Top Tips For Business Travelers

If your job or your business calls for you to spend a lot of time on the road then it is important that you stay fully prepared to make your life as easy as possible whilst you are traveling. You are likely to be spending large amounts of time alone, taking many flights or trains and you will need to stay organized and at your best during your travels. We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks that you can employ during your time on the road to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible and that you will be fully effective during your business dealings.

Bought a travel wallet :(

Keeping Your Itinerary up to Date

Even if you have a secretary organizing things for you, it is still important that you stay on top of your itinerary in order to avoid missing meetings or flights. Another reason for this is that if you are traveling through different time zones, you need to ensure that you are managing your sleeping pattern in accordance with it so that you avoid unnecessary tiredness. There are some great apps on the market that you can download to your smartphone to ensure that you are on top of your plans.

Staying in Touch Back Home

Staying in touch with family or friends can be particularly difficult if you are traveling a lot and you should take advantage of the many ways in which you can stay in touch with loved ones back home. Many services like Skype and Facebook offer video, audio calling options as well as instant messaging services, this will allow you to easily stay in touch providing you have an internet connection. It has never been cheaper to make calls abroad and you can often call direct from your cell to your family for just a little extra money than a normal call back home. Should you run out of credit abroad, your family can easily top you up again with www.recharge.com, a great service that will ensure you never run out of credit.

Filling in the Time

If you have a lot of time to fill in whilst you are in the hotel and want to avoid spending too much money then try to utilize the hotel’s gym and spa facilities if they have them. Prior to your trip you should also try to download any films or games to your computer or tablet to keep you occupied during the quiet times. It can be easy to simply hit a bar or a restaurant but if you want to stay at your best then you should use the downtime that you have to relax and prepare yourself for that upcoming meeting or presentation.

Flying Through Airports

If you are traveling for just a short amount of time then ditch the suitcase and just take a carry-on, you’d be surprised at the size of bag which you are now allowed in the plane and you can fit at least 3 or 4 days worth of clothing in your carry-on. This will cut down your waiting time and check-in time at the airport and allow you to breeze through the airport once you leave the plane.

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Confessions of a Solo Traveller!

The average Solo Traveller has much wisdom to impart to first timers...
Photo by CC user ktoine on Flickr

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.

To the ones that arrive at it, travelling is contagious! Once you’ve made friends with your inner globe trotter, there’s no saying “No” to travel – which even includes discovering a lost structure in your own city! I have often seen people that don’t travel or travel less wonder what’s the fuel that keeps every traveller moving? There are great travel offers that tempt one to travel a little more now a days. We seem not to stop. At all. I say, it’s “Curiosity” – The curiosity to stretch the vision and discover what lies beyond that big old oak tree that is stationed at the backyard. Not many would be interested, but the traveller. I love travelling and exploring!

So when did I touch base with my inner voyageur? Back during my school days when I used to come back home alone! My school bus used to drop me to a nearby by juncture. From there to my house, it was a solo walk that I had. And on my way sometimes I would traverse to the narrow lanes of my locality and sit beside a rivulet. And on other times I would wander about in a temple shrine, tea stall and even an old English watch shop that was located in an extreme corner of a lane. In retrospect I realize, that was the time when I had made a secret pact with the Universe that someday I would travel alone.

On My Travelling Alone

Sometimes I see people coming up with an eyebrow raising reaction on the aspect of travelling alone! Most are scared or I should say inhibited to take that leap! But when you travel alone an entire new world opens up for you. I can say this with confidence today, because I have been on a solo tour to Istanbul and explored places like Marrakesh and Morocco. That first trip as a solo traveller was one to remember.

There’s no denying that I love to travel and experience new cultures! That’s the reason I chose Istanbul. The oriental world that throws images of “Arabian Nights” with its streets selling the Moroccan lamps, Turkish rugs and jewelleries and other accessories stirs the soul. I always felt that maybe walking into a vast ancient building or monument whilst travelling alone might make me feel really isolated and lonely. To my surprise it was quite the opposite. On my solo tour to Istanbul and Turkey as I walked into the great, grand hall of Hagia Sophia, I felt connected to the whole space around me. I recalled a quote by my favourite poet Rumi that says “Wherever you stand, be the soul of the place”. It was here in Hagia Sophia that I could feel the real essence of the line. The overwhelming ceiling and golden vault of this basilica, mosque and museum atop me made feel that I am not alone. I never was, even when I used to wander on the streets of my locality.

To travel alone means to travel with freedom! You seem to break free from your inner confinements of letting society judge you. Travelling gives perspective, pleasure and confidence to finally become the real version of who you are! It made me carefree and a wanderer – that’s what I am.

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How to Make the Most of Vegas on a Budget

At some point, everyone has thought about going to Las Vegas. It comes in pretty high on most bucket lists, considered as a trip of a life time. The swanky casinos and luxury resorts may look like they cost an arm and a leg, but there are ways to visit the four mile trip in the desert on a budget. Whatever the price, you are still able to see the best attractions without spending a small fortune.

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For $19.95 you can see Vegas meet Venice and ride on a gondola. You can choose whether you wish you to sail along the canal or lagoon at the Venetian. For you romantics, the gondolier will even serenade you with some alluring Italian music, or if you have a favorite, they even take requests.

You can further explore Europe in Vegas, yes it really is that marvelous, and take a ride up the Eiffel Tower. Whilst it may not compare to Paris, there are certainly some beautiful sights to behold. A glass elevator lifts you 460 feet above the strip allowing you to stare in awe at the stunning 360 degree view. And for just $14 during the day, or an extra $5 after 7:30pm, it’s certainly worth the money.

If you’re a thrill seeker then you should definitely try the Big Apple Roller Coaster New York. The ride travels at 67mph and boasts two inversions, featuring corkscrews with numerous twists and dives. Over one million people ride the rollercoaster each year, and as well as a rush of adrenaline, you will also get some fabulous views of the strip. For $14 why not kill two birds with one stone!?

If you’ve seen pictures of Vegas, or films featuring the strip, such as the Hangover, then you’ve definitely seen the Fountains of Bellagio. The Bellagio fountains aren’t just any normal foundations and put on their own wonderfully choreographed show. The 1,214 jets rocket streams of water up to 460 feet in the air, incredibly to the beat of whatever song is playing. And to see this spectacular show won’t cost you a penny.

You can also haggle on room rates, check what price they are online, and then ring the hotel directly to see if they can offer you a better deal. Furthermore, mention a different hotel chain and inform them that if they can’t lower their price, then you will in fact be staying at that different hotel. And you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll lower the price.

Essentially, you don’t even need to pack to visit Vegas, if you don’t have the budget, or can’t get the time off from work then visit from home. All you really need is a computer and an internet connection to visit the famous Royal Vegas Casino! After all, that’s main reason why people visit sin city. What you save on plane tickets you can spend in the casino!

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Road Safety in 2016: Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents in the US

Within just a few days it will be the official first day of spring and within just a few weeks the weather will turn warm and sunny. During late spring and early summer, an increased number of motorists hit the road after being cooped up all winter due to snow and freezing temperatures.

This year, take the time to re-check your road safety tips to ensure that you, your passengers and occupants of another vehicle are safe from crashes that could have been avoided. As a preventative measure, read and understand the following top 10 causes of car crashes in the United States.

First Some Gruesome Statistics

According to ASIRT, The Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 37,000 individuals will lose their lives in car accidents in the United States each and every year. In addition to that, it is estimated that almost 2 million others will be injured or become disabled as a result of a car crash. Here is where it gets really sad, although loss of life is sad at any time:

  • More than 1600 of those that die every year will be children under the age of 15.
  • Of those that die in car crashes, almost 8,000 deaths involved drivers between 16 and 20 years of age.
  • Of those US citizens traveling abroad, car crashes are the leading cause of death in foreign countries.

And if those statistics aren’t gruesome enough, consider the cost. It is estimated that driving accidents cost US taxpayers almost $231 billion each and every year. Not only is there a cost in human life but a financial cost as well.

Leading Causes of Crashes in the US

Although these may be off by a place or two in the actual ranking, the only one that is for sure would be that in the number one position as the leading causes of crashes. The top ten causes of car crashes in the US according to the latest statistical data released by the Department of Transportation include:

  1. Distractions while Driving – Typically this is due to illegal use of cell phones but other causes include reaching over to tune the radio, talking to passengers and believe it or not, lighting a cigarette while trying to handle the wheel. Many driving teachers suggest using disposable e-cigs that can simply be puffed with no distractions as they aren’t ever lit up.
  2. Over the Speed Limit (Speeding) – Many times the driver is going anywhere from 10 to 30 miles (or more!) above the speed limit and it is a fact that driving fast does reduce reaction times. Want to avoid an accident? Obey the speed limits.
  3. DUI (Drunk Driving) – Each state has a legal blood alcohol limit but no matter what it is, the rule of thumb is that even if you’ve had a single drink you should let someone else do the driving.
  4. Reckless / Careless Driving – This can be the result of a number of careless behaviors when behind the wheel. From speeding to improper change of lanes to tailing too close, if you are not obeying the traffic laws, chances are you are being careless.
  5. Weather (Especially Rain) – Not only does heavy rain create poor visibility but rain on oil-slicked roads makes it difficult to stop on the drop of a dime. Snow and high winds are also weather-related causes of traffic accidents but not nearly as numerous as those related to rain.
  6. Failure to Stop at Traffic Lights – What needs to be said about running a red light? If you fail to yield the right of way while another car is traveling through the intersection, an accident will probably ensue with you being at fault.
  7. Failure to Obey Stop Signs – Next in line is failing to stop at stop signs. Just as in failure to yield the right way at red lights, failing to stop at stops signs is a leading cause of crashes.
  8. Teen Drivers – No one is singling out teen drivers to be mean. The reality is that they are simply inexperienced and typically more careless than older, more seasoned drivers. With age comes experience so if you are a teen, it is better to be slow than sorry. Slow down, learn the rules of the road and be patient. Good driving will come in time.
  9. Impaired Vision of Night Driving – Typically it is elder drivers who have trouble with night vision but there are younger adults who also suffer this impairment as well, so if you have trouble seeing at night either find an alternate driver, wait until daylight to travel or simply slow down and take it easy.
  10. Defects within the Design of the Vehicle – Every day you hear of a class action lawsuit involving recalls that were never made. Defects within the design of the car come in as number 10 in the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States.

So here you have the top ten causes of car crashes in the United States and some pretty gruesome statistics. Don’t leave yourself open to being on the wrong side of the coin so learn these causes and work to avoid them. Your life and the lives of those you love could depend on it.

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5 Destinations that Should Be On Your Radar for 2016

Prague Destination

Looking for the hottest destinations for the new year? Here are 5 destinations that should be on your radar for 2016. So make sure your passport is up to date and choose one of these travel destinations!

Cuba
cuba destination

With United States and Cuban relations beginning to normalize (indeed the U.S. embassy in Havana has reopened) there is no better time to visit this Caribbean jewel than now. How often can you fly to a McDonald’s free country just miles of the Florida coast. Cuba’s unique culture includes much more than antique cars and beautiful beaches (though those are not to be missed.) Once you get down there don’t forgot to spend days admiring Havana’s architecture or the island’s jungles.

Myanmar
Formally known as Burma, this country was also off limits to tourists until recently. This beautiful southeast asian nation is located on the northern coast of the Indian Sea and borders the l0ng time tourist hub of  Thailand. From its countless historic temples and ancient cities to spectacular views, Myanmar is not to be missed. Though this country has spectacular beaches, they may take some getting to as the infrastructure still needs some works. Myanmar’s remoteness is also its biggest asset as it will allow for an amazing crowd-less opportunities, hard to find in neighboring nations.

Argentina
This giant South American country gives travelers extreme variety; the chance to explore tropic jungles in the north, the over the top Andes,the rolling cattle plains , the long bikini crowded Atlantic beaches, and the ultimate penguin photo ops of Patagonia; for tips on landscape photography, be sure to read David Gibbeson’s blog (https://davidgibbeson.com/). Remember Buenos Aires, famous for its cultural sophistication and loud architecture. Don’t forgot you dancing shoes!

Vietnam
Recently tourists have been coming to Vietnam in increasing numbers. Many are coming for the deep and fascinating history others for the wild jungles. There is also no shortage of breathtaking beaches. Yet another reason not to miss Vietnam is its food. The Vietnamese food scene is blossoming both internationally and locally so no better time to get your food in the door and start exploring the fascinating cuisine of this culture.

Czech Republic
Prague Destination

There is no better time to visit the Czech Republic than now. This notoriously affordable European nation is even more so due to a strong dollar. Czech is a travel destination that should be on your list because it is one of the few countries you can enjoy traditional European cities and villages while staying on a budget. Prague’s remarkable cathedrals and bridges are worth the trip alone, not to mention the beer!

So I hope one of these 5 destinations that should be on your radar for 2016 striked your interest for the new year. Countries are always changing so what is an idyllic beach today could be a crowded tourists hub by next year. So get out there as soon as you can and don’t forgot the camera!

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