U.S in Horry County, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach an endless supply of fun budget activities to keep you and your family engaged this summer. Relax on the beach and soak up some sun. Attend open air concerts. Indulge yourself in a game of golf on the splendid golf courses. Mini golf is available too! Enjoy some fireworks over Lake Broadway every Tuesday and most Friday’s all summer long!

#10. Orlando, Florida

Famed for its exquisite theme parks, Orlando Florida has distinguished itself as a major summer travel destination among North Americans. Located in Central Florida, Orlando has something for every traveler. Take your kids to Disney World, Resort Universal, Seaworld Universal or a myriad other interesting themed parks. Enjoy a rich culture with street performances, open air concerts or take a day to relax at the spas. Your fun in Orlando is only limited by your imagination!

#Bonus: Cancun, Mexico

Why Cancun? I’ll tell you why. It’s one of the most searched for destinations this year according to TripAdvisor! Located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cancun is world renowned tourist destination for its splendid beaches and clear, sparkly blue waters (well, among other…uuummm…things)! Tour the Cancum Underwater Museum, swim with the dolphins and enjoy the vibrant Cancum nightlife.

Conclusion

You don’t have to break the bank to have an unforgettable summer. There are remarkable destinations a flight or drive away that will spice up your summer. Get out there, soak up some sun and have fun!

What are your plans this summer? Where have you visited or planning to visit?

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Weekly Roundup – Jobs You Can Do While Traveling The World

For travelers especially those travel on a budget need a steady flow of cash to furnish their travels. Getting a job while on the road may be that source of income you need in your travels. That’s why today i am sharing with you jobs you can do while traveling the world.

Freelance Photography

Travelers carry with them a camera. They make great shots of mountains, canyon, birds, animals, different cultures. Selling those shots then there you are earning some cash. There are so many websites out there in need of those photos. You can also sell them to magazines or sell them online.

Teaching English

English teaching is in high demand across the globe. If you are proficient English speaker and writer then you are good to land this job easily especially in Asia countries where they are hungry to acquire knowledge of the worlds interlanguage.

Travel Blogging

They say blogging may take time even a year of hardworking before bringing in income. But if you can build a decent reputation as a blogger then you are good in attracting advertisers to your site thus making some good cash.

Freelance Writing

There are so many freelance writing jobs such as web content, web copy, news reporter, news paper columnist, magazine freelancer among others. If you have amazing writing skills then try freelance writing. You can get these jobs online on sites like oDesk and Elance.

Fruit Picking

This job is very common in Australia. Some farmers may pay per hour while others by harvest work done. That means you need to be that proactive. You need to know fruit picking is a hard job, need a lot of concentration and might work for long hours a day.

Import and Export Business

Run an import/export business. Get that item on one country and sell it at a profit in another country.

Skills Instructor

You might have various skills like scuba diving, skiing among others. You can offer teaching services to people willing to learn those skills. You might even get a lot of customers making it your profession.

Which other jobs do you normally do while on the road? Share with us in the comments below.

Amazing Reads of the Week

This Story Proves There IS Good in the World – Travel Junkette

Benefits for Travel Bloggers – Book of Travel Bloggers

Traveling the Top End with Wayoutback – Caroline in the City

Where to See Leopards in Africa – Travel Belles

Secret Venice – Burano Lace – Aussie in France

On Getting Back to Basics – Notes of Nomads

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Tech Tips For The Budget Traveler

Can you live without your smart phone?

It’s a communication tool between you, family, friends and business associates. It’s how you get your daily dose of news. Get social media updates. Get directions, restaurant recommendations, calendar reminders and a whole sleuth information. The smart phone and technology generally has permeated our lives. And for the best. How is this good for your as a traveler? It makes your travel experiences easier, richer and saves you money!

Travel Tech Tips

So how do you take advantage of the available technologies to get the best out of your travel trips? And what warnings do you need to keep at the back of your mind about tech? Find out as we explore the top travel tech tips below!

Back Up Your Data Before Travel

You have heard this countless times. From your tech guy or gal, your office policy has it too. Back ups are a life saver. Technology has a way of failing us when we least expect it. As a traveler, the dangers to your data are much bigger. You have to contend with the possibilities of losing your electronic gadgets. They might be stolen or get lost with your luggage. The experience of losing prized photos in your smart phone is not a pretty one. Use the myriad cloud and file storage services to back up your data. Dropbox, Box and Mega come immediately to mind. Alternatively you can back your data up on hard drives at home.

Collect all Your Travel Information in One Place.

Travel comes with a lot of information that needs management. From flight data and seats to hotel details and directions. The bigger your itinerary the larger the amount of data you have to manage. Tech is your savior here! With an app like TripIt, you can aggregate all your travel information in one easily accessible place. Its beauty is that it seamlessly integrates with your phone calendar allowing you to view your itinerary neatly organized on a calendar. You never miss a beat.

TripIt has free apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry platforms. Save yourself the hassle. Get your travel information organized.

Check In From Your Phone

No more queuing and papers trying to check in at the last minute. You can easily check in from your phone, at home or on your way to the airport. Most airlines have apps for that. Delta for example has a smooth app that you just log into, tap check in on the screen. The app already knows which flight you are scheduled to take. You receive a QR code and voila, you are done. Once at the airport, just show your boarding pass and ID, put your phone on a QR scanner and it’s as simple as that.

Why should you even consider checking in through your phone?

  • Convenience
  • In case you lose your boarding pass
  • As a frequent flier you might get upgrades to first class if space is available
  • Less paper and trash. Doing your part to save Mother Earth 🙂

There Is An App For That!

There is an app for almost everything you might require on your trip! And it will make your life a whole lot easier. You can find airline apps, restaurant recommendation apps, directions, translations, deals, discount shopping and offers. Install the apps prior to traveling. Get destination specific apps as they have more accurate information. Apps can be free or require a purchase. Even when traveling on a budget, whats $20 for a bunch of apps that will significantly improve the quality of your trip? It’s simply a small investment for the time of your life.

Find A Laptop Friendly Airline

You might travel with your laptop on your trips to get work done, keep in touch with friends back home, or even blog about your experiences. Getting a laptop friendly airline gives you the convenience of working on your projects in flight. Get a head start or just catch up on your favorite series.

Most cross country flights provide Wifi and Power sockets for travelers. You can check and compare on airlines before booking. SeatGuru offers information on laptop friendly airlines as well as comparisons of different airlines. The following airlines for example have Wifi on cross country flights: Alaska, American, Virgin, Delta, Frontier, US Airways & United.

Conclusion

Technology continues to make life easier on all fronts of life. You can get more from your travel by installing a few apps that will change the way you interact with your destination enviroment. Or utilize technology to land deals that will save you money and open new opportunities. All you have to do is research around for what is available and take advantage of it.

Perhaps just a soft reminder. Technology is a tool to better your life. Remember  to “Look Up” from all your gadgetry and immerse yourself in true experiences!

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No More Jet lag! (5 Proven Methods To Beat It)

jet-lagJet lag is when your built in internal clock desynchronizes with the external time. Big words there, so let’s break it down 🙂 We all have internal clocks. Us and most of the mammal race, if not all. It’s known as the Circadian Rhythm. It regulates when you wake up and sleep. It also affects how hungry you feel at certain times or how alert you are at other times. You know that annoying way you wake up minutes before your alarm clocks goes off? That’s your internal clock in action. Its usually pretty accurate, that is, until you travel and cross timezones. Then everything rocks and destabilizes.

Jet Lag Symptoms

Jet lag manifests in different ways among people. The symptoms also depend on the timezones crossed, time of day and individual adaptations. Some of the common symptoms include the following:-

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Poor performance and concentration
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Problems with digestion
  • Reduced appetite
  • Multiple awakenings during sleep

Jet lag is usually worse when you travel west to east and lose time than when you travel east to west and gain some hours.

So how do you deal with the symptoms? How do you protect yourself from excessive jet lag each time you travel? Following are some tips and tricks you can implement to shield yourself and reduce the impact of jet lag while improving your travel experiences.

Adopt Your Destination’s Schedule Before You Depart

Move the time you sleep time forward if you are traveling West to East. Sleep earlier. Take your meals earlier and try to live out your days as you would if you were already at your destination. This will help your body adapt and move the internal clock to the timezone you are visiting.

If you are traveling East to West, delay your sleep schedule. This us usually easier to adapt to since we gain time moving East to West. By moving your sleep time forward or delaying it, you slowly adjust your internal clock to your destination’s. This reduces the sleep disruption and jet lag symptoms when you travel.

However, if your stay at your destination won’t take more than two days, you would be better served sticking to your natural time. Most people require a day to adjust to each timezone crossed. A day wouldn’t be worth disrupting your sleep cycle for.

Stay Hydrated

It would seem trivial but you would be surprised by how dehydration messes sleep up. Stay well hydrated before, during and after your flight to beat jet lag. Avoid caffeine-laced drinks and alcohol which reduce water in the body. This causes you to feel patched up and fatigued. Cabin pressure and anxiety also affects your sleep cycle. Staying hydrated keeps you relaxed and helps better repair the disruption of your internal clock.

jet-lag-clock

Static Exercises Before During & After Flight

Flying long distances means sitting for long periods of time in restricted spaces. This can reduce blood circulation. Combined with cabin pressure in the airplane, reduced oxygen levels and anxiety, it can lead to disruption of your sleep cycle. Have light excises before flight. Walk around during the flight or stretch from time to time. Wiggle your toes to help circulation from the lower limbs.

This should improve blood circulation and help you relax. Relaxation is conducive to sleep and will help you ease better to a natural sleep cycle at your destination and ease jet lag effects. However, avoid intensive workouts after landing and before sleep.

Consider Medication

Consider seeking medical advice if you are a frequent flier who experiences nasty jet lag episodes. Doctors can prescribe drugs that can help you sleep better or stay awake and alert when you need to. While this should be a last resort, sometimes it may be necessary.

Melatonin can also be used under prescription to reduce jet lag related symptoms. Melatonin is secreted naturally by the body to regulate our circadian systems. 3-5 milligrams a few hours before sleep should do the trick. However, ensure you have exhausted the natural remedies and consult your doctor before going the medication route.

Soak Into A Bath

A bath soothes your muscles and quietens your mind after a long flight. (Part of the reason why some of our best ideas occur in the shower – no distractions: total relaxation 🙂 ) Turns out its also great for coping with jet lag. A bath also lowers your body temperature which is a prerequisite for sleep. It does help you sleep better.

Conclusion

Jet lag can disrupt your life whenever you travel. The symptoms are never pleasant. However, as pointed out you can take steps to mitigate it. Take steps today to prepare yourself for your travels. Experiment until you have your prefect formula for dealing with jet lag.

How else do you deal with jet lag and it’s effects?

 

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