Taking the Stress

Taking the Stress Out of Travel

The trick to successful and stress-free travel is planning ahead. Challenging, though it might seem, your goal is to think of every possible contingency that might come up, and take action before it happens. What will you do if your luggage is lost? If you get sick? If you forget your blue pumps? Being PROACTIVE will reduce the possibility of a serious crisis occurring during your trip.

BUDGETING FOR YOUR TRIP

Travel doesn’t have to break the bank — not if you are willing to plan ahead for your vacation spending. Decide first how much you can AFFORD, then make your travel plans. Start searching early for travel deals — talk to your travel agent, look for internet specials, and check with travel clubs for discounts. You can find some great bargains in package deals that combine hotel and airfare at a discounted rate.

If vacations tend to get you in trouble on your credit cards, consider starting a savings account just for travel — where you put away a small amount each month toward your next trip. You should also plan to use traveler’s checks instead of credit cards to stay within your budget. It’s amazing how easy it is to go overboard when start handing out the plastic! And be sure to keep track of how much you actually spend — as compared to your budget — throughout the trip. You might keep a small pad of paper with you for recording expenses and tallying up your total for each day.

If you can’t seem to make it happen on your budget, consider COMPROMISING on lower priority expenses in exchange for the higher priority ones. When my husband and I travel, we are always willing to stay in a budget hotel so we can afford to eat out and attend cultural events. We decided that expensive hotels are wasted on us because we spend very little time in our room, and we would rather spend our money elsewhere. Where are you willing to trade off?

PACKING MADE EASY

Have you ever been away from home and suddenly realized that you forgot your toothbrush, your shoes, or your bathing suit? Having to rush around replacing items that you left behind not only wastes time and money, it also reduces your enjoyment of the trip. And sometimes, you might forget an item that isn’t so easily replaced — like your checkbook or the report you were supposed to present at tomorrow’s meeting. But you can save yourself a lot of heartache by taking the guesswork out of packing.

Start by developing PACKING LISTS for both short-term travel (from one to three days) and longer trips. You can even create different lists for different kinds of travel — camping, business, foreign travel, trips to the beach, cold-weather travel, etc. Try to include any and all generic items that you might need — clothes, toiletries, alarm clock, night light, whatever you like to take with you. Then use these lists as memory-joggers as you are packing for each trip. You can also cut down on the time you spend preparing for travel by keeping a “pre-packed” toiletry bag with duplicates of the items you use in your home. Fill your kit with samples of shampoo, soap, lotion, cosmetics, toothpaste, and shaving cream — even miniature toothbrushes and razors. These travel-sized items take up less room in your suitcase, and you will be less likely to leave something important behind.

And don’t forget your important documents – especially if you are travelling overseas. You should plan to bring proof of citizenship, an official government photo identification (driver’s license or military ID is fine), a state-issued birth certificate with a raised seal, and a passport. Remember that children and infants are also required to have a state-issued birth certificate for travel.

LESS IS MORE

If you can get away with it, try not to check your luggage. I purchased a very roomy pullman carry on that will accommodate up to a week’s worth of clothes — that way, I never have to be concerned about losing my bags. If you pack “mix-and-match” outfits and plan to do some washing along the way, you don’t need 15 different outfits for a one-week trip. And if you have to check a piece, be sure to keep those items you couldn’t live without in your carry on — toiletries, a change of clothes, clean underwear, medications, maps, travel confirmations, and any materials you might need for an upcoming business meeting. But try to take no more than one medium-sized and one carry on bag per person. Remember, you can always remedy underpacking, but not OVERPACKING! However heavy your suitcase is when you start out, it will be twice as heavy when you come home.

If you plan to do any shopping while on your trip, you may decide to bring along an extra bag for carrying your purchases home. Put your filled suitcase inside a slightly larger empty one — or, get a collapsible tote that will take up very little space in your bag. But the easiest option (although perhaps not the cheapest) is to have each store ship your treasures directly to your home. This is a

Travel Calling Cards

The Many Benefits of Travel Calling Cards

If you are on the road, it may well be difficult to for you to make international calls back home, unless you have a cell phone with international roaming facility. But using roaming on your mobile is bound to gouge your wallet, leaving you bankrupt! So the best way to stay in touch with those you love is by taking advantage of travel calling cards.

Created especially for those of you who travel frequently or need to travel for study, work, and special event etc, travel calling cards are a great way to not just control your monthly mobile bills, but also save without compromising on the amount of time you talk. Gaining tremendous popularity, travel calling cards are a hit with students, travelers and business executives.

Travel cards are available in two types. Prepaid and postpaid. Prepaid travel calling cards are easy to use, convenient to carry and advantageous because you can get in touch with your family and friends anytime you want, from anywhere you want. They are also easy to recharge and you always remain in control of how much you talk.

Postpaid travel cards work just like a credit card. You use them to call home and you receive a bill that you need to pay off. Nevertheless, the preferred choice is prepaid travel calling cards. But no two calling cards are the same. They differ in services, fees, rates, and features. Therefore, it’s important that you put some effort in finding the right travel calling card. One that matches your needs and requirements perfectly!

One of the easiest and most convenient methods of finding a good travel calling card is by search over the Internet. The Internet is flush with calling card providers. They offer a wide range of travel calling cards each having their own distinct advantages, features, and fee structure. You can also compare 2-3 different travel calling cards to establish which one is the best and then go ahead and order it online or head to the nearest kiosk or supermarket to buy it.

Things you must consider before buying any calling card, in general, include:

1. Reliability of the service provider
2. No hidden fees
3. Good Connectivity
4. Easy to buy
5. Easily available
6. Available in smaller price range as well
7. Offers services to most countries as almost standard rates
8. Can work from cell phones as well
9. Has the same rate at anytime of the day or night
10. Works from any place to any other place in the world
11. Easy to use
12. Offers 24/7 customer support
13. Accepts different currencies
14. Accepts bank transfers
15. Accepts payment via telephone or internet
16. Provides good coverage even in the remotest areas

Remember, because you may be traveling to remote areas in Africa, or in Papua New Guinea, your travel calling card should allow you to call back home without too much difficulty. After all, what’s the point of having a travel calling card if you can’t depend on it!

China Travel

China Travel Tips

Survival China Travel Tips and Tricks

These China Travel Tips, Survival Techniques, will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience the real China with a little less stress.

China is an odd beast that needs to be respected; the major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, all have their own personalities.

Some complex situations that you think would be an organizational disaster turn out to be great and you wonder afterward what all the fuss and worry was about. Then the simplest of tasks can turn out to be a major calamity.

This is when you have what we call here a “China day”.

These days come and go and are part of the experience of everyday travel in China. One needs to have an open mind when travelling China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to Western ways of living.

You need to have a very open mind when you Travel in China.
I have listed below a few China Travel Tips that will make life that wee bit more bearable on your Travel China experience.

China Travel Tips – Be Toilet Wise

o Never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time.

o Be prepared; Carry some tissue.

o You may have to use a squat toilet, again if you know this before hand it is not a shock. If you don’t know how to use a squat toilet, try the following experiment at home.

While holding onto something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, so that the cheeks of your bottom is almost touching your heels or the back of your calf. Now, let go with your hands. See if you stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or you cannot get up, then a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you will be happy you did.

o If you see a clean toilet, Go… it may not come again for a while.

o There are many public toilets around the cities, usually the ones you pay for are OK, (RMB .5), the others best to stay away from if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around the cities.

o Be warned that public areas like bus and train stations are usually what I class as “tough toilets”, however if gotta go you gotta go.

o Outside of the major cities, the toilet systems are old or have very narrow plumbing /pipes and get blocked easily. In these cases a small basket is usually beside the toilet, this is for your used toilet paper.

One of the best China Travel toilet Tips I can give you, is use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the class of hotel that you are using.

I do not wish to scare you. However, of all the China Travel Tips in all the other web sites I have read, this is a topic not often mentioned, but it is very important to us all.

So outside of the major cities conditions can be tough. But most of the time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; everything will have been checked out before hand. However even the best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared, the toilets in the smaller cities, towns and villages can be scary.

China Travel Tips – The Food

o The food is great and the variety is overwhelming. Most of the time you get to choose what you eat, or you can recognize what you’re eating, however sometimes you do not get a choice. Carry a chocolate bar or something; this will keep you going until some food that you can recognize turns up. Drink bottled or boiled water, as the tap water is NOT safe to drink, this is for the whole of China. Even boiled water, while sterilised can contain a lot of minerals and iron deposits that you probably do not want in your system. The safest bet is to drink bottle water. Tap water in most big cities is OK for brushing teeth.

o Eating habits – Most Chinese people have a great habit of being very noisy when they eat and lunch and dinner times can be a wonderfully noisy celebration, food tends to go in all directions, its just part of being in China.

o People also smoke at the table while everyone is eating, so some restaurants get very loud and smoky.

o If you get stuck what to order as most of the menu’s are in Chinese just look at the table next to you and point to the dish you fancy and ask how much it is, this system works really well and know seems to mind.

o I have a basic menu that will help you order safe food, (no Cats or Dog) this will enable you to visit a larger selection of restaurants, not just the tourist ones with high prices. You can carry it with you and use it in the local restaurants where most will be able to serve what is on it. This way you will know what you are eating.

These local places are very cheap and the food it great. Contact me if you would like me to send it to you.

China Travel Tips – Taxis

o China Travel Tips- Taxis – Taxis are an experience that can have you griping the seat and gasping for breath; however you soon get used to it, after the first few

Travel and Its Benefits

Travel and Its Benefits

Why do we need to travel? Why it is getting increasingly important that we, once in a while, change our environment and travel outside our country? Why it is sometimes a necessity for our emotional health to travel?

Travel’s importance is underestimated by many people. Travel is not only fun, entertaining and enjoyable. With our current lifestyles and work conditions, travel has become more than an option. It is more than just having fun. As Augustine of Hippo said ” The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
 During travel you are able to do things you usually don’t do. When travelling, you go outdoor and be away from computers, and TVs and you are likely to be mixing with different people and cultures. People travel for different reasons. Some travel for fun and to have a good time. Others travel as a hobby. Travel can be an escape away from the hectic pace of life in big cities. Some travel just to change and move, as Robert Louis Stevenson said “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake”. Some people like to learn from different cultures, as Mark Twain said ” Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Travel gives the person the opportunity to discover, to explore and to feel the sense of adventure.

Many people around the world are discovering the benefits of travel to the extent that the tourism industry is growing worldwide and has become one of the major profitable sectors in world economies. No wonder that travel is growing year by year. According to figures published by the World Travel & Tourism Council WTTC, world tourism industry grew by 3% in 2012, and contributed $6.6 trillion to world GDP by direct and indirect impact. In 2012, for the first time in history, international tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion.

Here are the main benefits of travel:

1-Stress Relief: As you travel miles away from your environment, you are able to be free from your responsibilities and then begin to relax and rest. Not only you rest your body, but also your mind. Knowing that you can wake up anytime without an alarm clock, without the need to be physically available at work, will take off a lot of mental stress. Here, you can sense freedom. Stress relief is a major reason for travel. The moment you think you are heading for Hawaii or Bali, you get immediate sensation of excitement and stress-free feelings. It is this mental peace that makes travel a very good stress-relief. Sometimes travel can be stressful if your trip has a lot of sightseeing, or meeting a lot of people. But travel stress is different from home stress because it is positive stress. Travel stress does not associate with it anxiety or worry.

Travel is a great way to connect with nature which is very helpful for your relaxation, mentally or physically. Nature is a stimulus for activating your right brain. Right brain domination is one major cause for stress-relief. Also, during travel there is no sense of urgency which is usually associated with home behavior. Change of scenery is by itself helpful for relieving stress.

2-Physical Benefits: You move more when travelling. You walk more frequently whether riding the subway or exploring the streets of a historic city or even visiting a museum. By swimming or laying on the beach, you get a high dosage of vitamin D from the sun, something that is very useful for your bones and also for your positive emotions. Outdoor activities associated with travel can lower risk of diabetes, lead to weight loss and reduce cholesterol level. Some medical experts recommend traveling once every six months for cardiovascular health and for the heart. Some studies show that travel even improves better sleep.

3-Cultural Benefits: Sometimes we need to be anonymous. Sometimes we want to be free from any responsibility. Travel allows you to exercise both while meeting new people and experience new cultures. You will know how different people accomplish their goals with different ways. You will learn new ideas that you have never thought of before.

4-Relationship Benefits: Traveling with a companion and sharing same experiences and situations together will enhance your mutual bond. 93% of youth ages 8-18 consider travel as “a quality time” spent with their parents. 3 in 4 parents say that family vacations are very helpful for the family. Meeting new persons in new locations can result in long term relationship for many.

5-Happiness: Many persons associate happiness with travel. More than 50% of adults buy souvenirs just to remember their vacations. Most travelers store photos of their destinations as a way of remembering those trips that are about tasting new food, beautiful sights, historic monuments, and new music. This is one reason that travel can be addictive, especially if have enough time & money. It has become a hobby for thousands of people around the world.

Remember, you can travel and have fun with a limited

Jump Rope

Stay Fit While on Travel – Jump Rope

Staying with your fitness program can sometimes be a challenge when you are traveling for business or even while on vacation. Faced with a number of obstacles ranging from being in an unfamiliar place, limited workout facilities, and limitations on space and equipment you might be tempted to wait until you get back home. Aside from safety concerns, waiting until you return home does not have to be an option.

Stay fit, unstressed and on target by packing your jump rope. Remember, it’s compact, it’s portable, and jump roping can be done just about anywhere and anytime. Traveling from coast to coast several times a year, I have learned to adapt to my “new” surroundings whether in a big city or in Small Town, USA. Make your trip more enjoyable by planning ahead. The following tips can be useful in maintaining your fitness while you are away.

– Begin planning your workout before leaving home; call the hotel where you will be staying and ask if it has a fitness center or has visiting privileges for its guests at a nearby health club.

– Pack your jump rope along with the appropriate workout clothing and shoes. Don’t forget about your SAFETY!!! Pack reflective or highly visible clothing if you plan to workout in the early morning hours or after the sun sets. It’s never a bad idea to even pack a small light that can clip onto your clothing or an arm band.

– Check the weather conditions for the time you’re going to be away

– Use the internet to identify running or walking clubs in the area where you will be staying. Most running
clubs have web sites that contain a wealth of information about the best and safest places to workout, as well as valuable tips on the area itself.

– Check with your local running or walking clubs for suggestions of other clubs that they may be associated with in the town or city that you are going to visit;

– Identify nearby parks, jogging trails or high school or college tracks as well as their hours of operation or use;

– If you have special dietary needs, research area restaurants and grocers that may cater to healthier food selections. Making unhealthy food choices should never be an excuse just because you’re not home.

Once you’ve arrived at your new destination, what’s next? Usually after I’ve checked in at the hotel, if I’m not too tired or it’s not too late, I like to drive around just to get a lay of the land. I use this opportunity to get a feel for the community, identify a running or walking course and measure the round-trip distance to and from the hotel. Here are a few additional tips you can use when you arrive:

– Identify the staircases in the hotel. I’ve never been a big fan of elevators, so I often use the stairs anyway. Using the stairs can sometimes become an integral part of your workout especially if the weather is bad or it’s too late when you return to your room at the end of the day. Make sure the stairwells are well lit and safe. Exercise caution and WALK up and down – don’t run;

– Ask the concierge about workout suggestions, he or she may be able to suggest nearby clubs, fitness trails, or even special running or walking events that may take place during your stay at the hotel; You can also check the tourist information kiosk or pick up the local news papers for fitness events and activities. I once visited a city in the Northwest and found a 5K race at a nearby university. It happened to be the inaugural race for an annual event that was used to bring community awareness to a scholarship program. What I did not expect was that the event was FREE!

– Contact the local running or walking clubs that may be near your hotel. Sometimes, club members get together for early morning or evening walks or runs. Running or walking with club members allows you to workout with a group that is familiar with the area and can be a useful resource for other fitness activities that may be taking place during your stay;

– Once you arrive at your place of business your colleagues may also be able to provide you with the best places for a good workout and may also give you a couple of names of workers who may also workout;

– If you drive around to mark off a workout course, make sure the area is safe for pedestrian traffic especially during the time of the day when you plan to exercise. Usually the most pedestrian trafficked areas are the safest (parks, fitness trails, etc.) Try to avoid any secluded or remote trails or areas.

Now that you have a pretty good idea as to where and when your workouts will take place, you can unpack your jump rope and begin your jump rope travel program. Whether I plan on exercising in the hotel or going outside I always start with a 5-10 minute warm-up routine. Usually I begin with some very light stretching exercises for my shoulders, neck, arms, legs and back. I also incorporate exercises to strengthen my core muscles as well as my feet. We sometimes forget about working the foot muscles as part of our

Fresh Travellers

Some Great Airport Tips for Fresh Travellers

Travelling is an art that can be mastered by some in a very easy trip. But for some, it is a nightmare. If you love airplane travelling, then check out these airplane tips to get you a safe and fun journey.

Sleep anywhere

You never know when your flight might get delayed or even worse, cancelled. You might have to sleep in lots of unique positions you thought you will never do in your life. So carry ear plugs and a pair of eye pads to block out the noise and light. You will have a great sleep anytime in the waiting lounge!

Try your hand in manual driving

Many airports offer free driving services for you if your flight is grounded. But most people don’t know that such features exist and the airports are not too keen to update them either. But if you, by chance, find one, there will be old cars there, most probably. So learn to get along with manual driving cars. And make sure you recognize some basic symbols like the front lights, wipers, petrol and gas before you travel – could be useful when driving any car.

Hide money

Losing your precious wallet is not an impossible task – it could happen anytime. So keep yourself hoarded with lots of extra money hidden somewhere unnoticeable. You can choose empty chap sticks for the purpose or any other interesting spot.

Pack light

Packing light means little stress. You will feel free as a bird and can go anywhere. If you pack heavy, you will get tired dragging those baggage all through the city. Light baggage also means lesser fuel for the car or plane to carry, which means lesser pollution. So, packing light can help lower the global warming too.

Use files

There are many folders and files available in many different sizes. Use one of them to store your travel documents and papers. You will keep them from getting into nasty shapes. Also, if you find yourself shuffling though all your pockets and bags to produce each document you are asked for, a folder might as well keep you organized. You get neat documents and faster no tensions check ins.