If you are traveling overseas, it’s a wise strategy to join using the Clever Traveler Enrollment System (STEP), a complimentary federal government services for inhabitants of America who are now living in a foreign nation or are planning to go to one. Providing Stage along with your contact info and some information on your trip enables these people to contact you in case there is an emergency and to counsel you of travel cautions and alerts.
If you wish to journey abroad, try out learning about the language. It is possible to get small books which contain all the important words and phrases, in case you go missing or need to have something. Tend not to think that everyone will talk the English language and people may well be more friendly if you try talking their language.
Have a photograph of the suitcases in advance. This makes it quicker to determine your travelling bag if it becomes lost. Many parts of luggage seem very similar, and it can be tough to recall the attributes of your bag which make it diverse. Also, if you are vacationing worldwide, an overseas clerk may not fully understand English but they’ll understand a photo.
When you are traveling using a toddler, preparing plus a properly-loaded case are crucial. Pack a case with everything that your toddler needs. Incorporate comfort and ease goods that will aid her feel better. Create a list of items that you utilize on your toddler every day, like system cleanse, shampoo, lotion, combs, diapers, child wipes, and so on. Creating a record will help reduce the risk of forgetting to pack something.
Give some thought to picking up have-out menus and employing them as your travel souvenirs. By eating with a especially good way, request a duplicate of your menus and make a note of everything you ate on it. These menus may help you keep in mind everything you appreciated as well as let you seek out similar food in your area.
If the journey does not have precise times that need to be adhered to, adapt your time structure by way of a time or two when looking for bargains. Evaluate each of the accessible vacation and resort fees for the two full week period of time about your journey windowpane. You may find there presently exists particular prices which are precise to such dates and you can reduce costs by being adaptive.
When you are traveling aboard, ensure your passport is not really expired. In the turmoil of get yourself ready for a visit, may very well not understand your passport has expired. You may renew your passport by postal mail as much ahead of time as one year prior to it is set up to expire and up to two years following it has presently expired.
My high school sat on a well-trafficked two-lane road with a stop sign near the entrance to the parking lot. Cars on that road that were not headed to the high school typically drove in the left lane, headed straight, while those full of, or driven by students, would take the right lane in order to turn into the parking lot.
Inevitably, traffic would back up massively in the turn lane. Faced with being late, the occasional student would feign as if they were going straight, pull to the front of the much shorter through lane on the left and then turn rightcutting off the cars who had patiently waited their turn and, often times, stealing one of the few remaining parking spots from the drivers who had followed the rules.
Everyone knew of this potential cheat and for the most part, the honor system kept it in check.
Then I remember one day, a kid was bragging about how hed gotten the last parking space in the school that morning by pulling precisely such a maneuver. Overhearing this, another student walked up to him and slapped him in the face. He said, Dont you ever do that again and then walked away.
Even fifteen years later, its proof to me that not all heroes wear capes. Some of them wear backpacks and enforce basic social norms. And it is this example of swift, vigilante justice that I fantasize about almost every time I am on a plane.
Not in the boarding queues where anxious travelers jostle to see who can be the first steer in the cattle chute (as if they were going to somehow lose their purchased spot on the plane), but about that moment wherewhether its five seconds or fifty minutes into the flightthe groaning, grunting oblivious man in front of me rams his seat back and steals the tiny allotted personal space that I always foolishly assume was mine since I paid the airline for it.
I say man because its almost always a man. I could have said middle-aged, big-bellied salesman who held up the entire plane as he stood in the aisle, shoved other peoples bags around and folded his suit coat nicely into the overhead bin too, but as accurate as that stereotype would be, Id really just be ranting about the specific guy in front of me as I write this. In every case, it is done by an entitled, thoughtless monster of a human being.
Ill tell you, I take no joy or interest in writing another post about travel etiquette but I am doing so because its necessary, because people have asked me to once more, and because each time I do, its clear from the comments I receive that you still do.not.get.it.
It is undebatable: Reclining your seat on an airplane is a defenseless, selfish, rude thing to do. It is, simply put, uncivilized.
And before you objectas I know you already want tothe fact that seats have a recline button is not a defense! Plane bathrooms have an ashtray but that doesnt mean you can smoke heroin in there. The fact that the aisle is big enough to do yoga in does not give you license to stick your ass in some strangers face. Theres plenty of viewable pornography to be watched on Uniteds Wi-Fi but Im sure Nobody blocked me! is a horrible defense to employ on the mother and her child who happen to be nearby. Just because you can do it, doesnt mean you should do it.
Life is full of things that, technically speaking, we are able to do, but that reasonable, considerate people refrain from doingbecause it negatively impacts the other people around us. My car can go much faster than is safe or appropriate. I could be as unpunctual as I likethere is no law requiring me to be on timeor when I have to cancel something, I could just neglect to inform the people waiting. My wife could gel her shoulder length hair so it stands straight up and then we could sit in front of you at your kids school play. But we dont do any of that. Not because we cantbut because its indecent and unnecessary.
There is no question that reclining your seat negatively impacts other people. It takes your seat and directly leans it several inches into another persons face, computer, and legroom.
The fact that they can turn around and pass the same shitty, selfish inconvenience onto the person behind them is not a justification. (Beside, its not even true. Not all seats recline). If some jerk is listening to music without headphones at the gym, the response isnt Oh, thats ok, I can do it too. No, its to think, What an asshole thing to do and then to ask, Could you not? There are other people on this planet.
No matter how much easier or nicer it might be for you, make no mistake, every time you recline your seat, you are being an asshole.
On long international flights? Yes.
If youre really tall? Yes.
Even though you dont mind when other people do it? Yes.
Well if they didnt want us to use them, why did they add the feature? If you are one of those people who has trotted out that question in defense of your little silver button-pushing, understand something: they dont want you to use them, they just know that if they didnt offer that feature, people like you would bitch at them about it. Its the same reason theres a close-door button on a elevator. For principle.
In my opinion there is only one time that its okay to recline your seat: when there isnt anyone else behind you. Im convinced that is the singular use-case which brought the recline function into existence in the first place. Just as it would be rude to lay across the lap of a total stranger on a long flight because youre tired, if the row is empty, sleep away. If no one is there, go for it! If you have a row mate, sit up like a grown up.
Almost every other case is unjustifiable. I mean Im sure I can think of some: If youre flying to Sloan Kettering for cancer treatment and the person behind you sees your obvious distress, taps you on the shoulder and says, Hey, I want you to recline your seat, it would be rude to refuse their offer. If you personally own the plane youre flying on, do as you like. If youre Aaron Rodgers and you just put the entire Green Bay Packers on your back again and gritted them to victory, by all means, take a little legroom from an offensive lineman in exchange. Youve earned it.
But thats about it. (I used to think First Class was free game, but why should it be? It falls to the same logic.)
I understand this post will not change many minds. Selfishness and cognitive dissonance are a wicked combination. I dont say that in a condescending way. There are many things I did when I was younger, that I struggle to not do today, which I once blissfully enjoyed out of ignorance of others and confidence in my own basic decency. Anyone with a spouse has probably been hit with one of those Who do you think cleans this up? comments that pierce through the convenient bubble you and your habits previously and contentedly occupied. Anyone thats ever heard a thoughtful explanation of why a certain word is hurtful knows what Im talking about.
Reclining your seat is like that. I know you think youre a good personand you probably are. I know you want to be comfortable. Who doesnt? But reclining your seat on a plane is comfort at the cost to someone else. Its a thing that the vast majority of people do not like having done to them (and heres a question: Would you prefer the person in front of you recline or not recline their seat? Its an easy answer), that comes at a minimal cost to you, and therefore we should commit to not doing it.
Launched in November 2016, Singapore-based Afini refers to itself as a “bespoke luxury travel destination club that crafts customized journeys for its members at exclusively managed residences and iconic hotels across the world.”
Membership costs $8,888 while the annual renewal fee is $2,000.
“Members are paired with a personal lifestyle consultant who will oversee that every component of their holiday is prepared prior to departure, promising a hassle free vacation,” says John Blanco, co-founder and CEO of Afini.
“Each residence has an on-site concierge who will ensure that every detail is perfectly executed and to assist with any additional requests.”
Blanco says because Afini controls and manages most of its residence collection, members get access to properties at nightly rates averaging 20-60% below market rates for comparable properties.
So far, he says they’ve received particularly high interest from luxury travelers in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“Each and every Afini residence goes through a meticulous vetting process and only the finest properties are selected,” he adds.
“Our operations team then goes in and installs our Afini touches ranging from the Rivolta Carmignani bed linens and towels to locally sourced coffee beans in a state of the art espresso machine.”
What types of properties will Asia’s luxury seekers get access to? We asked Afini to share some of the top homes in its collection, which can be viewed in the gallery above.
Ah, the holidays:Tisthe season to take time off from work, hop on a flight or jump in the car, and visit relatives you havent seen in what feels like ages.
As a result of traveling together, your immediate family also gets to spend quality time with each other whenyou dont usually get to. (Of course, a few fights here and there are expected, but avoiding these trip-ruining scams might lessen those chances.)
However, there are some family members sometimes the happiest and most lovable ones of all whooften dont get to go on these holiday excursions: your pets.
Whether its your ball-of-fur cat or your energetic puppy, it feels like you have no choice but to ignore those sad eyes looking up at you and drop them off at their alternative home, both for their own safety and to maketraveling easier.
But what if it wereeasier tobring your pet along for the holidays?
Well, heres some delightful news for you: it can be. By prepping your furry friend accordingly for the journey ahead and planning pet-friendly options for when you arrive, you and your entire family two- or four-legged can come along for the ride this holiday season.
And these nine tips for traveling with your pet will let you do just that.
Did we miss any important pointers that you use to safely travel with your animal? Let us know in the comments below, and
Make sure to get your pet checked for sicknesses and up-to-date with vaccinations around two weeks prior to your journey. Ask your veterinarian for a dated health certificate, too, in case you run into any issues during thetrip like your pet getting sick or biting someone.
2. Make Your Animal’s (And Your Own) Whereabouts Known
It is important to double-check (and triple-check) that your animal has an ID tag attached to his or her collar in the unfortunate but possible case you are temporarily separated. These ID tags should include your name, cell phone, and information about the destination you are traveling to.
Make sure to bring extra food and a collapsible bowl for waterand food on the go. And depending on where youre traveling to and the type of animal you have, Travel + Leisure suggests bringing a cooling vest or sweater.
Pets find comfort in familiar objects they encounter on a daily basis at home, so be sure to pack an abundance of favorite toys, blankets, and treats. Also, for an out-of-the-box idea, bringlavender oil with you: rub it between your hands and apply as a massage to your furry friend.
Feed your four-legged friend longbefore you travel between fourto sixhours before, according to Travel Channel in order to prevent stomach issues from any sort of motion sickness. And in case this wasnt already a given, keep your pet hydrated!
As soon as you know that youll be traveling via airplane, register your pet with the airline immediately. Aircrafts have a limited amount of carriers they can take on each flight, and you arent the only one thinking about bringing your cat or dog along for the holidays.
If you plan on crating (this actually makes pets feel safe) your dog or cat for the ride, make sure it is large enough for your pet to move around, lie down, and stand up. And if you dont plan on using a carrier, make sure you have a pet-friendly harness to attach to a seat belt.
Not a fan of either of those options above, but still desperately want to bring your pet along for the holidays? Consider using the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, who can connect you with reliable pet shipping agencies that can handle taking care of your four-legged friends.
If youre not planning on actually staying with extended family or friends (sometimes seeing them for a few hours is just enough), make sure you look into pet-friendly policies at hotels before booking a room. Luckily, with so many pet owners around the world, you most likely won’t have a problem finding one especially in big cities.
Did these travel tips help you decide to bring your furry friend along for the holidays? Please SHARE with your friends and family on Facebook so they can do the same!
It’s safe to say there’s an abundance of choice when it come to place to visit in Australia from urban landmarks like the Sydney Opera House to natural ones like Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef.
But according to Lonely Planet’sNew In 2017 list, there are two stand-out destinations you’ve been overlooking.
One of which is Pinky’s Eco Retreat and Beach Club, opening in December 2017. It’s located on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, famous for its shameful colonial history, as well as its beaches and the so-called “happiest animal in the world,” the quokka.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, however. The trek is 61 kilometres (41 miles) long, and will take approximately five days to complete.
The rewards are immense though, as you stroll “through forests and along clifftops, beaches and freshwater lagoons, passing abundant wildlife as well as photogenic natural formations like Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch,” according to Lonely Planet.
Between 1892 and 1954, immigrants arriving on the shores of the United States passed below the towering face of Lady Liberty before docking at Ellis Island. A processing center for more than 12 million people, Ellis Island earned the dubious nickname of the Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.
Following its close, Ellis Island was transformed into a museum. Every year, visitors come for a glimpse at the historical gateway to New York Cityincluding the Renaissance Revival architecture featuring intricate Guastavino tiling. But a place like Ellis Island is not without its share of mysteries and unknown facts.
Ellis Island was once barely even an island
If you go back a few centuries, you’ll find that the site of Ellis Island was merely part of a tidal flat colonized by oysters, which were an important food source for the native Lenape people. One of the flats was eventually dubbed Gibbet Island (after some pirates were publicly hanged there) before being purchased by Samuel Ellis (whose name stuck around). Eventually, the island became the site of Fort Gibson and continued to function as a military base for much of the 1800s. It wasnt until railroad construction in the Northeast required a place for land filling that the island grew in size.
Travel teaches usinvaluable lessonswe cant learn in school. It expands our worldview. It pushes us to be better, stronger, more empathetic human beings. And these 17 places, in no particular order, are where that magic is going to happen this year. Some of them can be experienced in the lap of luxury, while others are for only the most adventurous souls. But all of them have the potential to be the best trip youve ever taken.
This is theSeven Colored Earths in Chamarel, where naturally occurring sands of different colors form unique striped dunes.
Above is a shopping center in the capital of Port Louis. English, French, and Mauritian Creole are the most commonly spoken languages in Mauritius, while Hinduism and Christianity are the top two religions.
Astana has been called theworlds weirdest capital city, in part because it hardly existed 20 years ago. CNN reports the area was an empty patch of land… best known as a former gulag prison camp for the wives of Soviet traitors before it was declared the new capital in 1997, sparking the quick rise of a futuristic skyline.
Almatys wooden Ascension Cathedralwas constructed without nails between 1904 and 1907, and is one of the only buildings in the city to survive a 1911 earthquake. Used for state and public purposes after the Russian Revolution, it was returned to the Russian Orthodox church in the 1990s.
Big Almaty Lake sits in the Tian Shan mountains. The western Tian Shan range stretches into China and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site,in part for its biodiversity.
Quitos Jesuit Church of the Society of Jesus, informally known as la Compaa, has enough gold leaf inside to wow the most jaded travelers. The stunning baroque church also has a charming number of hidden nods to the local culture, including symbols of suns that salute Inca history and indigenous faces and plants worked into the ornate interior designs.
Uruguay doesnt get as much attention as neighboring Argentina and Brazil, but this polished, progressive paradise on the Atlantic has a pinch ofEuropean flairand is well worth a visit.Experience gaucho culture on a ranch of rolling hills, take to the surf atPunta del Diablo, or party the night away in the clubs at Punta del Este.
Stroll the cosmopolitan streets of Montevideo, including the famous Plaza Independencia.
The Black Church, with its interior walls adorned with Turkish carpets,is the star of Brasov, a popular medieval town at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains.
Corvin Castle in Transylvania features about 50 rooms of medieval art. Its known as the most impressive Gothic castle in the country.
It can take all day to drive the hairpin turns of Transfagarasan Road, which connects the provinces of Transylvania and Walachia through the mountains. Thanks to a gentle gradient, you can even bike it if you dare.
High in the mountains, Xinaliq is home to friendly shepherds who can point you in the right direction for adventurous hikes.
Croatias been a hot travel destination for a few years now, but dont overlook its charming neighbor to the north. The snowy peaks of the Julian Alps are the dramatic backdrop for Slovenias storybook Lake Bled, while outdoor restaurants line the riverwalk in the friendly capital city Ljubljana and the sprawling Postojna Cave is a dramatic diversion. (Pro tip: Youll likely save a few dollars by flying into Venice, Italy, rather than Ljubljana its not far over the border.)
The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation overlooks Ljubljanas famous Triple Bridge, a lively spot at night.
Above youll see Lake Bled in the summer. Swim or row in the crystal-clear lake, dine at Bled Castle perched high on a cliff, or stroll the equally Instagram-worthyVintgar Gorge.
A tour boat on the Ljubljanica River in Ljubljana.
When it comes to in room entertainment, a new study says that today’s hotel guests may just want to Netflix– without the “chill.”
According to data from Enseo, a company that provides in room entertainment solutions for some of the world’s biggest hotel brands like Marriott, more hotel guests are streaming a show or movie from Netflix in hotels that have axed pornographic video-on-demand (VOD) than ordering traditional adult-themed programming.
Around 1 percent of occupied hotel rooms order paid VOD, with 90 percent of those profits deriving from adult entertainment, Variety reports. But according to Enseo, hotels that replaced VOD with Netflix saw about 40 percent of hotel rooms stream content from the service.
The difference is so stark, according to Enseo CEO Vanessa Ogle, that theres now a major industry wide push to replace porn with the popular streaming service.
Its a hard conversation, Ogle told Variety, noting that, traditionally, late night offerings have been a big revenue stream for hotel brands.
But Ogle said that Netflix users in hotels use the service for much longer than other sources of content– the average news or sports viewing sessions comes in around 14 minutes but the typical Netflix session is around 90 minutes. In fact, Ogle said, Netflix ranks among the top three networks in any of the hotel rooms in which it’s available nationwide.
The research comes amid a new deal between Enseo and Netflix which allows an integration of the Netflix app into hotel rooms around the globe. Netflix is now functional in more than 100,000 hotel rooms including properties like the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas luxury hotels like Ritz Carlton.
Enseo encourages customers to sign-in to the app with their own accounts to access personalized recommendations while on the road. The hotels also provide a Netflix button on their in-room remote control.
As for those porn purchases, Ogle argues that it’s no longer a big money making enterprise for hotel properties. The CEO says that could be due in part to customers purchasing adult entertainment then disputing charges later at checkout– leading to numerous return payments.
To some travelers, “vacation” means lying on a tropical beach or staying in an urban hotel, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the start of a new year is time to think outside the box and start planning trips that help you both unwind and grow as a person.
In 2017, and for years to come, do yourself a favor and get creative with the types of trips you take. Of course, we don’t always have the time or finances available for regular getaways. But many of these unique trip ideas cost less than your typical beach break, which makes them easier to get on the calendar.
Which not-so-average experience will you have in 2017?
Do you know where your family is from? Find out, then plana journey to wherever that may be. If possible, askrelatives forpersonalized guides to their hometowns before you go.
3A last-minute flight trip
Creatas via Getty Images
There are plenty of ways to find cheap last-minute flights, but are you willing to drop what you’re doing andtake advantage? Block a few days out onyour calendar, thenletan app like Get The Flight Outchoose yourdestinationat the last minute.
A trek is the ultimate way to clear your head, buildquiet confidenceand maybe even get a betterpicture of what you want to do with your life. Consider the Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S. and theCamino de Santiago in Spain for starters.
6A homestay or couchsurfing trip
Granger Wootz via Getty Images
There’s no better way to understand a city than by livingday-to-day life with the locals. Stay with a friend in their hometown, see if your destination has a homestay program, or couchsurf for free to get a taste of what it’s like to “do life”somewhere completely new.
Strongrelationships, cultural understandingand a sense of accomplishment are just a few benefits of doing something valuablewith your timeaway. Use a site like Go Overseasto find opportunities vetted by trustworthytravelers.
It’s rare thatwe drop everything, forget our chores and simply enjoy our hometowns.A staycation— think dinner parties, movie marathons and long, quiet days of reading– is an easy,cheap way to relax and reset.
Besides the obvious benefit of copious sipping, a wine tasting trip can serve to bring old friends orfamily closer together: Nothing spurs conversation quitelike a shared table, good cheese and endless hours without a care in the world.
Even if you are living under a rock, you must have heard already that Iceland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. With only around 320,000 people living there, the country is now becoming packed with tourists flying in from all over the world, coming to see its rich nature. Roaring volcanoes, deep fjords, sharp mountains and glaciers, the country has everything under its roof.
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Not convinced? Then check out this list compiled by Bored Panda of the best photographs of Iceland we could find. With lots of new flights opening to Iceland recently, you can find rather cheap tickets if you search long enough, however, this might be the only thing you can expect to save up on. Eating, staying in hotels, renting a car – these are on the expensive side, for example, a typical meal costs around 40$. If you want to save up some money it’s good to travel in winter, since everything is a bit cheaper then, although you will have fewer hours of daylight. On the plus side, you might be lucky and see the Northern Lights. If you’re traveling in the summer you’ll have all the daylight you need in order to see a lot in one day, since the night almost never comes. On the downside, the most famous landmarks will be packed with tourists. A good way to save up some money then is to stay in tents or find a Couchsurfing host rather than going to a hotel.
For anyone interested in capturing images of stunning landscapes filled with raw power, Iceland is an absolute must-see. Nonetheless, you should remember that sometimes it’s best to put the camera down and just enjoy the view.
What you shove into your suitcase determines how youre going to live for the next little while. Assemble your payload correctly.
Picture Me Rollin
Stop folding your clothes. Rolling everything and slotting it vertically into your carry-on will earn you gobs of space, and itll keep your shirts from wrinkling too. This isnt a lifehack; this is a must.
Do the Math
Pack everything you think you need, then get rid of half of it. If that feels extreme, try this: For every three days, bring two tops and one pair of pants. Undies and socks for every day, though.
Use the Washing Ma-Sink
Bring along some concentrated detergent and a travel clothesline (13 bucks on Amazon). A sinkful of water is all you need to replenish your wardrobe.
Kill the Wrinkles
Pro tip: If it doesnt smell, its clean. Fool everyone with a couple of spritzes of Downy Wrinkle Releaser ($6).
Layer, Layer, Layer
Dont think about clothesthink about combinations. Mix and match tops and bottoms to get more use out of everything. Light jackets, scarves, and funky ties all keep you looking fresh and your suitcase looking empty.
Stow Away a Small-Things Bag
Go to a drugstore and stock up on essentials: shampoo, toothpaste, Advil, lip balm, deodorant. Put it all in a small bag, tuck it into your luggage, and forget it until you need it. Youll need it.
Vacuum Your Wardrobe
If you cant bring less, at least break out the shrink-o-matic. Buy a bunch of bags, throw your clothes in, and suck all the air out with a pump or vacuum cleaner. Slot your paper-thin parcels right into your bag. Give them a minute to reinflate on the other side.
Prep Offline Mode
Before you hit the road, hit download. Kindle books, a dozen podcasts, a few Spotify playlists, an offline movie or two in Amazon Video. Nothings worse than flicking over to airplane mode and finding your phone is suddenly useless.