Travel Tips For People With Chronic Back Pain


Travel can be stressful for anyone, but it is extra stressful for those with chronic back pain. Whether by car, bus, train or plane, prolonged sitting is the hallmark of long-distance travel. For people with back pain, this often means increased pain.

There are steps travelers can take to reduce the negative impacts that travel has on their backs. Consider the following list of tips to bring the merry back into this holiday season.

Find Ways To Move: Inactivity leads to stiff muscles and joints. Motion is needed to get blood pumping through your tissues. Those who drive their own vehicle while traveling have the advantage of being able to take several breaks to stretch and move around. People using trains and buses are more limited, but can take advantage of stops. Plane travelers find themselves at the most disadvantage in this area.

It may feel odd, but it is possible to stretch while on a plane. Be courteous of fellow passengers and flight staff. You can ask staff if you may walk up and down the aisle between snack services, and ask your seat neighbor if he or she minds if you do some light stretching. Seat stretches are non-invasive by nature, so it is unlikely anyone would object. See the link at the bottom of this page for examples of stretches to do on a plane.

Make Use of Seating Aides: No matter what kind of dreadful seat you're given, you can make use of inexpensive ergonomic seating aides to maximize comfort. Foot rests are handy for people who won't have the option to adjust seat height. Dangling feet leave the job of supporting the legs to the lower back, pelvis and thighs, causing strain on muscles and joints.

Lumbar support cushions are available for people who have a hard time maintaining their lumbar curve while sitting. This is a common problem, especially for people with weak cores. The cushion will help to maintain natural spinal curvature, which takes pressure off of muscles and discs.

Cushions can be of great assistance to people with sciatica. Sitting can exacerbate sciatica pain because it causes further compression of the nerve. A cushion can limit the pressure placed on the buttocks.

Sitting Posture: Proper posture is important for everyone, but is of key importance to people traveling with disc-related back pain like sciatica. While lumbar cushions and foot rests may be enough to relieve back pain for some people, those with sciatica should consider another seat feature: reclining.

A study by Canadian and Scottish researchers assessed the MRI results of the effects various sitting angles have on spinal discs. A 135 degree angle between the thighs and the upper body was found to place the least amount of stress on the discs of the spine. Sciatica and other nerve problems are often caused by disc herniation and bulging, therefore reclining slightly backward is optimal. This may not be possible while driving your own vehicle; if you have a fellow passenger, switch on and off and recline in the passenger's seat. Note: While reclining, it is important to avoid craning your neck forward. A neck cushion could help you to maintain your natural cervical spine curve.

More on the above study can be viewed at http://www.radtech1895.com/2008/05/mri-reveals-the-best-sitting-position.html/. See http://www.fitsugar.com/Plane-Stretches-Flying-3747822 for ideas on stretching on a plane.

Take the doom and gloom out of holiday travel this season by getting educated on the ways in which you can alleviate back pain during your trip. Attention to your bodily needs and a little help from ergonomics may be all you need to travel comfortably.

Education in back pain is the cheapest form of self preservation. Learn about what causes back pain and 4 other things that cause sciatic nerve pain.

Important Travel Tips to Enrich Your Nairobi Holidays

Nairobi is a striking Kenyan city which tempts many tourists to book cheap tickets on flights to the region. The city boasts a splendid variety of wildlife and natural wonders. The travellers crave for Nairobi holidays to be a part of this magnificent city. It is best to be fully prepared when it comes holidays in the city. Various factors like hotels and safety must be taken care of. Follow some important travel tips to make your holidays in Nairobi unforgettable.

Ensure Your Safety

Nairobi is not exactly the safest place on the earth. There have been frequent reports of robbery and theft cases in the region. Foreign tourists are undoubtedly most at risk, however proper caution and basic safety measures will ensure that you have a trouble-free holiday in the city. One must not encourage interaction with strangers. Avoid wearing valuable ornaments and carrying huge amount of cash to shun the chances of robberies. There are some areas in the city which are considered as unsafe and must be avoided especially during night time.

Choose Safe Accommodation

After you have booked air tickets to Nairobi, you can make reservations in good recognized hotels as they guarantee safety of the guests and their belongings. Certain cheap hotels in the Nairobi may not be safe for tourists and must be avoided. If you are landing at the airport at odd hours, it is best to opt for a certified taxi. Walking alone at night is highly prohibited. If you have no choice other than to walk, then stay in groups or hire a night guard to guide you on the way.

Put small locks on your baggage. This deters thieves from digging through your luggage. For carrying the valuables, the best means is to carry money belts or pouches around your neck or waist.

Health Safety

Heath safety is one major concern of the travellers booking cheap tickets to Nairobi. This safari hub of Kenya is known for massive epidemics of yellow fever, cholera, and typhoid. One should avoid eating sea food and junk food from the local markets and stalls. Shun the use of tap water and rely only on bottled mineral water to keep away from water borne diseases. The travellers can also get themselves vaccinated for such diseases before travelling to Nairobi.

If you are visiting the wildlife parks and other bushy areas in the city such as Nairobi National Park and National Museum, prefer wearing full sleeves clothes and keep a mosquito repellent handy to prevent yourself form the threat of malaria.

Shawn Trelly is an article writer. He provides important guidelines about holiday destinations, tours and trips, hotels. Find more about Cheap Tickets, Travel Tips to Nairobi.

Business Travel Tips You Should Pay Attention To


As business becomes more and more popular through tools like the internet, and as business people are more able to work remotely, we are only going to see an increase in the number of people who travel overseas for business, or at least keep in touch with their own business back home whilst they are travelling. The purpose of this article is to share with business entrepreneurs six great tips they should pay attention to. Following these tips will make your travel easier, and help reduce any hassles that you may have.

Sign up for frequent flyer rewards and hotel points programs- If you are travelling regularly, you need to sign up for a frequent flyer program and try to fly with the same airline. There may sometimes be cheaper deals out there but if you travel regularly the frequent flyer points you redeem become more valuable as you can exchange them for further free flights down the track. The same goes for hotel accommodation. Look for an international chain with a rewards program and try to stick to that chain, no matter where you are traveling to in the world.

Get a smart phone with WiFI Access- Most major metropolises throughout the world are littered with free WiFI networks. Do yourself a favour and get a smart phone that has WiFI access so you can check your emails regularly whilst you are travelling- you might be sitting at a Starbucks or ordering at McDonalds. This means that you can avoid exorbitant roaming charges for data.

Buy a global roaming SIM card- You shouldn't use your home mobile phone when travelling as roaming charges are huge. You will also pay to receive calls. It's a huge rort. You should instead use a global roaming SIM card. Outgoing call rates will be a fraction of the cost of what you would have spent with your home phone and you will not have to pay to receive calls in many countries.

Buy a tablet device or a Kindle- Reading a book is often a great way to pass time when you are on a long haul flight. The problem with many books though is that they are bulky. Do yourself a favour and get a tablet device or at the very least, an eBook reader like the Kindle. The reason I would more likely recommend the tablet device (think iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab) is that you can also play games or video and music files as well as read eBooks.

Buy toiletries when you get to where you are travelling- Don't pack toiletries in your bag as there is nothing worse than shaving cream or moisturizer exploding and making a mess of your clothes. Buy it when you get there or use the toiletries supplied by your hotel.

Pack light- People pack too much when they travel. Don't fall in to this trap. Pack light because chances are you'll only actually need a fraction of what you do pack or, if you really need something, you can buy it when you get to where you are travelling.

These are 6 business travel tips that you should pay attention to. If you travel regularly, following these tips is bound to make your life easier.

If you are considering purchasing an international prepaid SIM card, check out some international prepaid SIM card reviews here. Click here for reviews on international prepaid SIM cards.

Budget Travel Tips to Krabi

As much as we all love to travel, we also love to save as much money as we can while on the go. Be it on shopping, dining or even tours, saving money during a holiday is considerably a hard thing to do. Especially if you come from a more affluent country such as the West, because you tend to think everything is cheap even when it is not considered so in a local context.

Krabi
Krabi, Thailand, is a hot tourist destination due to its cheap food, lodging and available tours. Apart from Krabi, there are also a number of popular holiday destinations in Thailand such as Phuket, Phi Phi, Surat Thani, Lanta, Pang Nga and Trang. These few places are constantly packed with travelers from all over the world. So how do you save your money and still get the best out of your vacation in Thailand?

Eat the Local Way
A fancy restaurant does not necessarily guarantee the quality of food. Head over to where the locals eat. Following the rule of thumb, if there is a crowd in a particular food house, then the food there should be good. After all, the locals know best.

Bargain, Bargain Bargain!
The locals can spot a foreigner easily especially if you are not of Asian descent. It's also very common for them to try their luck and jack up their sales price when they see a potential tourist-customer. So do not be deceived and put your bargaining skills to test. Never settle for the first price they offer you - always try to reduce or pretend to walk away if they refuse because it's very likely that they will call for you with a price that is way lower than the first one. But of course, you also have to be reasonable in the price you quote.

Go During Off-Season
If you visit Thailand between Jan and May or July to Nov, chances are you will get a free upgrade to bigger rooms without having to top up. Sometimes, hotel rooms are also cheaper than stated.

Walk or Rent a Bike
Forget taxis! If the place is near, then just walk there instead of flagging a cab. The streets of Krabi and Phuket are always filled with shops so it is not really a lonely and boring walk. Otherwise, rent a bike. Renting a bike is very common in Thailand and cheap too. You can check with your resort's front desk if they have any motorbike rental services. If they do not, then just walk out and you will definitely see at least one motorbike rental shop out there.

Make Friends with the Locals
You will be surprised at how willing the Thai locals are to share with you good places to eat, shop and stay. If you are lucky, they may even invite you for dinner and maybe stay over at their own house!

Plan your vacation to Krabi, Phuket or Phi Phi with Krabifinder today! Krabifinder features the best accommodations (exclusive rates!), nightlife and dining options in these places.

Top Travel Tips For Tanzania Safari

Are you going on a Tanzania safari tour? You're in luck because this is one of the most interesting places you could visit in Africa. However, you wouldn't want to go out there unarmed. Make sure you read the best travel tips about Tanzania safari first.

For one, if you're going there to photograph the best views of the wildlife, you should know that the best lighting is during the morning and the afternoon. Make sure you schedule your Tanzania safari tours during these times so you won't lose out on all the great sights. You should also get a Tanzania safari guide who has positioning expertise so you can drive up as close to the animals as possible without risking your safety.

If you're photographing people, don't take shots before asking for their permission. Some tribes find this very offensive, especially the Maasai. You will be given time to take photographs of natives during the tour, although you might be asked to pay a certain fee for this privilege.

Are you interested in the variety of wildlife in Tanzania? Then you should hire a guide who's an expert in this. A lot of Tanzanians are, but you want to look for a team you can trust with your life. Bring a good pair of binoculars and let these guides lead your Tanzania safari tour. They're not only good at telling you about the culture of Tanzanian tribes and the habits of these animals. They're also pretty good at spotting wild animals which you won't be able to see if you were alone and just looking through your binoculars.

There are a lot of accommodations available in Tanzania. During your safari tour, you can ask to stay in lodges, permanent tents, or mobile tents. While some of the lodges offer top accommodations, you should still bring health necessities. Make a list of your medicines and make sure you didn't leave them behind. You should also bring medication against malaria and diarrhea. The animals in the Tanzania aren't the only ones that run wild. You should also protect yourself from insect bites by wearing a strong repellent. The sun's also harsh, especially at noon, so don't forget your sunscreen.

You won't go hungry on your safari trip because most travelers find the native food pleasing. There are also lodges that offer western meals, so you'll feel right at home. Just watch out for the temperatures because they range from 50 degrees to 80 degrees C, depending on what time of the day it is. If you really want to see a lot of action during your Tanzania safari, go there during the dry season because it's when most animals come out to hunt for food.

Sue Mitchell has written many articles on Zambia Safari, having a large number of articles published on various well reputed internet sites. Check out for more about Tanzania Safari

Travel Tips and Tricks

Before you even think about heading out the door on vacation this summer, plan, plan and plan. You will be very thankful you did!

1. PREPARATION

    * Ask yourself and your family, "What would we really like to do this summer?" Then write it on your calendar and make it happen. My son just asked me if we could visit the Statue of Liberty. He's 9 and has never seen it although we live 50 minutes away. I will ask my husband to pick a date in July to take off from work and then it will go on my planner. That's how things get done.

    * Plan as much as you can from the comfort and convenience of your own house using your phone and computer. This includes: Internet searches, directions, restaurant/hotel reservations, tickets of any kind such as park passes, airline, train, bus etc. You will save time, money and energy this way.

    * Have one "home" for all your travel information. As you're researching all you want to do on vacation, take that information and create a hanging file folder, a three-ring binder or an accordion folder. It doesn't matter what you use as the "home" for your paper plans, just stick to one place. If you're an electronic person, make yourself a digital "vacation" folder.

    * Call ahead to your final destination to see what amenities they offer so you know exactly what to pack, what's free and other pertinent information you may want to schedule into your trip.

    * Have a flexible, tentative schedule of what you would like to do on which days of your vacation. Otherwise, you may waste time in trying to decide what to do.

    * Be sure you have a "House List" for the person taking care of your home while you're gone. Write down all your To Do's for that person such as exactly what to do with the mail, plants, pets etc.

    * Copy your itinerary for a responsible person back home and also leave him/her your house key.

    * Leave the house clean, beds made and laundry done so that your only chore returning home is unpacking. Schedule a grocery store order to be delivered on the day you return home to an empty refrigerator. (Don't forget to purge the refrigerator and take out the garbage before you leave!) Or better yet, make a couple of meals before you leave and freeze them. Ask the person taking care of your house to defrost one meal the day before you return.

    * If you are driving, preset your GPS.

    * If you are flying, consider shipping your items to your destination rather than paying per suitcase especially if you're staying with family. Additionally, borrowing their washing machine and toiletries is a great way to save on packing.

2. ELECTRONICS

These items tend to be a top priority these days that most people wouldn't even consider leaving home without them.

    * Smart Phone. Make sure your travel contacts are entered already, ensure it's fully charged and synch it to your computer before you leave if that is how you back it up. (If you have a BlueTooth device, make sure that is charged too.) Also, know how to lock and unlock it.

    * GPS. Plug in all addresses for destination purposes. Charge it.

    * Camera/Video. Make sure the battery is charged and the memory card is empty and ready to go. Take a second memory card with you if you plan to take hundreds of pictures and lots of video.

    * Laptop. Make sure your security program is set. Have it charged and definitely back it up before you leave.

    * iPod. Download your traveling music/audio books and of course charge it.

    * If you don't already own a label maker now's the time to get one. With your label maker, make a label for each connecting cord or charger you own so you will know what black wire goes to what piece of equipment.

    * Take a Ziploc baggie and put all your now labeled cords and chargers into one bag. You'll know where to go when something needs to be charged. And write a list with a sharpie (or the label machine) on the outside so you don't leave any important wires behind!

3. SUITCASE

Packing and unpacking can be a little easier with the following advice.

    * Layout and layer your wardrobe for the trip and then take only half. Wear an outfit twice and choose one color scheme. The color black travels well and always wear your bulkiest items on travel days. Remember less is more especially when traveling. Additionally, check the weather at the location you are destined for.

    * Compartmentalize your luggage and pack a kitchen garbage liner for laundry to come home with. You may want to try asking your children to create a "bag" a day by placing each outfit into a large baggie.

    * Under pack your shirts and buy new souvenirs shirts if you like to do that.

    * Absolutely use a packing list. Take a copy with you, edit it as you go through your trip and then repack according to the list on the way home. If you go to the same destination again as some like to do, you'll be glad you took notes relative to the list when you end up packing again the following year.

    * Pack a collapsible duffle bag to store purchases for the way back. Better yet, ship your goodies home.

    * Utilize a tote or backpack for travel day with all travel necessities such as a bottle of water, book, and pocketbook items. Then switch to a smaller purse or fanny pack for bare essentials when you get settled. Now you'll have a choice between a backpack for day trips to the waterparks and a small one for nights out on the town.

    * Make sure your luggage is tagged and put something on it like a colorful bandana so you know it's yours when you see it drop of the luggage carousel. Additionally, not only should you have a luggage tag on the outside but also place your contact information somewhere on the inside too.

    * If you take a lot of medications, make sure you have an extra day or two of pills just in case you don't get home on time as planned.

4. FAMILY VACATIONS (aka Traveling with Kids)

    * Work around their natural biorhythms by keeping their sleeping and eating times as close to normal as possible. Adults might want to consider sleeping pills depending on how and where you're traveling to.

    * Pack your own snacks and beverages. It will be healthier, cost effective and you can put that insulated bag in your kitchen to good use.

    * Stop at the library and dollar store before leaving town for those new items for the kids, books, movies, tapes and travel games.

    * Choose hotels that have pools, playgrounds, game rooms and even programs for children. Arrive with enough time to settle in and play before a meal and then bedtime.

    * Don't forget that they have interests too. So if your daughter loves animals; make sure one of your vacation days you get to a zoo. If your son loves baseball, get tickets to a local team.

    * Have Road Rules. For example, give the family a budget, pass out individual envelopes with a certain dollar amount in it and when it's gone, it's gone. Help your children and yourself choose activities over possessions such as going dolphin watching instead of acquiring a new Mickey Mouse watch.

    * If you are traveling by plane make sure you have gum and lollipops for going up and coming down and enough activities to distract them from crying.

    * Have children keep a travel journal is educational and self-entertaining for young ones. Try "Travel Bug: A Travel Journal for kids 7-14" by Linda Schwartz.

    * Consider your travel time together opportunity to deepen your relationships. Get to know each other better by asking what each person would like to learn and do this summer. Take notes and when you get home, type up your notes and hang the Family's Summer Goals 2011 on the refrigerator. Take these goals and then set dates and times to follow up and encourage your family to be successful.

    * In your car, keep a roll of paper towels with a rubber band around it so it doesn't unravel and stuff a few plastic bags inside for instant garbage cans. And wipes aren't just for kids; the grown-ups can make quite a mess of their coffee spills too. Of course you should have a fully packed first aid kit as well and always keep the gas tank full.

    * When packing clothes for children pack the "junky" clothes; underwear and socks, which you wouldn't even donate and then you can dispose of them nightly.

    * Another opportunity while stuck on a ride is to review the kids chore chart and see what could be improved upon, deleted or added too as the children are now out of school with more time on their hands to help out around the home.

    * Train travel is fun for kids. They are able to remain active, use the facilities anytime they need and make new friends.

    * Relax around your children and don't have high expectations.

5. SENTIMENTAL SOUJOURNS WITHOUT SILLY SOUVENIRS

Just because you go on a vacation doesn't mean the family now owns a "clutter license". Be cognizant of the fact that most remembrances end up as junk shortly down the road. Resist the take-home tourist trap!

    * Before you purchase that souvenir ask yourself, "Where will this live in my house when I get home and what is its' life expectancy?" Depending on your answers you might just not make the purchase. If you have children, give each child a "Travel Treasure Box". No one is allowed to bring home souvenirs that cannot fit into the box.

    * Keep a travel journal instead of collecting mementos. Insert postcards of where into it.

    * Create a photo album/scrapbook from your pictures instead of acquiring keepsakes.

    * Purchase a dvd of where you were or a book so your memories will be enhanced and you'll learn more about where you've been.

    * Live in the present. If you're busy buying trinkets you're skipping the essence of the journey.

6. SAFETY & SECURITY

    * Ensure your vital documents are up to date, know where they are AND make sure a trusted loved one knows where they are too.

    * Copy and scan your itinerary to one file in your computer. Then email it to yourself. Just in case it gets lost, you can always retrieve the information online.

    * Do the same thing with the contents of your wallet. Copy all your credit cards, insurance card and identification items in case of theft.

    * When traveling with small children: make sure they have identification on them, dress them in clothes that are bright and easy to spot (Take a picture of them on your cell phone at the beginning of each day so you remember what they are wearing.) Keep a school photo of each child with his/her height, weight, sex, eye color and hair color written on the back just in case you need this for the authorities to help you search for lost children. Have them memorize your cell phone number so an adult can call you. And very important, make sure they know the "If I Get Lost, What Do I Do?" plan which you will decide on in advance.

    * If you like, you can tuck money, Travelers Checks, credit cards and a passport into a neck pouch or specialty belt designed just for security purposes.

    * Especially watch your luggage and yourself in situations where there are a lot of people such as tourist locations, airports, rest stops or train stations.

    * Keep a low profile including your clothes, jewelry and locked luggage.

    * Take your packing list with you and keep a copy in your wallet in case you need to put in an insurance claim for your luggage. Remember in air travel they do not reimburse you for jewelry (wear your fake jewelry), electronics and cash so do not pack them in a suitcase.

7. THE WRAP UP

    * Empty all suitcases within 12 hours of getting home.

    * Go through all your papers from your one "home", purge what you don't need any more and make a reference file for the information you'd like to save for the next time.

    * Write out all your thank you cards if needed within one week of your return. You can even do picture cards from your vacation. Try www.SendOutCards.com.

    * Download your photos and develop your favorites. Create a photo album or photo gifts instead of purchasing souvenirs.

    * When you receive your next credit card statement, ensure that all the vacation charges were indeed correct.

At POSSE (Professional Organizing Solutions Serving Everyone) we cater to homeowners who want one-on-one help with their organizing endeavors whether it's their space, papers or time. Besides transferring these organizing skills to our clients, we also hold organizing classes called Clutter Corrals, have a monthly forum for supporting each other called POSSE's Pen and we also give organizing presentations as well. To learn more about the author and owner, Jean Marie Herron, and sign up for her free newsletter go to http://www.POSSEPartnersLLC.com.

Low Budget Travel Tips

The easiest answer to go on a low budget vacation is choosing your hotels and restaurants wisely. The following destinations in the world will let you enjoy your vacation to the fullest, while not affecting your budget.

Ios, Greece
Ios is widely known for the vibrant nightlife and parties. Hotels here start at a very low price of $13.50 a night! That's pretty much a good amount for vacation rentals. At sunset, you will find numerous people from all over the world filled in the discos and partying. Greek, Italian, Thai, Cuisines are not at all an issue here. But, make sure you check the restaurant prices before eating there!

Margarita Island, Venezuela
Located off the coast of Venezuela, the Margarita Island is a tropical paradise having tons of beaches. Margarita boasts vacation rentals for hotels at only $13.50 a night too! It is best known for the scuba diving, fishing and horseback riding. Night clubs and bars are not a problem. There are tons around the island for you to visit and party hard. You can get food from all over the world here, although Margarita is mostly known for its finger licking sea food, and it's inexpensive!

Santiago, Chile
The capital of Chile surrounded by the exquisite Andes mountains offers mind boggling scenery. Hotels here are dirt cheap too! It's known for the beaches and its world renowned skiing hills. Walking around the city will take you through tons of markets and beautiful parks. Its nightlife is quite a turn on too! Like Margarita, you will find food from all over the world here, though the seafood is the best to have! It's one of the places for cheap vacation rentals.

Prague, Czech Republic
This beautiful Roman city, although slightly more expensive than other places, have reasonably priced vacation rentals at $23 a night! Like other Roman cities, Prague has beautiful building built over a thousand years ago. Prague is known worldwide for its nightlife. You can get any kind of food here, from Thai to Russian.

Costa Rica
Considering the breathtaking vivid scenery in Costa Rica, the vacation rentals here range from only $7 to $15 a night! Costa Rica is probably one of the places to go for if you want to see nature's beauty, like beautiful mountains, beaches, parks, rivers, and of course - Monteverde.

Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, boasting vacation rentals at $9 a night, is a bargain for this paradise. The breathtaking view of the mountains and the ocean surrounding the city is a must see. The Whistler Mountain is great for skiing or just admiring the beautiful lakes and valleys. Entertainment here is a breeze; and so is the nightlife. Vancouver is renowned for its international cuisine. You'll sit there licking your fingers!

Wisely choosing your vacation spot can help greatly reduce the cost of your vacation, and keep up with your budget! Cheap vacation home rentals are sometimes difficult to find. But when you do, you'll love the amount of time and money you save!

Quick Home is a provides all kinds of Vacation Rentals for local or world wide vacations. Hundress and thousands of Vacation Rentals or Exchange are available. For more info about vacation rentals or vacation home rentals please visit the website.

Safe Travel Tips and Travel Insurance

Some of the things you should consider are, your health, the health of close relatives, employment, weather related problems, just to mention a few. In short, think of the things that could go wrong that could cause you to cancel a vacation.

So, you decided to get Travel Insurance. That was the easy part. Since 9/11 the insurance industry has seen a boom in people wanting to get travel insurance. Because of this, there are a lot of choices; which insurer to pick and what type of coverage is best. From trip interruption... to policies that include multiple components, such as baggage coverage, medical, and collision damage insurance; all must be considered.

Don't assume just because you have travel insurance you will be covered. You need to do a lot of research. Just asking questions of your travel agent or insurance agent isn't enough. You have to read the policy completely - including the small print. You may think you were covered, only to find out that your claim was rejected. Your situation may not have met all the requirements to get a refund. If this does happen, you have the right to appeal the decision.

Time wise, when should you book your travel insurance? The sooner you decide, the better. If something happens after you booked your trip, but before you added travel insurance you are SOL! So, the only way to know if the policy you pick is right, is to research and ask questions.

There is a lot to consider in travel safety. Some is out of your hands, but there is a lot you can do to keep your vacation safe. The most important is being aware. This sounds easy, but don't be fooled; it's some thing you have to work at. Research where you are going so you know more of what to expect. If the cab driver tells you this is your destination you will know if it is the right place. Educate yourself to know approximate distances, so you are not taken advantage of by cab drivers.

When you are out and about, enjoy yourself, but stay aware of your surroundings. Look around; are you going into an area that doesn't look right? Is there som one watching you, is there a group of people who look out-of-place? Don't listen to your MP3 player. You need to hear what's happening around you. Let someone know where you will be going.

If something doesn't look or sound right, chances are it isn't. So you need to know what you should do to correct your situation. There are a lot of things you can get or do to make your travel safer; money belts, locks, etc. I will cover many of these in a future travel blog. Unless you learn to be aware of what's happening around you, your vacation could end badly.

With these few simple rules, you can do as much as possible to keep you and your traveling companions out of harms way. Simply put, always be aware of your surroundings; unless you can afford to hire a body-guard to do it for you! Watch for my next blog on safe travel.

Our love of travel inspired us to create http://www.travelluggageplus.com. Carole and Dan love to travel and keep a journal on each and every trip they take. Dan is the ultimate packer, always coming up with space saving, new exciting tips or unusual new ideas for travel luggage tips. Plan your future destinations with new affordable luggage & handbags, along with great travel tips on our website.

Carole and Dan Herkenhoff
CDH Web Enterprises, LLC

Europe Budget Travel Tips

Full of history, great culture and beautiful architecture and natural landscapes, Europe is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, but it is also one of the most expensive. Finding a cheap flight is a good way to start saving money on your European trip, however once you are there, accommodation, food and transport costs can quickly chew through your budget.

Although Europe can be expensive, there are many ways to save money and travel this great continent even if you are a budget traveller. Here are some tips on how to travel Europe on a budget.

Accommodation

Hostels:
One of the best ways to save money in Europe is to stay in hostels. You may think that hostels are only for 20 something backpackers looking to party, but in truth there are hostel options for all types of travellers. The cheapest hostel rooms are known as dorms, where you get your own bed in a shared room that usually house from 4-10 people, as well as a shared bathroom. Most hostels also offer private rooms, some just as nice as a hotel room but at a much cheaper price.

Camping:
Even cheaper than hostels, camping can be a great option. In Europe there is an excellent amount of convenient camp grounds, often even within major cities. And these camp grounds have excellent facilities such as bathrooms, cooking areas and shuttle buses to take you to the nearest town or city.

Last minute deals, multiple night stays and advanced bookings:
If you want to stay in hotels, there are still plenty of ways to save money. Often hotels will offer last minute deals if they have plenty of rooms available, and give a great discount. Many hotels also offer discounts for booking more than a certain amount of nights, while others offer discounts if you book well in advance. It's a good idea to look around on hotel sites and see what is available.

Apartments:
If you're staying in a certain city for a few weeks or more, renting an apartment can be a very affordable option. The longer you stay, the more options there are to save money. For example some apartments can be rented on a weekly basis, while others are monthly. This is also a great option if you are travelling with a few people to share the cost.

Food

Cook your own:
If you are staying in a hostel, camping or renting an apartment, it is likely that you will have kitchen facilities available. Buying your food at a supermarket and cooking it your self will save you a lot of money. This doesn't mean that you have to eat every meal like this, but even one meal a day will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Eat local:
Eating where the locals eat can be a lot cheaper than eating where the tourists eat, and usually the food will be a lot better too. Often restaurants that are located close to tourist attractions will leave you with a hefty bill, while you may be able to walk a couple of blocks away and find a nice restaurant for half the price! Usually the locals know best.

Street food/take away:
It's not unusual to find different food carts or eateries located around a city, and they are a great option for saving money on food. For example: For only a couple of dollars you could buy a nice slice of Pizza in Rome, a Crepe in Paris, or a Bratwurst in Berlin.

Transport

Rail pass:
One of the best ways to travel in Europe is on the train, and a great way to save money on train fares is to buy a rail pass. There are many different passes available from single country passes to complete passes that allow you to travel all over the continent. It entirely depends on your trip, but a rail pass can literally save you hundreds of dollars.

Tourist passes:
Many cities in Europe have special tourist passes that you can buy, and they usually give you free use of their public transport systems, and also offer free or discounted entry to attractions and museums in the city.

Walking and cycling:
One of the best ways to see a city is on foot. You will always see more and have a great experience, it gives you lots of exercise and costs you absolutely nothing. Many European cities are also very bicycle friendly, and renting a bike for the day can be a great way to explore a city.

Budget airlines:
There are two great budget airlines in Europe, EasyJet and RyanAir, and together they fly all over Europe to most major destinations, and at excellent prices. This is a great option if you are short on time and want to travel faster or over larger distances.

Lease a car: If you are going to be travelling in Europe for an extended amount of time and want to hire a car, it can often be cheaper to lease a car instead. Many companies such as Peugeot lease cars for a certain amount of months.

Travel in Europe doesn't have to be as expensive as you might think, and if you use these tips, you are sure to save plenty of money on your trip through Europe.

Dean Wickham is the author of The Road to Anywhere World Travel Blog, and Go World Travel Guide. Find great practical travel information, travel stories, destination tips, guides and travel photos.

Thailand Travel Tips - What To Take

Whether you are coming to Thailand for a long holiday or a short break there are several things that might be worth bringing... and several things that aren't. A lot of them are boring things you already know about, like insect repellent and sun block, but there are a few things that you might like to bring that you probably don't usually think about.

Let's start with things not to take; firstly, clothes. Thailand is hot all year round and unless you are venturing up to the mountains in the north you really won't need "a jacket for the evening". They also dry very quickly so are easy to wash and wear the same day. If you really want to splash out, there are numerous places throughout the whole of Thailand that will wash your clothes and return them all nice and fresh the following day, at a rate of between 30 and 50 Baht per kilo. So, don't bring loads of clothes, you won't wear half of them.

Another thing you might like to re-think is chocolate. Thailand is, as I said hot and not really designed for chocolate. The type of chocolate that people tend to bring with them from America, UK and Europe tends to melt very easily. Unless you eat it very quickly or are able to store it in a fridge you will end up with a hell of a mess. Chocolate is available here by the bucket load in supermarkets and mini markets, but tends to be imported from Australia which has a higher melt temperature and isn't so nice. Sorry Australia.

Now for the things to bring that you wouldn't have thought of...

Thailand is an amazing country, and wherever you are travelling, whether it's up north around Chiang Mai, a tropical island or even in the heart of Bangkok you will be surrounded by beautiful wild life and scenery. Bearing this in mind it makes sense that the thing to bring that people often wished they had (but didn't) are binoculars. Not the huge army type ones but just a little dinky modern travel pair. Armed with this neat holiday accessory you can be the one that clearly sees the dolphins off the coast of Hua Hin, the giant Water Monitor Lizards that swim up the Chao Phraya River through the heart of Bangkok or the Crested Eagles that sail above the mountains of Chiang Mai. If you are quick you can also see the wonderful array of butterflies that glide undisturbed around the tree tops throughout the who kingdom.

The other thing that is a "must bring item" are cheap plastic flip flops (thongs if you're travelling from Australia). Everybody here wears them as they are the most comfortable and practical footwear you can own. They are cool in hot weather, won't get damaged on the beach, or swimming pool but best of all, as it's customary to take your shoes off when you enter a room it will save the endless round of unlacing, unstrapping or unbuckling.

Lastly, if you only bring one book to Thailand make sure it's a pocket guide to orchids. Thailand must be the orchid capital of the world...they are everywhere, from the airport arrival hall to your hotel and back again. This country is wall to wall orchid heaven. Make the most of it by understanding what you are looking at and impress your friends and holiday companions by pointing out the difference between the rare Bee Orchid and the highly prized Slipper Orchids.

Travel Tips by Frequent Flyers

In the movie, "Up in the Air," George Clooney's character Ryan Bingham was the ultimate example of an efficient traveler. With flight delays, baggage fees and lost luggage becoming more common, what can traveling executives learn from Bingham and real-life frequent flyers? Here are five expert travel tips to help you fly more efficiently and reduce stress when on the road.

   1. Know the facts about your destination. The first step to increasing your flying efficiency is to know the facts about where you're going and what you'll be doing. Is the trip for work, pleasure or both? What will the weather be during your stay? How many meetings and formal and informal events will you be attending? This information will inform what you need to bring and how you pack.

   2. Commit to carry-on only. With lost bags on the rise and airline luggage fees averaging $25 or more, now is the time to say goodbye to checking bags and embrace the carry-on culture. Before you start panicking about what you can't bring, realize that, if you pack correctly, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can fit into a 22" spinner carry-on. And once you experience the liberating feeling that comes with avoiding the checked-bag carousel, you'll find carry-on fun and rewarding, too.

   3. Roll, don't fold. This tried and true packing technique has been used by flight attendants for decades. Rolling - not folding - the clothes in your luggage not allows you to pack more in less space, it does wonders to avoid wrinkles, too.

   4. Know what to expect at security. How many times have you heard a Transportation Security Administration representative repeat this mantra as you worked your way through the security check-in line? Still, some people hold up the line as they fumble for their boarding pass and ID. Don't be that guy-know what to expect as you pass through security. Have your boarding pass and ID out and ready. At the x-ray machine, remove your shoes, belt, coat, jewelry, phone, PDA and loose change and place them in a plastic bin to be scanned. Laptops must be removed from their bag and also placed on the conveyor belt to be scanned. All liquids, gels and aerosols, with some exceptions such as medicines, baby formula and breast milk, must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers and placed in single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bags. Finally, keep your boarding pass and ID handy until you're through security. Once you're at the gate, you will only need your boarding pass to board the plane.

   5. Be on time, and be nice. This might seem obvious, but it's true-when you're well prepared for your trip and on time, your trip will go a lot easier and be much less stressful. Print out your boarding pass ahead of time if possible. Some airlines such as Delta now text an electronic boarding pass to your cell phone. Be at the airport on line to check in at least one hour before your boarding time. Also, be kind to the ticketing agents, flight attendants and other airline personnel. It's their job to make your trip as pleasurable as possible. They're working as quickly as possible, so cut them some slack if things get hectic. Remember they have to deal with people and deadlines all day long. Please and thank you goes a long way in the airport and on the plane.

Santo and Lynda Silvestro purchased Hoyt Livery in 1987. Throughout the years, they have created the Hoyt Experience... first-rate service beyond your expectations... from the moment you make your initial reservation until the time you reach your final destination.

Hoyt Livery is dedicated to on-the-go business professionals and today's savvy leisure travelers. Find out why people throughout Fairfield County are saying "Hoyt's Here." Visit our website at http://www.hoytlivery.com.

Money-Saving Travel Tips: Finding Holiday Travel Deals

Holiday travel can add to an already-strained budget, but there are ways you can save money on this often-expensive holiday tradition.

Here are seven holiday travel tips to help save money and reduce some of your holiday debt.

1. Book Your Holiday Travel Early
When it comes to traveling around the holidays, don't wait for a last-minute deal. Unlike the numerous sales that run between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, holiday-time airfare and hotel stays tend to be less expensive the further you are from the holiday. Once you know your plans, start shopping for the best prices for your airline ticket or hotel room.

An article on the Business Insider website recommends also taking advantage of the 24-Hour Rule. Many of the major airlines - including Alaska, Virgin America, United, US Airways and Southwest - allow you to cancel and rebook tickets purchased through their websites within 24 hours of booking without penalty. This allows you to check for a better fare the next day. Be sure to check the current policy of each airline before booking your ticket.

2. Be Flexible with Travel Dates, Routes and Airlines
On the busiest travel days - typically the day before Thanksgiving and the days leading up to and following Christmas - airfares are more expensive. If you are willing to fly on days that are not as popular, you will pay less. If you are willing to travel on the actual holiday, your savings will be even greater.

Although direct flights may be more convenient, if you are willing to have a layover during your holiday travel you can save money. Also, be sure to check not only the airport closest to you and your destination, but also check the cost of other airports in the area. Sometimes the difference in airports can increase your savings.

You shouldn't limit yourself to one airline either. Thanks to reasonably priced one-way airline tickets, you may be able to find less expensive airfare by booking through more than one airline.

3. Research Various Websites to Check for the Best Deals
There are numerous websites where you can purchase airline tickets. From Travelocity and Orbitz to the airlines' own websites. Don't just check one website and choose the best fare there. Check several of the websites to compare. Also, if you find a great airfare on a discount travel website, double-check the airline's website. Sometimes the airline will be offering the same deal on its own website without any additional fees the broker website may charge.

Remember, not all airlines have their fares available on discount websites. Typically smaller carriers - including Southwest, JetBlue, and regional airlines - do not have airfares on those websites. Be sure to check those carriers' websites too.

By considering travel packages, you can also save more on your holiday travel. Many websites will offer you special rates if you book your airfare, car rental, and/or hotel stay at the same time. Be sure to research these packages when planning your holiday trip.

4. Pack Lightly and Wisely When Flying to Avoid Fees
Real Simple warns you to beware of additional fees whenever possible. Many airlines charge fees per bag, so pack light. If you think you may go over the bag weight limit and you need everything you are packing, a second bag may cost less than the fees for overweight bags. Each carrier varies, but according to Southwest Airlines - which does not charge bag fees - some airlines may charge as much as $120 for two bags roundtrip.

Also, be sure to register your bags online instead of at the airport since many airlines will charge lower fees online.

You can use your carryon luggage to save money too. Packing snacks or even a small meal into your carryon will allow you to not have to pay the higher cost of food on the plane and at the airport. Just remember, you cannot pack liquids, like water or soda, in your carryon bags before you go through security. Beverages will have to be purchased either on the plane or in the terminal.

5. Utilize Frequent Flyer Deals and Hotel Reward Programs
If you belong to a frequent flyer program, look into deals and ways to pay for your holiday flight using your accrued points. If you plan to use your frequent flyer miles, be sure to book your flight early as many airlines limit the amount of frequent flyer fares that are available on certain flights. Also, you will need to be flexible with your travel dates since some of these programs have blackout dates.

If you are not part of a frequent flyer program, sign up for one before your holiday travel so you can enjoy frequent flyer deals next year. AskMen.com has a comprehensive article on how to maximize frequent flyer deals.

The same concept applies for hotel reward programs. Many hotel chains offer loyalty programs to encourage you to stay at their hotels by offering a point accrual system. Points can be redeemed for free nights in the hotel or merchandise.

6. Take the Train or Drive to Your Destination if You Can
Not all holiday trips need to involve a plane. In fact, if your travel destination is within a day's drive, you may be able to save significant money on your holiday travel. By driving to your destination, you will not have to pay airfare or for a car rental. Be sure to calculate the cost of gas and meals (or bring your own food to save more money) to make sure it is worth the drive.

If you choose to drive, have your car serviced before you leave. Nothing can ruin a holiday road trip like car trouble. Also, the California Travel Center recommends the following driving tips to improve your gas mileage:

    * Maintain a safe speed. Gas mileage is better under 60mph;
    * Use your cruise control;
    * Do not brake or accelerate suddenly;
    * Avoid rush hour traffic or construction when possible.

According to Triple A, three percent of holiday travelers - roughly 2.9 million people - will board buses or trains this holiday season. If your travel destination is accessible by train, this may be a less expensive method to travel and still will not require you to drive.

7. Don't Book Large Parties all at Once
According to Jennifer Calonia at Go Banking Rates, many major airlines have about ten different pricing levels for seats. When you book a large party all at once, your entire party will most likely be charged at the highest rate of the seats in the party. By booking in smaller groups, you may be able to get at least some of the seats at a lower rate and save hundreds of dollars overall.

Take the Time and Save Money
By taking a few extra steps and following the holiday travel tips above, you may be able to save some significant money this holiday season.

http://www.freescore.com

Travel Tips For Consultants

Travel is a fact of life for most consultants. Many spend 45 weeks on the road every year, and some say they wouldn't want it any other way.

We know one married couple where both are traveling consultants. They often joke that they should write a book called "Marriage on Three Days a Week" because they only see e`ch other from Thursday night to Sunday night most weeks. Of course, they take great vacations with all the frequent flier miles and hotel points, and neither one is left at home to manage the household while the other dines in restaurants every night and comes home expecting all the chores to be done.

Like many others, they have learned how to be comfortable on the road so that their travel schedules are a source of new experiences and great stories instead of a hardship. If you learn how to be comfortable in your environment, you'll do better work and last longer in this demanding field.

There are two types of consulting roles, from a travel schedule perspective. One type of consultant is the real Road Warrior who is in a different city each week, often visiting two or three different clients and staying only a couple of days each place. The other type travels to the same destination every week to work on a long-term engagement over several months. Which type of travel schedule you end up with depends as much on your personality as on your skill set.

No matter which type of travel schedule you have, there are some seemingly small things you can do to make yourself significantly more comfortable on the road.

Enroll in every frequent flier and hotel points program you can. The biggest perks in business travel come when you get a free family vacation later. All those trips to Pittsburgh might buy you a trip to Honolulu or Prague or wherever your heart leads you.

Whenever possible, use the same airline and hotel chain for every city. This helps you rack up the points faster, and it also establishes a level of comfort and familiarity for you from the moment you arrive in the city. Not every Marriott is exactly like every other Marriott, but there are enough similarities between them that you will begin to feel at home quickly.

Packing for Travel

Develop a routine for packing. Make a checklist that includes everything that you know you'll need for any trip, including items like toothbrush and cell-phone charger. Go over the checklist every single time you pack a suitcase.

If you don't follow this advice, you will eventually end up spending $200 on a "charge everything" device and using a hotel toothbrush that will rip your gums out.

   1. Always assume you will have to carry your luggage yourself. If you aren't sure you will need it, don't take it. You can always buy one there. (Don't accept engagements in locations that don't have stores.)
   2. Pack something comfortable to wear in your hotel room and clothes you can wear to work out.
   3. Plan to sleep in something you don't mind being seen wearing in public. In the event of a fire, hotels will evacuate two floors above and two floors below, even if it's just a small fire in a trash basket. That's what that loudspeaker above the bed is for.
   4. All luggage looks alike. Make your bag easy to spot on the carousel and less likely to be stolen with a few strategically placed strips of duct tape or a big pink bow.
   5. The military knows that rolled clothing does not wrinkle. Don't fold it, roll it. Turn jackets inside out, fold the collar up and press one shoulder inside the other.
   6. Think about what you pack from the perspective of Customs and Airport Security. For example, many airlines will not allow you to carry steel-tipped darts in your carry-on luggage. (Yes, one of us learned this the hard way. Not the one you think.) Carry all medication in the original packages, particularly prescription medication.
   7. Purchase two of everything you use daily, like cosmetics, razors, toothbrush, etc. Leave one set at home. Pack toiletries once and leave them packed. This way, you don't have to worry that you forgot something essential and will not notice until the middle of the night in a strange hotel room. When you run out of something on the road, replace it. (This is easier if you use common brands that are sold nationally.)

After only a few weeks of travel, you'll know exactly what you need to pack and what you don't.

Hotel Living

If you are traveling to the same city every week, pick a hotel that you are comfortable in and make friends with the people at the front desk and in Housekeeping. If you can commit to a certain number of weeks, they might even give you a break on the room rate, which is also good for your customer.

Once you've tried two or three different rooms in different parts of the hotel, you'll begin to identify specific things you like or dislike. Within a few weeks, you'll probably have a favorite room. Don't be afraid to ask for it every week. Staying in the same room every week can increase your sense of comfort and it's easier to remember what room you are in. Every one of us has been frustrated at least once by trying to open a hotel room door, only to realize that the key doesn't work because this is the room we were in last week, and we have no idea what room we have been assigned this week.

If you followed our instructions for packing and bought duplicates of all your toiletries and travel needs, you can check a suitcase with the bellman over the weekend instead of carrying it home with you. Leave your laundry with a dry cleaner over the weekend and come back on Monday to a fresh wardrobe without carrying a bag with you to the airport. That's freedom!

Make friends with the people who have control of the food. If you are eating all your meals off the Room Service menu, you will soon get bored with the choices. Encourage the person who answers the Room Service line to give you suggestions.

When Christine was working in one city where it wasn't considered safe to leave the hotel and wander around at night, she called the Room Service number one night and said, in the most pitiful voice she could muster, "I'm hungry and nothing on the menu looks good tonight. Help me!"

The Room Service voice laughed and said, "Miss Lambden, don't you worry. After all these months, I know what you like. Let me surprise you."

In addition to the best steak and the freshest salad ever served by Room Service, the waiter brought a glass of red wine and said, "The chef said to tell you that he knows you don't like red wine, but this is special. Try it with the steak. Alternate one bite of steak with one sip of wine."

She still talks about that steak. After that night, she never had to look at the Room Service menu again. When she called, she would say, "Maybe a fish tonight?" or "I'm in the mood for something chocolate."

Remember, if you are tired of the hotel menu, just imagine how the chef feels.

Since you can't eat all the time, here are some other ways to fill an evening in a hotel room:

   1. Call your mother.
   2. Read.
   3. Go to a movie.
   4. College libraries are often open late. Learn something.
   5. Work out. Remember the Freshman Fifteen in college? The life of a consultant includes too many meals in restaurants and too few long walks in the park.

If you exercise at home, try to exercise the same way when you are traveling. Find out if it's safe to walk/run outside near the hotel. This is also a great way to find the neighborhood restaurants and pubs that the travel books don't know about.

If you exercise in a gym at home, stay in a hotel with a gym and use it. If there is no gym available in the hotel, remember that many national chains have memberships that allow you to work out in any city. Like national hotel and restaurant chains, gyms are a great way to find familiar surroundings in an unfamiliar place.

Exploring new cities is a great way to get exercise and enjoy your time on the road. See the sights. Shop. Ask the people at the hotel and at work what you should be sure to see while you are in town.

We know one consultant who managed, in one year, to see Niagara Falls (working in Buffalo), the Arch in St. Louis, the Napa Valley wine country, six shows on Broadway, and Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.

Did you know that Kansas City is the City of Fountains? In the winter, the city slowly freezes some of the fountains so you see frozen ice where water flows in the summer. Just beautiful.

Did you know that you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at Grant's Farm in St. Louis? If you think they are fun to watch on Super Bowl commercials, just imagine how magnificent they are up close.

These opportunities may not present themselves again. Don't spend every evening in your hotel room.

Every city has something unique to offer and the people who live there will be happy to help you discover what is wonderful about their hometown.

Single Life on the Road

The constant-travel lifestyle is often more appealing to single people who do not have a family at home waiting for them each week. For these consultants, the only challenge is finding a way to maintain a home when you aren't there during the week.

Here are some tips:

   1. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail once or twice during the week.
   2. Install automatic light timers in your house. Install motion sensor lights outside. This makes it look like someone is home and protects your stuff. (It also makes bats and possums find another yard to live in, but that might just be an Austin thing.)
   3. Hide valuables. Burglars know all about looking in the freezer for your jewelry, but would they think to look in that bag of potting soil in the garage? Hint: Tell someone you trust where you hid them...you'll remember all the great spots you considered, and you'll forget the one you picked.
   4. Splurge a little with all that money you are making as a consultant and hire a maid service to come in and clean your house while you are gone. If you have a lawn, hire a yard service, too. The last thing you are going to feel like doing when you finally get home is housework, and you'll be happier in this job if you don't feel that you are neglecting chores.
   5. If possible, have a trusted house-sitter stay in your house. Then you won't have to worry at all.

In addition to maintaining your house, a single person on the road has to maintain a social life. When you are out of town all week, it's easy to find yourself excluded from your friends' conversations about plans for the weekend. You have to work harder to maintain those friendships at home, especially if you are also forming new friendships in the city where you are working.

It's not totally unheard of for consultants assigned to the same client week after week to form friendships, or even romantic attachments, in the city where they work. Having bonds with people all over the country can be a huge advantage professionally because your network is expanded to include all of their colleagues, as well.

Don't date someone in the client company. This can get messy. (Yeah, we know. Your situation is different. You'll handle it like grownups. We'd like to believe this, but in our experience it rarely works out that way. Even so, this is still good advice for everyone else.)

Married With Children

Life on the road is harder for those who have a family at home. You miss them and you feel guilty about leaving them behind, and even more guilty when you're having fun without them.

The same tourist attractions that enliven a single person's travel can make you miss your family even more. You find yourself thinking, "The kids would love this," or "Niagara Falls by myself? I don't think so!"

Here are some tips for making travel easier when you miss your family:

   1. Write long letters saying all the stuff you would have said if you were at home. Buy a fax machine for the house so you can send them before you go to bed and the family can read them with breakfast. (We know. Email works just as well. Except it doesn't. Handwritten letters mean more. Thdy just do.)
   2. Give the hotel's fax number to your family or set up a personal e-fax number. Encourage letters from home. Also drawings and report cards and anything else that will make you feel closer. Almost all children could benefit from the occasional writing exercise, and most of them already know how to operate a computer.
   3. Buy a small digital camera or use your cell phone to take pictures and make a "Day in the Life" slide show for the kids. Take pictures of your day from the time you wake up to the time you prepare for bed - pictures of your hotel room, your breakfast plate, your cubicle and co-workers, the bookstore you stop at after work, the restaurants you like - everything! (Trust us, they'll love it.)


Driving in Strange (translation: "New To You") Places

Weather conditions and driver courtesy rules vary from city to city. In some cities, driving is a brutal competition, and it's considered rude or suicidal to slow down for a yellow light. Someone will honk at you or run into you. In others, you'll get dirty looks if you don't yield and let a waiting car merge in front of you. On most country roads, failure to wave at passing drivers marks you as an outsider.

No matter where you are, these tips will help lessen the impact of driving during your travels:

   1. Get a map when you arrive. If you know where you are going, you are much less likely to end up in the wrong place.
   2. If you rear-end a car on the freeway, your first move should be to hang up the phone. Better yet, go hands-free when you are driving. Best of all, hang up and drive.
   3. Rent your car from the same agency every week and be extra nice. Usually, the same agents are on duty every Monday morning, so eventually they'll know you and may offer you the cool convertible or the Jag for a week at no extra charge.
   4. Not every state or city has a "right on red" law. Check with the car rental agency or look for a "No right on red" sign before you assume it's legal in any intersection where you are.
   5. If you are stopped for speeding, running a red light, driving the wrong way, or, worst of all, hitting something, be very polite to everyone involved. Of course, this is true when you aren't traveling, too, but you have a better chance of making your meeting or flight if you deal with the situation nicely.

In New York or Boston (or London or Beijing), take a cab or public transportation. Some warnings say "Don't try this at home." With regard to driving in these places, the rule is "Don't try this on the road." In other words, ask someone at your destination or consult a travel guide to find out whether it's advisable to drive yourself around.

If you are facing your first winter in a snowy climate, ask someone to teach you how to drive in icy conditions before the first blizzard. You may feel foolish, and they will definitely laugh at you, but the first time you feel your car start to slide, you'll be glad you did.

For us, just saying "I'm from Texas" is often enough to have our clients offer free driving lessons, icy conditions or not.

Air Travel Tips

Since 9/11, keeping track of the rules for air travel and getting through Security checkpoints has become more of a challenge, but the airlines have made a sincere effort to help.

Every airline and airport website has information about security requirements and how much time will be required to get to your gate. Experienced travelers quickly learn to avoid the busiest times of the day and week. In fact, we don't know a single traveling consulting who would consider flying on the day before Thanksgiving under any circumstances.

Airport websites will also give you information about other amenities that are available in the terminals. For instance, did you know that the Hong Kong airport has showers and rooms where you can take a nap? After a long flight across the Pacific ocean, a shower is a wonderful way to spend your three-hour layover between connecting flights.

The airport in Portland, Oregon, has a great mall. You can get all your Christmas shopping done between flights and have the items you bought shipped home. Oh, and did we mention that Oregon doesn't have sales tax?

The San Francisco airport has twenty different museum galleries that rotate art, culture and science exhibitions on a regular schedule. At SFO, you can't avoid being entertained and educated while you travel.

Here are some other tips for making air travel easier:

   1. When you make your reservations, ask for a seat near the front of the plane. Airlines assign seats back-to-front and families traveling with children tend to plan further ahead than business travelers, so the shrieking three year-olds are usually in the back of the plane.
   2. Always request the Exit Row. Children aren't permitted, and you get more legroom.
   3. Wear earplugs or invest in some good noise-canceling headphones if you plan to sleep. People talk louder on airplanes.
   4. Planes have only 3% humidity, so you get dehydrated quickly. Carry a bottle of water on board. (This will also keep your feet from swelling.) To keep costs and carryon weight low, carry an empty bottle and ask the flight attendant to fill it for you. On international flights, there is usually a water fountain available for passengers to serve themselves.
   5. When they say, "Limit two carry-on bags," assume they really mean it and be prepared to check everything but your purse, briefcase and laptop. A good alternative if you are in a hurry is to "gate check" your bags. Especially with smaller commuter flights, this means you get your bags immediately when you get off the plane with no stop at baggage claim.
   6. Pay attention to the safety speech every once in a while. Like washing your car to make it rain, it's just good karma. We've asked, and yes, most flight attendants feel just as silly giving the speech as you do listening to it, but the fact that no one is listening just makes their job harder.
   7. To prevent a stiff neck from sleeping on a plane, ask the flight attendant for a blanket, roll it up and wrap it around your neck before you fall asleep. Your head won't roll from side-to-side, you won't snore and you won't look nearly as ridiculous as those people drooling on their neighbor's shoulder. They make C-shaped pillows that do this, but that's just one more thing to carry with you. We prefer to travel light.

While you are traveling, do everything you can to make your life easier. When you are enjoying yourself, you are better prepared to perform at work, and you'll be more successful.

Cubicles and conference rooms are the same everywhere. The work won't change, but taking the time to make friends with the people around you, at work and at the hotel, will make all the difference in the world to how well you do it.

Christine Lambden and Casey Conner are the authors of two books that relate to consulting: Everyday Practices of Extraordinary Consultants (2008) and Extraordinary Interviews (2009). They are also the founders and primary instructors at http://www.ConsultingStance.com, an online community and training resource for consultants. They have a combined total of more than 35 years in the consulting industry and their advice is based on personal experience in the trenches as consultants, clients, and consulting firm owners.

- Packing Light

When it comes to travelling these days, the less time you can spend in line at the airport, the better. Every time you fly, your goal is to get in and out as fast as possible, with as little hassle as possible. The key is to pack light. Here are some simple travel tips to make that happen.

If at all possible, the best way to travel is just with a carry-on, so you don't have to waste all that time wading through a sea of all that checked luggage rolling around on the conveyor belt. If you have to check luggage, you still want to keep it light, and keep it to one bag only.

You may be scoffing right now, but it is all entirely possible. Here's how you do it.

1. Start with a great suitcase. Something durable. Something colorful. Something with wheels and a retractable handle. Something that has lots of organized compartments and front pouches for important things you may need to access.

2. Know what you need to bring, and what you need to leave behind. Make a list. Pack your suitcase the week before your vacation, and then return to it the next day with a critical eye, and take out every single thing you absolutely don't need. No "what-ifs" allowed.

3. Stick to a color palette for your clothes. Start with a neutral color that you can mix and match with lots of things, such as beige or black or cream. Then, add in color in your accessories. The goal is to make sure every single thing you pack, goes with everything else.

4. Be sensible with your shoes. They take up a lot of space, and it just doesn't make sense to bring six different pairs for different outfits. Wear your comfortable walking shoes on the plane, pack your sandals and one (yes, I said one) nice pair of shoes for going out. Throw in folding slippers for the hotel, and flip-flops for the beach, and you'll still have lots of room for everything else.

5. Pack a few scarves or light shawls, and some funky necklaces and bracelets and you can turn any dress into three or four entirely different outfits.

6. Invest in a good Toiletry Kit, so you're not bringing giant bottles of product, but just the amount you need. This will also help you get that carry-on through security if you make sure your toiletry kit is compliant with flight regulations. Most of them even come with a hook, so you can hang it on the back of the bathroom door when you're at your hotel.

7. Don't pack books, buy a Kindle reader and leave your stack of vacation paperbacks at home.

8. Don't forget you can buy things you may need when you arrive, such as toothpaste, shampoo or sunscreen. No need to bring it from home.

9. Last, but not least, invest in one of those incredible little folding nylon suitcases that are wallet sized to start, but fold out into a full sized suitcase. While it's important to pack sensibly at the beginning of your vacation, you will need room to pack all your souvenirs for the trip home.

Valerie McGregor writes for Adventurous Wench, a company that specializes in adventure for women, with travel tips, trip ideas, and a wide range of women's travel clothes.

Wondering what to take on your next vacation? Whether you're heading to Alaska or Argentina, you can find the ideal travel pants, travel purses, travel shirts, dresses, gadgets, luggage, and more. Get set for your next trip, at http://www.AdventurousWench.com.

Air Travel Tips for Visitors to India


In recent years the domestic air transport infrastructure of India has undergone something of a revolution. Where Indians used to travel in their country almost exclusively by road and rail, the emergence of a more wealthy generation has allowed many Indians to travel by air.

This swift and widespread development has come as a great boon to tourists, as the new airports, terminals and vastly increased number of internal flights allows visitors to enjoy the beauty and culture of the country without the need to rely on the slow, uncomfortable and antiquated public transport system.

Of course, this swift growth has not come without its problems, and visitors to India may find that domestic air travel isn't quite as reliable as that of the rest of the world. It's important to know the ins and out of Indian air travel before flying to reduce the risk of hitting problems.

Here are a few tips...

    * Book a budget airline

The large, established Indian domestic airlines typically offer tickets at two price points. Indians are charged a reduced fare in rupees, while foreigners are charged a premium in US dollars. Most of the new budget airlines, however, offer a single low price in rupees, regardless of the nationality of the passenger.

While it may be tempting to book with a well-known airline, it often makes sense to opt for a budget airline. The standard of service is excellent across the board, but the price can often be much, much lower.

    * Be careful with certain destinations

While India is a relatively safe destination there are certain areas of the country that are subject to heightened security. On flights to Kashmir and Ladakh, carry on baggage is often forbidden, and batteries must be removed from electrical items and stowed in the hold. These restrictions are enforced seemingly randomly, so if you plan to fly to either destination you should make sure to be prepared.

    * Confirm your flight

While not completely necessary, it makes sense to reconfirm the status of your ticket a few days before travel if you booked from outside of India. Online booking for Indian air travel has really exploded in recent years, but the booking systems aren't foolproof. Make a quick call to your airline to set your mind at rest.

    * Be careful with smaller airlines

While budget airlines often offer the best prices, you should be careful when booking with very small airlines that offer only one or two routes. Some small airlines will cancel their flights if there aren't enough passengers to cover costs, and you may find yourself stuck at the airport with no option other than to book a last-minute flight on a larger carrier at an inflated price.

While this is a judgement call, I'd advise you to be wary of airlines with a limited number of routes.

With the explosive expansion of Indian air travel there has never been a better time to take a domestic flight in the country. Prices are low, flights are plentiful and each airline is desperate to gain your repeat custom. Many budget airlines are actually running at a significant loss at present, hoping only to outlast the other start-ups in order to swoop in and take their routes in the future. It's a little messy, perhaps, but as a visitor to the country you should take advantage of the low prices and sterling service while it lasts.

Business Travel Tips - When Dealing With Business Travel Expenses

These business travel tips will approach the topic of business travel expenses in general terms. You must always follow your local laws and regulations and seek professional advice as applicable.

Business travel expenses are cost that occurs while you are travelling on business. Sounds simple enough... but unfortunately it isn't. When is the cost of a trip deductible as allowable business expenses? Can you deduct all the cost of getting there and while there? What if you take your family with you?

What Are Business Travel Expenses?

The first golden rule of business travel expenses is that they must be ordinary and necessary. This leaves some room for interpretations but in principal its typical travel expenses that you need to incur in order to operate your existing business or to satisfy your job duties.

Secondly your business travel expenses must be reasonable. This again leaves some room for interpretations as first class flights and limousines can be very reasonable for some but not for others.

The business travel tips remind you that the expenses must be for business purposes only. Like expenses incurred in order to gain new customers or meet current customers, or to seek new investors, etc.

Allowable business expenses must be incurred for an existing business only, i.e. you can't deduct travel expenses related to acquiring or starting a new business. Those travel expenses should be treated as part of the capitalized startup cost.

When you travel on business internationally then all your travel expenses related to getting to and from your business destination are deductible. If you spend part of your time abroad on personal business then you must check if you are can deduct all your travel expenses or if you must allocate them proportionally between business and private expense.

When you travel on business domestically it makes difference if your travel includes an overnight stay away from your tax home or not. If it doesn't include an overnight stay then it's considered a local same day business excursion and you must make sure your trip qualifies as such, i.e. must be a reasonable distance from your tax home and for clear business purposes.

Your tax home is generally the entire area where your main place of business or work is located, regardless of where you maintain your family home. So if you live in one place and work in another then your travel cost is not for business purposes.

You might want to combine travelling for business and pleasure. That's fine as long as you know what allowable business expenses is and what isn't. Business travel tips reminds you that all tax authorities do look out for taxpayers that might be tempted to classify a nondeductible personal trip as a deductible business trip so always make sure you follow your local rules to the letter.

Normally you can deduct your travelling expenses to and from the destination only if the trip is primarily related to your business. If your trip is primarily personal in nature than you can't deduct any of your airfare, accommodation and other travelling expenses... even if you engage in some business activities while there. You can however deduct any particular normal business expenses you incur while there and are directly related to your business, i.e. taxi fare for your business appointment.

It's the facts and circumstances that decide if your trip is primarily for business or pleasure. The amount you spend on your business activities compared to your private activities is usually the deciding factor. Always play by the rules.

Few Practical Business Travel Tips

Keep your records up to date and in perfect manner. In order to claim business travel expenses you must keep adequate records of your travels and be able to show the invoices and prove the existence, amount, and business purposes of your expenses.

Business travel tips recommend keeping all business receipts in one place when travelling, you might want to use a special wallet or envelop for them.

Make a habit of organizing / claiming your business expenses as soon as you get back. That way you are less likely to lose any receipts or mix your expenses up with your next business trip.

Asa Gislason and her husband are the founders of top-travel-tips.com, a website that offers relevant, accurate and practical international travel tips and advice. Their focus is to provide you with relevant travel information that can save you both time and money when planning your next trip. They also provide information about products and services that can enrich your travel experience even further.

Adventure Travel to Australia and New Zealand - 5 Best Adventure Destinations

Top Australia Adventure Travel Destinations

Kangaroo Island Australia Adventure

Kangaroo Island is known as the Australian "Galapagos" because of its rich diversity of wildlife. Take a guided night tour to see the little penguins march out of the sea to their homes along the coastline. Stop in at the Seal Bay Conservation Park where you'll see the rare Australian sea lion. A hike through Flinders Chase National Park will get you up close to kangaroos, possums, echidna, koalas and platypus in the wild.

The Australian Outback Adventure

This is the rugged interior of Australia and home to red hills, fiery sunsets and a dramatic sense of spaciousness. Here you can hike the Aboriginal Dreaming Trail with an Aboriginal guide to experience the local culture and history. You can also hike, bike, take a scenic flight or 4-wheel drive tour of the breath-taking landscapes of gorges adorned with aboriginal art, mountains, caves, waterfalls and canyons. Here you'll also see plenty of wildlife in their beautiful natural settings.

Top New Zealand Adventure Travel Destinations

Auckland New Zealand Adventure

Bungy jumping is a tradition that has been practiced in the South Pacific for hundreds of years as an initiation ritual. But commercial bungy jumping was first developed in New Zealand in 1986 and continues to be a national tradition there.

You'll find opportunities to indulge your need for this heart-stopping thrill just about everywhere. In Auckland you can bungy jump from one of the many bridges over the bay, or try New Zealand's highest jump - 209.9 yards straight down from the top of Sky Tower. While you're staying in the "City of Sails" you can also indulge in first-class food and wine, cultural events and shopping.

A calmer adventure that you could take the whole family on includes seeing the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves. A guided tour takes you through limestone chambers and includes a silent boat trip through the glowworm grotto. You'll marvel at Mother Nature's light display as you glide beneath the lights of thousands of glowworms suspended from the cave ceiling.

Queenstown New Zealand Adventure

From crystal clear Lake Wakatipu across to The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown's environment is majestic, awe-inspiring and almost unbelievable. A great way to start your vacation and get an overview of the landscape is to take the gondola up Bob's Peak.

Exploring Queenstown's Skippers Road is an adventure in itself. Hand carved out of solid rock, the road twists and turns around steep cliffs with magnificent views. Because the road is so dangerous, it is only accessible by guided tour. The area hosts a number of adventure sports. Depending on your appetite for thrills, you can take a ride on the flying fox, go white water rafting or get a vertical view of the canyon attached to a bungy. Less terrifying options include blasting along the Shotover River in a jet boat, walking across a historic pipeline or a visit to Winky's Museum.

Some of the other outdoor adventures in Queenstown that will have you playing on the edge include:

    * Heli-skiing, skiing and snowboarding
    * Bungy jumping
    * Canyon swinging
    * Hiking
    * Rock climbing
    * Mountain biking
    * Horse riding
    * Sky diving
    * Hang gliding
    * Parapente, or para-gliding
    * Jetboating
    * Kayaking
    * Sailing
    * Golfing
    * Gold panning
    * Canyoning

Rotorua New Zealand Adventure

Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is home tribal home of the Te Arawa people, who settled in lakeside geothermal areas more than 600 years ago. Geysers, boiling mud pools, marae stays, hangi feasts, an authentic pre-European Maori village and indulgent spa therapies will provide plenty of activities to write home about. Refresh your spirit with a day outdoors trout fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, swimming, hiking or mountain biking. And if it's excitement you crave, you can challenge your spirit with adrenalin-charged extreme activities such as sky-diving, jet boating and zorbing.

These are just a sampling of some of the outdoor adventures available in Australia and New Zealand. There's also world-renowned white water kayaking, some of the best diving in the world on The Great Barrier Reef, and a multitude of hiking, biking, ballooning, canoeing and other adventures to be had.

Springboard Vacations specializes in creating authentic travel experiences that are out of the ordinary to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. For more insights on "off the beaten path" destinations, as well as "must see" sites and attractions, visit http://www.springboardvacations.com. Sign up for the newsletter to keep posted on all promotions and deals and get a $50 discount on your next vacation. We currently have three great adventure packages that include both Australia and New Zealand -- see them at http://www.springboardvacations.com/promotions/index.html.

International Adventure Travel

International adventure travel: Safaris, balloon tours, swimming with dolphins, bicycling down volcanos, trekking in the Himalayas, Walmart on Christmas Eve - the list is almost endless. This will not be a comprehensive listing of all the adventure opportunities out there. Instead, here is just enough to whet your appetite.

My Own International Adventure Travel

Long before hitchhiking across the country at sixteen-years-old, I had a taste for adventure. At fourteen, a friend and I bicycled 300 miles in a few days during one summer. At seventeen, I went international with my adventuring, hitchhiking from Michigan to half-way across Mexico. Over forty now, I no longer put out my thumb - not very often, anyhow - but I still love to travel.

More recently, my international adventure travel took me to Ecuador. While there I climbed to the furthest point from the center of the Earth. Everest is highest above sea level, but due to the Earth's bulge at the equator, the peak of Mount Chimborazo, at 20,600 feet, is farther from from the center of our planet. The top is all snow, ice, and glaciers.

My guide didn't speak English, and thought I was a mountaineer. I had once used an ice axe and crampons to go forty feet up a sledding hill, in Michigan. The rest of the story is on the website, but you can get information and a guide by talking to almost any hotel manager in Riobamba, Ecuador.

Go On A Jungle Book Safari

In southern Nepal, In the Royal Chitwan National Park, you can see tigers, leopards, rhinos, and sloth-bears. And where better to see them from than the back of a large elephant? The tours are lead by naturalists and park rangers. Stay in the comfortable Safari Lodge and take daily tours into the jungle.

Take A Mongolian Horseback Trek

Travel with one of the great nomadic and horse-based cultures of the world. The trips take you beyond tourist routes, and you can customize your trek to fit your schedule and budget. These tours are run from an office in Mongolia, and they provides experienced guides that are multi-lingual.

Go Rock Climbing In Rio

Want an outdoor adventure and city nightlife? Try a rock climbing tour in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You'll find routes for all skill levels in the Sugar Loaf, Urca, Corcovado and Pedra da Gavea mountains. Tours include bilingual instructors, equipment rentals, and transportation, and start at under $100 per person.

Swim With Dolphins In The Croatian Sea

Escape from the cold this winter, to the Cres-Losinj group of islands, which is known for it's mild climate. Mali Losinj on the island of Losinj is known for its health resort, but recently, the area is becoming famous for the bottle-nosed dolphins that have made their homes in the clear and clean waters of the Cres-Losinj group of islands. Mingle with them by boat or in your swimsuit.

Climb Mount Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu (4101m) is the king of the Borneo sub-continent. It rises 3000 feet higher than other mountains in the area; far above the jungle. It attracts international climbers of all skill levels, who scramble, climb and trek in its unique jungle-alpine enviroment. Kinabalu is in a world heritage site that boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. Experienced guides will take you trekking, or take you to the top.

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For more on international adventure, and to read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com

Top Adventure Travel Companies In The World

Here are few best adventure travel organizations that provide a discriminating and interesting range of adventurous traveling plans. Hiking the Inca Trail, biking in Morocco and rafting through Grand Canyon are simply the shortest sample of experiences these organizations could provide customers. All their sites list specific adventurous trips, with elaborated travel plans, cost and pictures.

Gap adventures:

This company provides a choice of about 1,200 adventurous trip plans to all 7 continents. To find some discount rates on fascinating tours check out their "Specials" section.

Geographic Expeditions Adventure tours:

This company provides the portfolio of land trips, walks, treks and military ocean trips to the most impressive places in the world, ranging right from travels in Nepal, China and Vietnam to Ghana and Mongolia.

Austin-Lehman adventurous trips:

If you are anticipating adventurous traveling trips that children of all ages could enjoy, or tours only for you or for adolescents, consider this company. Austin-Lehman offers the hike, bike, paddle, climb, ride and Multi-Sport tours-- visit such beautiful destination such as Costa Rica, Alaska, Mexico, Bryce, Canada, Yosemite National Parks and Zion.

International Expeditions:

This company provides nature-tours and eco trips to different places comprising the Egypt, Amazon, India, Galapagos and Kenya. International Expeditions provides deep itineraries planned to explore the region's mortal of the country.

Intrepid Travel:

This is the niche adventure travel company which concentrates on taking customers out-of-the-way track to about ninety place over the world. On this typical tour you could trip in paths similar to localized people, respecting the environment and the culture. This travel tour operator company takes generally public transport, stay and dines in small local-owned organizations.

Small adventurous trips with classic journeys:

This company is specializes in small-group, boutique and soft adventurous trip. Classic journeys functions 3 types of tours: family journeying, cultural walking adventures and culinary trips.

To get more list of best adventure travel companies click here. This site has the complete list of adventure travel companies that offers off the beaten track trips.