June 21st, 2013
Students, if you have the opportunity to do so, travel NOW. Yes, you read that right. There is no use to delay it. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, take it. There is something about being in a different country and being out of your comfort zone that transforms you into a different person; more mature, stronger, more independent.
When a person reaches college, the school work will be too much to handle sometimes that the opportunity to travel is lessened and once a person graduates from college and steps into the real world, there are just too many things to take care of such as getting a job, finding a place, taking care of bills, etc that it might be too overwhelming of a task to just plan a vacation abroad.
The world’s demands for globally minded, independent and well traveled people are increasing. It will be a worthwhile experience to explore the world one country at a time.
May 27th, 2013
If you enjoy traveling abroad and do it often, then it is likely that you own a Lonely Planet book. What is the Lonely Planet? This is a travel guide book that is published all over the world. It is the largest and the most popular. The book is filled with a comprehensive guide on different places on earth.
One book will focus on one country and different places in it. It will also have information on tourist places to go, food to eat, where to eat, accommodation from budget to expensive and how to directions on how to get to a certain place.
There are several contributors for the book who has traveled to different places to give it reviews.
The Lonely Planet is not just a book, it is also available to be read by people online. It has its own website that is as helpful as the book itself.
April 25th, 2013
There’s something so beautiful about learning yoga in a gorgeous and exotic country. If you are looking for a good reason to get away and relax in a tropical island, then signing up for a yoga retreat is something to be considered.
Countries like Thailand, India, Indonesia, Morocco and Turkey offer programs that allow people to go to a beautiful destination and learn yoga for a few days. These are normally done in beautiful resorts with modern facility. A normal yoga retreat that lasts for a week can cost $800 to $3000; this fee includes accommodation, daily meals, yoga classes, and other activities. Professionally trained yoga teachers will be giving the lessons.
The reason why going on a yoga retreat abroad is perfect is because you are learning the art of stretching and relaxation while marveling on the beauty of the world. There’s nothing better than feeling the balance of mind and body in the most beautiful places on earth.
March 30th, 2013
Being a traveler myself, I can say that I’ve experience all the pros and cons of being a tourist and believe me, you wouldn’t want to experience the cons. Taxi cab drivers asking for more money, pickpockets eyeing you, being jailed for some weird violations or even syndicates that can sell you as a sex slave (think of the movie Taken). To get a good deal of travel insurance or emergency backup plans are not enough in these situations. I believe that prevention is still better than cure. And to prevent these, you need not too be a tourist. Yes, you heard me right; you need to do your best to blend in and not to be consider a tourist. Here are some ways that you can blend in with the locals and avoid being trap in a scary situation.
Blending By Your Acts
- Learn the culture of the country. You can also try to learn a word or two of their language (believe me when I say that learning Thai, french or other language would be both fun and useful). Common greetings and common questions would do.
- Put your camera inside your bag. Yes, you would like to take pictures of everything that you see but displaying your camera around your neck will immediately give you the label of a tourist.
- Don’t act as if you own the place. Remember you’re just visiting that country so don’t spread your arms and legs in a public transportation vehicle.
- Don’t voice out your appreciation for their souvenirs all the time. You’re acting as a tourist so stop doing that. Nevertheless, you can still buy all the souvenirs that you want.
- Don’t bring a map as you travel a certain place. Be familiar with the routes while you’re still inside your hotel bedroom. If you really need to consult your map, then go inside a comfort room and look at it.
Blending By Eating
- Ask for local foods. Never be afraid to try out new things and get out of your comfort zone. Do these things if you want to draw less attention.
- Learn the accustomed table manners in that country. Not all nations dine the same way so you would really need to do some research before you go and travel.
- Don’t dine in Pizza Hut and McDonald’s all the time. Americans in other countries often eat in these places so don’t follow their habit. Try eating in a local fast food chain.
- Don’t be too picky with the condiments as well. Refrain yourself from asking pepper, salt or ketchup when it’s not on your table. The key is to be contented with everything.
Blending By Clothing
- Dress according to the weather and don’t overdo it. In third world countries, wearing a fur coat on a rainy day is simply bizarre so don’t do that. Buy your clothes from local shops if you can.
- Try to wear casual clothes. Bring less of your personal garments with you and shop for your everyday clothes in your destination country. Just look decent for you not to be the center of attention.
- Don’t buy US branded clothes. Always remember that your goal is hide your identity as much as possible so purchasing these things is out of the question.
- Come up with a new identity if you can. You can consider dying your hair black if you’re going to visit an Asian country. This is also cool as you would feel like you are an undercover
- Refrain from wearing travel shirt and cargo pants made of nylon. Only wear them when you’re out in the forest or while you’re rafting and trekking. Locals just don’t wear those kinds of garment
When all else fails and emergencies or accidents still happened during your trip. The best way to prepare for anything is to get travel insurance. It will help you be more secure and help you save money as well.
February 28th, 2013
An African adventure is extremely exciting! Getting a chance to witness first hand the wild life in that part of the world is just too awesome for words. But before you head on out into the wild, make sure you know what to pack with you to Africa in order to make this trip a smooth sailing one.
- First and the most important is travel insurance. I can not put emphasis on just how much you will need one not only when going to Africa but anywhere around the world.
- Pack appropriate clothing. This means lightweight clothing that can handle heat and humidity during the day and possible chill during the night.
- A Small Medical Kit that includes medicine for fever, pain and stomach flu. Also add band aids and antiseptic. A bottle of insect repellent will be your bestfriend in the jungle, make sure to bring a big one if traveling for more than a week.
- Wet wipes and Tissues because you may never know when you need to take care of your business and restrooms are likely to not carry tissue.
- Water bottle. Always stay hydrated!
- Flashlight or headlamp are useful when walking in the dark.
January 13th, 2013
Malaysia has been one of the most consistent countries in Asia that has been drawing in a lot of tourists. In the recent years, tourism in Malaysia has been quite impressive. The country has made ways to promote their country with their official promotional slogan called “Malaysia, Truly Asia” It is known for being diverse, with towering sky scrapers and breath taking islands. It is also the melting pot of races and religions. Prominent races are Malays, Chinese and Indians and all of these ethnic groups live together in harmony.
The Singaporeans that travel to Malaysia on group tour has increased to 8% from the year 2000. The fact that it is very easy to get to since the two countries are right next to each other makes this possible but also because of the growing number of cheap deals. Tourism Malaysia director for Singapore, Zalizam Zakaria said statistics showed that people now preferred to travel in groups because they are all not familiar with certain places and therefore would be comfortable to go in groups. This is beneficial to travel agents, hotelier and the word of mouth from the experience would add on to more tourists visiting Malaysia.
December 19th, 2012
The seaside town in East Kent, England has recently been named one of the top 10 must-see destinations in the world. Margate is on the 7th spot in the annual Rough Guide Travel Hotlist of 2013. The seemingly sleepy town has a lot to offer. Tim Chester, the Rough Guide web editor said “From the Turner Contemporary gallery to the proliferation of other indie art spaces, vintage shops and cute cafes in the Old Town, Margate now offers much more than its golden sands and dilapidated seaside charm.” If you are like other seasoned traveler, you would probably think twice about going to Margate. That’s understandable. Even Wikitravel doesn’t have a lot of good things to say or to recommend. But that has been years ago. Kent County council has invested a lot of money in this seaside town for some years. This includes building an art gallery that costs 17.5 million pounds. Well if it cost that much, it must be worth checking out, right?
December 10th, 2012
Itâ€™s a fact of life that different kinds of viruses and other diseases exist in other countries. The only way, we can protect ourselves from such when traveling abroad is getting the right vaccination for the right country.
First off, we need to ensure that any existing vaccinations are up to date. A couple examples would be polio, tetanus and booster shots. You can do this by making an appointment with your trusted doctor. Once youâ€™re sure itâ€™s OK, itâ€™s time to consider the shots you need to have.
Research for possible vaccination requirements. One of the best websites I found is Fit For Travel. Although itâ€™s geared towards the UK, itâ€™s a wealth of information for anyone who needs to get the appropriate vaccinations.
After listing them down, get clearance from your doctor that itâ€™s safe for you to take these vaccinations. Last thing you need is to have a violent chemical or biological reaction from these things.
Once youâ€™ve taken them, remain vigilant regarding any news of outbreaks in the country or state youâ€™ll be going into. Remember the maxim, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Have a safe trip!
November 20th, 2012
Traveling can be quite easy nowadays with so many resources available to help. Aside from travel agencies, one good travel resource information is the internet. There are different websites that are really useful for people who want to travel. The only problem is, there are thousands available out there so it’s a matter of choosing the right ones. Here are some websites that are worth keeping an eye on, compiled by travel editor Peter Greenburg.
1. Tripit.com – allows you to organize your entire activity into one location. Free application you can put on your iPhone or iPad.
2. airbnb.com – not like couchsurfing, but another alternative to hotels. Take advantage of peer to peer renting.
3. Packforapurpose.com – know how to pack on your volunteer trip. To be aware of the things you need to the place where you will give back.
4. Oyster.com – website that will take photos for you of the places you will possibly go to, because in reality brochures never tell you what you truly get.
October 12th, 2012
Any seasoned traveler knows that how essential travel insurance is for a smooth and worry-less trip. Mind you, travel insurance will not guarantee a worry-free and hassle free trip, but it will surely make things a lot easier.
Before you go ahead and get travel insurance for your trip, make sure you do your research so that you end up with a policy (or policies) that will give you adequate cover while saving you money since you don’t end up over insured.
To do this, figure out what you need. Do you really need that additional medical insurance or does your current health insurance cover you for your specific travel destination? Are your reservations non-refundable? Because if that is so, then getting trip cancellation insurance might be a good idea. Will you also be bringing your beloved gadgets with you? Then makes sure you are insured against loss, theft, and anything else that can probably go wrong on your trip.
Knowing what you need will help you choose your travel insurance wisely.
Image via Jacob Boetter