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The Pre-Packing Plan

Have you ever arrived at your dream vacation destination and immediately began crying out: “Oh crap, I didn’t bring my brush!”, “I forgot my charger!!!”, or “Where can we buy a map?!”???

Finding the most essential of necessities can be a pain in a world you’ve only got to know an hour or so ago. And for some women, it can be a cause to ruin their vacation. So, why a not pack wisely and in advance, and enjoy your vacation as much as you paid for it? Your vacation should be peaceful and relaxing. You shouldn’t spend half of it in the local market looking for the basic things you should have taken with you.

A Peaceful Vacation

Relax

Two things you must do in advance:

1) Always book your tickets in advance so that your travel plan and date are certain (and to save money on your tickets!); and

2) Set aside the luggage (and purse) you plan to pack.

In the days leading up to your planned travel date, in the midst of all the hype and excitement, you can not help but constantly think of the things you will need for the trip. With every new idea or plan, the essential items needed also come to mind. For example, going to the beach requires beach towels, sunglasses, sun lotion and your favorite shorts/bikini. With every new idea emerging in your head, simply begin to pick up and drop the associated items in your luggage. When an idea is later annulled, take those items back out and replace them with the essentials for your new plan.

A day before your departure, assess your luggage to make sure you’re not over the weight limit (keep in mind the shopping you may do on your trip, so save some space in your luggage). If you have gone overboard, go through you luggage and reconsider your activity plans. Making an activity list will be wise as you can easily cross out an activity and take out the associated items.

This plan is very easy to implement and assures a quality vacation. You will spend more time enjoying your vacation than worrying about what you have left behind and how to find replacements in the unfamiliar world you’re visiting.

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LOOKING AFTER YOUR FINANCES WHILE TRAVELLING

Travelling can be one of the most carefree activities a person can engage in; however, if you’re a person who has the obligation to manage financial activities in your own country, it’s important to establish ways and means of how to manage your finances while you are away from your own domicile. With the development of the Internet, an international traveller can now have varied options on how to manage his finances even while he is travelling.

Financial Management Concerns While Travelling

Let us say you’re a traveller from UK and you want to spend time in Spain exploring, it is always important for you to be able to have unlimited access to your bank accounts even if you are in Spain to effectively manage your finances and expenses while you’re away from home.  Here are some of helpful fiscal management tips on how to administer finances while travelling in foreign places like Spain.

√ Transact with Banks with International Reach

Perhaps the most important medium which could help an international traveller manage his finances is by opening a bank account with a bank that has international reach. This means that the bank has professional tie ups with other banks all over the world.
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√ Be Conscious of International Charges

Most banks with international reach offer premium service that is available to the depositor or the account owner wherever he is around the world. However, this kind of services also demands a premium fee. The international traveller should always be conscious of the foreign transaction fees imposed by banks

√ Keep Communication Open

Online communication is important to keep track with possible expenses being incurred in the country where the traveller lives in. This way, the traveller can still manage his expenses even without being physically present in his native country

3 Great Group Travel Destinations

Group Travel

Vacations are best enjoyed when travelling in groups. It enhances the amount of fun you will have. Group travel is economic as well. You can share the local travel and stay expenses. Even air travel in group is cheaper. I love to travel in group chatting along and playing games.

Group travel also increases the safety. A group of people are definitely safer than a nuclear family. Staying is best at vacation rentals and you can share the expenses here too.

Yorkshire, UK

The best of England is Yorkshire. You can see the castles and enjoy riding horses and going on mock fox-hunting. There is no dearth of adventure and if travelling in a group your enjoyment will be multiplied.1.Fountains Abbey – A preserved ruin of Cistercian monasteries, you can really go back in time visiting the place. Located three miles south-west of Ripon. A great place for group visit.2.York Minister – The highest chapel in Yorkshire is a must visit. The art on stained glass and the Gothic design makes it a beautiful structure. A museum of religious artifacts in the basement will make your day.Bask in the English countryside with your boots up in the amazing accommodations available even in the remote villages. That is Yorkshire for you.

Phuket, Thailand

Over the last decade Phuket has grown as a vacation destinations. With wide-ranging options to relax and enjoy you can De-stress here. The amazing Thai cuisine and unique culture draws the tourists. A good place to enjoy with friends.1.Escape Hunt – A live puzzle game full of action which requires five people to play. The challenge is to solve clues against the clock. Everyone above seven years can enjoy this brain teasing game. A special for groups as they can enjoy more.2. Baan Teelanka – An upside down house is an architectural marvel. Yes it looks upside down from outside but has many adventures inside. Great place for group visit.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The most attractive location in USA. It is the place for people who love fashion and gambling. Gamble away and relax in the beautiful Nevada city.1.Red rock canyon – You can go trekking and rick climbing. Also you can simply stroll through the natural marvel, which is a national conservation area.2.Fremont Street experience – A pedestrian mall in down town Las Vegas, is a huge tourist attraction. It is not the normal mall. Visit with friends or family to know the difference.

City Breaks

Darling Harbour at night, vibrant and fun

Darling Harbour at Night

Now it is impossible to get away for long breaks all the time but there is nothing wrong with taking a short break. I did last weekend and stayed ‘in country’. I had actually forgotten I had promised girlfriend & my mate I would go so had to sort out a bit of extra Cashinahurry, excellent loan website, quick and professional! We went to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday as well as kick back and have a break at Darling harbor, Sydney. I needed the rest on top of work  I spent the week before  research city breaks, negotiating with everyone as well as pretending I had left it late to get a good deal, getting booked and organized…Thank goodness for the internet.

Fabulous views over Sydney from the Novotel Hotel in Darling Harbour

Novotel Darling Harbour

Just a ten minute walk from the centre, Darling Harbour Sydney, is a very popular destination for those after good food, good drink and entertainment. The waterfront is host to some great alfresco cafes, bars and restaurants. The first day we spent meandering around getting the feel of the place and enjoying the atmosphere. We ate the first night at Nick’s bar and grill on Kings Street wharf, the place was heaving so glad I had booked in advance. Been caught out before on a city break when I could not get a table in decent place due to all the urbanites and tourists getting in there first – always book ahead. We had got a sweet deal for the weekend at the Novotel, Murray Street Darling harbour so not far to walk for anything. The second day the girls & us headed to Harbourside shopping center, the girls went shopping in this tourist mecca of stores and my mate and I went to Flight Experience Sydney.

Flight Simulator available at Sydney's Flight Experience

Flight Simulator

Yea… no shopping for us! We had booked (yea me again being organized even though rushed) to try out the flight simulator. They use a Boeing 737Ng flight simulator so you feel like you are flying a modern jet. I sat in the Captains seat (of course) and you have a qualified pilot with you. I was as nervous as if I was really flying it. Absolutely fantastic experience and one I am sure will come to mind every time I board a plane to fly somewhere. I flew into Hong Kong, now that is on my list of places to visit think I may move it up a list a bit. Met the girls later and I think although they enjoyed their day they would have enjoyed the flight experience more. We ended the visit with Sydney showboat cruise, meal, entertainment all first class. All considered it was first class entertainment all the time we were there.

3 hour tour of the Sydney harbout at night with 3 course meal and excellent entertainment

Sydney Showboat Cruise

City Breaks look for deals off season to get food prices. Research what is on offer and book in advance. Don’t over book things to do, you are on a break not a marathon, select your top 3 options and have some alternatives if weather or circumstances change. If going with friends decided before you go what you are doing jointly, individually or in couples saves a lot of time wasting debating (!) it when you are there. Also one last tip…  don’t forget to put a reminder in your phone when you promise your girlfriend you will do something!!!

Stretching my Legs

I think the universal issue that most of us face when flying economy is legroom.  I can remember years ago when it seemed I could easily catch a few winks while I was flying out of Australia, but the feeling of being compressed like a can of sardines has become more and more an issue!

As the airlines have found more and more ways to maximize space, we the passengers are suffering intensely!

No Legroom on Airlines

This last week as I headed to see a friend in Sweden, I boarded a flight in economy class hoping to avoid the air rage that has seemed to spark an epidemic.  It’s the controversial reclining seat and lack of legroom that is making out of balance passengers nuts!

According to anew list that came out, Qantas came out on top for the best Aussie airlines and part of that reason is LEG ROOM! Yes, I was able to give myself a bit more room, a bit more patience, and lots more sanity to spread around the cabin by all.

I came back home after this short trip, with a big dose of good conversation and a new appreciation for the ever evolving controversy of how much leg room we common passengers in economy get.

Bottom line? Do your research on the amount of leg room given, or pony up the funds for a seat that allows the extra space.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

Istanbul & the Grand Bazaar

So one of the biggest tourist hot spots is the grand bazaar in Istanbul. I’ve been there before and I’ll say it was pretty impressive as an open air market and it does offer a lot for the way of souvenirs to take back home and give to people. I think the prices are obviously heightened for some things compared to the outdoor stalls but it is a wonderfully placed market through the side streets of Istanbul just north of the hagia sophia and blue mosque. An article I was reading on it says: “Hand-painted ceramics, lanterns, intricately patterned carpets, copperware, gold Byzantine-style jewelry, and more eye-catching products vie for your attention within this 15th-century bazaar’s vaulted walkways. It has since expanded and become increasingly touristy, but locals, too, are among the millions of bargain hunters. To haggle like a pro, lowball your starting offer and don’t be afraid to walk away. And if it all gets overwhelming, break for a succulent doner kebab or strong cup of Turkish coffee.” This makes it the number one visited place for tourists these days in Travel & Leisure’s opinion. But there are so many other beautiful places on this list and here’s another great list if you are looking for a vacation spot.

travel and leisure - grand bazaar is the most visited spot

 

Someone recently asked me why I traveled so much and what I liked about it the most. I didn’t hesitate to answer, ‘the welcoming warmth’.

As long as one has certain financial and/or employment privileges, traveling comes easy. However, what we take away from each episode is what matters the most. When I travel, I feel a strong sense of belonging to the great world we call ‘Earth’. I realize that regardless of how big we consider our immediate surroundings, there is a province/state beyond, a country beyond that, and a greater world further beyond that. Most of the world beyond is impressed in our minds through the popular media. But, unless we have traveled beyond our own country, we don’t exactly know what those impressions mean.

The Traveled Luggage

The Luggage

 

For example, we all know the Giza Pyramids of Egypt top the list of Wonders of the World and have read plenty of history on who built them. However, when you visit them in “real life”, we’re taken completely aback and awed by its great size and presence. The great welcoming warmth comes into play when you land at the airport and are warmly greeted by an individual of another language, race and nationality. He doesn’t care much about who you are and where you came from. He only sees a human from another place who has come to explore and visit his land and in a sense, him personally. Not all of the first people encountered do this for the sake of money. The first person can be anywhere and at any time during your visit that makes this impact.

Although in some countries we often feel that the outside world is a threat and insecure, this personal impact completely negates the popular belief we’re raised with. We’re forced to see that this nation of people are also humans, living, hurting, feeling, and bleeding the same we do. We can’t escaped the fact that we’re all connected by those basic commonalities. Once we truly accept this, the welcoming warmth feels even warmer, the sites we visit feels more natural, the words we speak feels truer and more wholehearted, and the overall trip feels thousand-fold worth what pity cash we paid for it.

Happy travels!