Category: Travel

Travel Planning Tips for Taking a Cruise

When it comes to going on a cruise it is important to ensure that you take all your important information with you as well as all of your necessary times otherwise you will be suffering when you are out to sea! So, consider these travel planning tips before you head off on your cruise and you will more than likely have the time of your life!

First of all, you want to make sure you have the best luggage to take with you and that would of course be Samsonite luggage. When you have outstanding luggage you won’t be concerned with the zippers breaking and all your clothes falling out or anything of the sort. That is a relief in itself and you will know that your clothes and personal effects are all packed away in a safe piece of luggage. Some things you might want to pack in your Samsonite spinner include Dramamine in case you get sea sick and many people do on cruises. That is especially so if there is a bad storm. Don’t forget to pack several different levels of sunscreen either. When you are on the boat you will realize that the sun is reflecting off the water and you can get burnt easier. Be sure you pack plenty of swimsuits as well because it will be easier to just put on a new suit than wash the same one out time and time again. Sunglasses and/or a hat are also incredibly important especially if you have sensitive eyes. Don’t forget your passport or birth certificate either or you won’t ever make it on the cruise!

Once you are packed you will be all ready to go. However, you should go over some last minute details to determine if there is anything else you need. Check the forecasted weather for the week in the destinations you will be heading to. This can give you some much needed information regarding what else to pack. Perhaps a rain coat for storms, binoculars for whale watching, or perhaps your snorkel. Knowing the weather will help you decide what kind of activities to plan and pack for.

You may be an excellent trip planner and you may not be. However, the tips offered here are great reminders that will help you plan and pack for your cruise.

Caitlina Fuller is a freelance writer. First of all, you want to make sure you have the best luggage to take with you and that would of course be Samsonite luggage. When you have outstanding luggage you won’t be concerned with the zippers breaking and all your clothes falling out or anything of the sort. That is a relief in itself and you will know that your clothes and personal effects are all packed away in a safe piece of luggage. Some things you might want to pack in your Samsonite spinner include Dramamine in case you get sea sick and many people do on cruises.

How to Sleep While Camping

How do you ensure a good night sleep when sleeping in the outdoors? Having the right gear is a good place to start! Make sure your pad, mattress, cot or hammock is sufficiently cushioned to protect you from the cold ground. In addition, there are also many smaller actions you can take before and during the night to help improve your quality of sleep.

> Choosing the Right Sleeping Platform:

Self-Inflating Foam Pads: These pads offer a combination of foam and air. Air fills the pad automatically when you open the pad’s valve.

Air Pads: These pads use air for cushioning and must be manually inflated. Some models include an external pump or integrated hand pump for inflating the pad.

Foam Pads: These pads are a camping basic that feature a dense foam filling.

Air Mattresses: These use air for comfort and are much thicker than the pads used for camping. They are considered the closest to a real bed that you can get and are typically sized to be used with regular sheets.

Cots: For use in campgrounds or other similar long-term uses, cots keep you a comfortable distance from the ground and can typically be set up easily by one person.

Hammocks: These are made of rope mesh and suspended by cords at the ends.
Other sleeping-aids: pillows, eye masks, ear plugs, neck pillows and flashlight.

> Basic Tips for Sleeping Outside:

Ensure you have set your tent on a flat, durable surface and avoid placing it on rocks, tree roots or pine cones.
Prepare for your new surroundings and embrace the experience by ignoring any temporary inconveniences. Voluntarily immerse yourself into the outdoors!
You need to adapt physically to how cold temperatures can get once the sun goes down and how dark the night sky can be.
Untether yourself from modern conveniences and appreciate the moment. Of course, do all you can to ensure you are comfortable while camping but still realize the opportunity you now have to experience the world from a new perspective.
> Before calling it a Night:

Store all food securely outside the tent.
Keep your usual bedtime routine.
Wear dry clothes.
Do NOT overdress.
Eat.
Exercise lightly.
Drink water.
Use entire chosen sleeping surface.
> During the Night:

Avoid listening to the night sounds.
Prepare to have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
First thing in the morning, air out your sleeping linens.
>Preparing for the Weather:

On warmer nights, you may not even zip up your sleeping bag. Be sure to pack sheets and blankets from home if you find your sleeping bag is too warm.
For colder weather, the following tips are helpful for coping:
Wear long underwear and socks.
Add a foam sleeping pad.
Drink a warm drink.
Wear a hat.
Stuff dry towels under your blankets.
Keep a warm water-filled bottle close your body.

Tips For Flying With Children

An airplane trip is very exciting for kids, especially if they don’t often get to fly. If it’s been a while since you’ve traveled with your children, these tips should help you have a smooth flight.

If you are bringing a stroller along, you’ll have to remove the child and fold it up (the stroller, not the child!) to go through x-ray. Everyone’s shoes will need to come off as well. If you are trying to manage several kids at once, enlist the help of the oldest and let them know in advance what is expected of them. Airport employees are usually happy to help if it gets too much to handle, and often the people in line with you will offer to help.

If you have a baby on formula, take a dry powder form if possible, and add water later. You can buy some water after you go through security.

If you have a very small child that can sit on your lap you won’t need to buy an extra seat. However, it might be worth the extra money just to have your hands free. If it’s a long flight, holding a small child on your lap will get fatiguing.

If your kids are bringing carry-ons with games and such to occupy them, let them know that you expect them to be responsible and keep up with their stuff. It’s real easy to set it down in the waiting area and forget it, or leave it on the plane when disembarking.

If you have an infant, be sure to bring a change of clothes, diapers (bring plenty!), wipes, favorite toys, and maybe a book or two to read to them or, if they are old enough, for them to look through.

For the problem of ear popping, give the kids a piece of gum to chew to help relieve the pressure. Some children are not bothered by it at all.

If you plan to use a car seat on the plane, make sure yours is airline approved (check for a label on the seat).

Be sure to check in early at the airport. It is said that there is never a “too early” at the airport, only a “too late.”

Consider a bribe. Dubious but yes it works! Buy each child a new toy and let them know they can’t play with it until they are on board the plane. This will occupy them for quite some time!

Let your kids know that while flying they must remain seated with their seatbelt on at all times unless they need to use the restroom. If they already expect this rule, it won’t be so hard to enforce once you are on the plane.

Keep your sense of humor! Relax and enjoy the flight and the excitement of your kids.

Important Travel Health Tips To Keep In Mind

While going to different places, is always a fun experience, traveling can also be tiring and stressful at times, especially when there are cases of lost baggage, delayed flights, or accidents along the way. The nature of traveling can sometimes take a toll on a person’s health, weakening his/her immune system, and making him/her susceptible to different kinds of viruses and illnesses. Because this possible risk, it is important that one should prioritize his/her health and safety while traveling. Keep these travel health tips in mind so you can enjoy your vacation without having to worry about your health.

Be fit and healthy

Before the trip, make yourself fit and healthy by getting regular exercise. Even if your work is up to your eyeball, you do not have any excuses not to exercise simply because working out can be done without having to hit the gym. You can incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Instead of riding the car to work, ride a bike or walk. Instead of using the elevator, climb the stairs. Instead of discussing work plans with your officemate over online chat, walk up to him or her. Instead of hitting the showers the first thing in the morning, do a couple of sit-ups and jogging in place first. Not only that, you should also have a well balanced meal packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Go for foods that are low in fat but high in fiber and nutrients. Be sure to get enough sleep as well. You would not want to be lethargic and sluggish during your trip.

Take it slow

Do not sweat the small things. Stress over planning and preparations can get the better of you that you would not have sufficient energy to enjoy the trip. Get help from other people for things like packing, buying airline tickets, and so on. During the trip, do not cram all the things to see in one day. Make sure you pace yourself the right way so you do not consume all your energy on your first day. Remember, it’s not about the quantity but the quality of the vacation. Try to relax your mind and calm your nerves by engaging in fun and laidback activities. After all, going on a vacation is about relaxation.

Get travel health insurance

Do not leave home without the right international health insurance. Some insurance companies offer services online so you do not have to worry about visiting their offices physically to get visitors insurance. USA, Europe, Asia, and many parts of the world, are covered mostly in these policies. Make sure that you check to see what locations the policy covers and what inclusions are there in the policy so you know you are getting the right one.

Visit the doctor

Before you leave for your trip, go to the doctor for a complete medical checkup. This way, you would know if you are fit enough for the trip. The doctor will also advise if you need to bring any medication for your trip. Moreover, you would also be able to get the necessary immunizations that you need, particularly if you are traveling to remote or exotic destinations.

10 Top Travel Photography Tips

Whether you’re taking a short day trip or going halfway around the world, there are things besides a destination and a camera that can ensure you return home with a collection of wonderful photographs. Here are 10 travel photo tips to help you do just that.

1. Look For Local Cultural Events because these can make for some great photo opportunities.

2. Carry A Wide-Range Zoom (28-200mm) to reduce weight and still have plenty of focal range. Bringing a lot of lenses can really weigh you down.

3. Previsualize Your Shots at a scene. Walk around while considering light, weather, lens selection and how to frame some unusual and fresh compositions.

4. Get Up Before Dawn At Least Once and photograph a scene as the morning light emerges.

5. Show The Picture On The LCD to people you shoot, especially when there’s a language barrier. It involves them in what you’re doing and builds trust.

6. Use A Portable Reflector To Control Light, fill in shadows or brighten colors in the foreground.

7. Make Sure You Have A Tripod, preferably one that’s strong, lightweight and fairly compact when fully compressed.

8. Back Up Your Images with a portable storage device to free up memory cards and ensure that you come home with all the photos you took.

9. Don’t Forget A Cleaning Kit to keep your lenses and sensors clean.

10. Shooting Some Video in addition to your still images can turn slideshows into dynamic, multimedia presentations.

Make the most of your next photographic adventure, with all of our travel photography tips [http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/content/2005/june/20_travel_tips.shtml].

Kristine Knight is a professional nature photographer who specializes in Southwestern landscapes. As an Arizona native, she’s been honing her art since childhood and in her free time teaches photography workshops.

Overcoming Your Fear of Flying

Many people have a fear of flying, or aviophobia – both those who have flown and still remain uneasy, and also those who have never flown and really don’t know what to expect. At some point in your life you learned to be afraid of flying, since this is a learned response.

This severe anxiety can cause a person to actually suffer a panic attack or even nausea and vomiting. However, airline travel makes it much easier to get where you’re going if it’s a long drive, so here are some tips to help with overcoming your fear of flying.

First, remember that flying is actually a very safe form of travel. You are almost 300% more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane crash.

Another thing to keep in mind is the extensive training which commercial airline pilots must go through. This entails thousands of hours of flight time and many certifications. Quite a few airline pilots are trained in the military, which is even more exacting. You can rest assured you are in good hands when flying on a commercial airline.

Another good thing to do is to do some research about how a plane actually is able to fly in the first place. Without this knowledge, we can sometimes let our imaginations run amok, and you’d be surprised how a little research can put your mind at ease and take a lot of the mystery and uneasiness away. Fear of flying is often just a control issue, knowing that you have no control over the situation. But understanding the mechanics and knowing exactly why you are feeling that “turbulence” and what all the noises mean helps greatly in reducing your anxiety and fear.

You can take a course to help with your fear of flying. Such courses exist online and also offline in different cities. Books and videos are also available to address your concerns. If nothing else has helped, you can speak to a therapist. Many people do utilize therapy to overcome flying anxiety, and it is often very helpful as they might be able to point you toward local support groups or classes.

You may find it helpful to visit the airport now and again just to walk around and get used to the atmosphere, and also watch the planes taking off and landing. If you must fly and you simply cannot overcome your fear, a doctor can prescribe something for your anxiety. I would use this as a last resort, as many people successfully overcome their fear with one or more of the above-mentioned suggestions.

Consider these airline travel tips for helping to overcome your flying phobia, and you may just find yourself enjoying a cross-country airplane trip at some point in the future.

5 Tips to Adventure Travel in Small Groups

y

Are you planning your next vocation and thinking of taking an adventure travel tour instead of traditional beach – resort type of vocation? You are not alone, many people these days prefer active, adventurous style of travel. And the best way to have a safe adventure is to go for adventure travel in a small group.

Small group adventures travel is a fast growing industry and for a good reason. There are many definite advantages to having a guided adventure vocation in a small group:

– you can get more attention from the tour guide
– there is a great variety of small group adventures available even to rare and not tourist popular destinations
– if the group is not large the tour can be better customized to your needs
– often traveling in a small group is cheaper than participating in a conventional tour, because only a few people need accommodation, so it doesn’t have to be a big hotel
– tours are less formal and you have more freedom, yet a safety of having a guide, in case you need help

These tips will help you to get the most from your vocation

1. Decide what kind of adventure you are looking for. Adventure vocation is a broad term – for some it means exploring the wildness of Alaska or the jungles of Amazon, while others want a guided tour to Paris or Sydney. Not all adventures require you to be in a top physical shape. Some tours involve a lot of hiking, but not all – you can still see a lot of interesting and exciting things without accosting yourself. Find out in advance how difficult your tour is going to be.

2. Do you want to explore just one country in depth or would you rather see a lot of different things in different countries? This question might sound silly, but it actually is important. Since most adventure vocation tours are 7-14 days long, you can’t expect to see a lot of places and to spend a long time in each of them. More places and countries doesn’t necessarily mean better vocation, you might just become exhausted and overwhelmed by too many things to see.

3. Are you after a family adventure or you preferring only a company of adult travelers? As adventurous traveling gains its popularity, many companies offer family friendly adventure tours. These are usually light tours with many activities to interest children. So, if you plan to go with kids, search for family adventures. On the other hand, if you don’t want children as members of your group, make sure to ask your travel agent, if families with kids go for this type of tour.

4. Spend several hours researching adventure travel companies and comparing adventure tours they offer – that will save you a lot of money and frustration. If you do your research online, and you should, read what other people who took the tour you like have to say. Most traveling companies put testimonials online. You can also search adventure forums, where people share their real experiences.

5. Adventure travel doesn’t have to be very expensive, especially if we are talking about traveling in small groups. Search around and find a tour that suits your budget. In traveling industry expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best. Compare what activities the tours offer and what kind of accommodation is included. It is possible to find great adventure tours at reasonable prices.

Adventure Travel Planning Made Easy

w

I found myself gazing into the eyes of a gorilla toddler in the heart of Africa. That playful “child” walked right up to me and sat at my feet as I backed up against a wall of sharp nettles with nowhere to go. There were no barriers between us; nothing that separated us.

The toddler’s mother was unconcerned with my presence, and the dominant male let it be known who was boss with his powerful displays. I was right there in the middle of them while on my gorilla trek, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

Soon after that trip I started researching new and exciting adventure travel experiences, and before I knew it I had had a wealth of adventure travel planning information at my fingertips. So, I thought I would share it with others.

First, I’ll give you a list of things you need to do, and at the end I’ll tell you where you can find – in one place — the solutions for each and every point. You may want to add some things of your own, but this list will give you a great start.

Get a list of activities by destination. If you’re off to Alaska what can you do there besides dog sledding and snow shoeing? You need to get some activity ideas so you don’t miss out on something you’d enjoy just because you didn’t know it was available.
For those looking for new experiences, make sure they’re a good fit for you. How much risk is involved? What level of fitness do you need? Do you have the right skills? Get these questions answered.
See if the travel and adventure experience is within your budget. Check out different travel companies and compare costs. If it’s an overseas adventure travel destination you’ll also need to check the currency conversion rate. You can shop by destination for a given experience to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Make sure you prepare for any possible health concern. There are several sources for global health watch information, and it’s a good idea to check more than one of them to give you a well-rounded view of your destination.
Get some travel insurance. You can find insurance to cover a variety of scenarios from medical needs to trip cancellation. And it’s pretty inexpensive when you consider the security it offers. How much is peace of mind worth to you while you’re in a foreign land?
Confirm that you’re passport is in order. Timing can be an issue. For instance, if you’re a citizen of the USA and at the time of your trip you have less than six months until your passport expires you’re going to have some problems. Be smart and make sure your passport is in order and also check to see if you need a visa for your specific destination(s).
Play it safe by reading all relevant travel advisories. There are pockets of turmoil in the world, and you can avoid them if you know where they are. You would be wise to check out more than one source in order to get a comprehensive perspective to ensure your safety.
Use online travel guides. There are several good online travel guides to help you dig into the details when planning your adventure travel trip.
Ask a travel expert for tips and insider information. Many adventure travelers don’t know about a free resource that lets you tap into a network of travel experts for tips and insider information on destinations all around the world. You can access this new service at the website listed below.
Check the weather forecast for your destination right before you leave. As you know, weather can change in a flash. So, get the local weather forecast and make any adjustments to your vacation schedule (and what you need, or don’t need, to pack) before you head out the door.
Check the time differential. Find out how many hours your destination is ahead, or behind, your local time so you can prepare to adjust ASAP.

How To Choose The Perfect Camping Tent

Outdoor adventures can be lots of fun, especially when you choose to go on a camping trip with your family. The natural surroundings offer an array of fun activities, even children will enjoy as long as you have selected a campsite that has it all. When thinking about sleeping on the ground most people worry about creepy crawlers and cold, but when you choose the right camp tent, then you will not have to worry about such issues. To get the perfect tent, however, there are several things you must remember to look into.

1. Tent size

Usually tent sizes are based on how many sleepers they can accommodate. But remember that you need space for your luggage. If a tent says it can sleep six people, take that to mean it can sleep 4 people comfortably. The last thing you want is a tent that cramps you and your family in. Think about the real length and width of the tent, especially if you are looking through family tents.

2. Tent comfort

Treat the camp tent as your lodge out in the forest or woods and so it should offer you comfort whether you are taking a nap or reading and relaxing or even having some family time. Ceiling height and ventilation are some of the things that you should have in mind when thinking about comfort inside your tent.

3. Tent shape

Umbrella, dome, wall and A-frame are the basic tent shapes you will find. The umbrella tends to be popular with families because it offers lots of standing room and has large windows. The A-frame on the other hand, offers larger floor space while the wall is much larger even on the sides. Square floored tents offer more efficiency with gear and sleeping arrangements, but you can always compare other options and choose the shape that you find ideal for your camping needs.

4. Tent weather resistance

Cold, heat, rain and wind together place demand on your camp tent. Windy conditions demand that the tent has sturdy poles, anchor ropes and stakes and geodesic tents might be the best tent for windy campsites. The tent you choose should also manage to keep rain out and accommodate you comfortably when it begins to rain. The rain fly should be waterproof and should at least wrap round the tent and drop near the ground so that even rain that comes with the wind is kept at bay. You should also consider a tent with waterproof floor; a tub floor tent will work best because it keeps water out even if it runs under and down your tent. Screened doors and windows on the other hand work in hot humid days.

5. Tent workmanship

It determines the durability of the tent. Think about sturdiness and strength of the poles, the quality of the fabric used on the tent, free opening and closing of the zippers and reinforcement of the tent seams. Most people forget this important tent part yet they can determine the kind of camping experience you get.

5 Ways To Stretch Your Travel Budget

The economic stimulus package set to reach 130 million households this spring may cause a surge in travelers looking for fun ways to spend their money. If you’re one of them, make the most of your money by considering destinations offering the most bang for your buck. Following are travel tips for those seeking an escape on a tight budget:

1. Think seasonal. An effective strategy for stretching your travel dollar is to keep an eye on high-season versus low-season rates. For example, with warmer weather in the spring and summer, we tend to forget about the popular wintertime vacation spots like Mexico. Traveling to the beach between April and June provides an ideal time to take advantage of the off-season rates.

2. Think quiet. Another travel tip for the budget-minded is to consider destinations that are hot spots in the wintertime yet slow down to an easy going speed as the weather warms up, such as Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole. These well-known ski areas offer an abundance of outdoor activities once the snow melts. You’ll find hiking, biking, fishing and more without contending with the ski season crowd.

3. Think local. The hefty price per gallon of gas may create a barrier when considering a road trip, but short road trips can offer an affordable travel alternative. Consider checking out an area within a few hours drive that is known for a particular attraction, or head off the beaten path and try some camping, or head to a spa for a weekend of relaxation.

4. Think global. Wait a minute. Did we just move from thinking locally to thinking globally? Yes, international travel is not top-of-mind for a lot of U.S. citizens for a host of reasons, one being the struggling U.S. dollar. It hurts to think of exchanging a dollar bill in Europe only to receive half the value back in Euros. One way to avoid the exchange rate is to consider a European cruise since most travel costs are purchased in U.S. dollars up-front, thus minimizing the exchange rate loss.

5. Think out-of-the-box. Instead of spending hours in front of your computer drooling over exotic photos of that fancy Hawaiian resort only to want to vomit at the site of the hotel rates, consider alternative lodging options. For instance, check out rentals – whether it be a house, condo or an apartment. Spending less on lodging may mean you could stay longer…hmmm…Also, check airfare costs for varying routes that will get you to your desired destination. Instead of flying direct, you may find that booking two separate flights to reach your travel destination will save a lot of money.