All posts by schatzi

Breeze Through Security With These Air Travel Tips – Travel tips

Air travel today can be challenging, finding an affordable fare, a convenient travel time, even the right city to depart from or arrive at can be challenging. And of course the long lines at security just add to the stress.When you arrive at your departure airport getting through multiple security checkpoints can be a hassle, constantly changing rules about how soon to get to the airport, how to check in, what you can carry on board etc. can all be confusing.Being a frequent business air traveler, I have come up with the following tips to help you on your journey.To find the lowest and most convenient fares – always book your travel at least 21 days in advance.

Call ahead, or go to your airlines web site to find out how early you should be at the airport, international flights will require more time.

Whenever possible go to your airlines web site to check in and print boarding passes. If you are changing planes print out all boarding passes, if you don’t, you will have to go back through security to get a new boarding pass. If you only have a short time window, this could cause you to miss your flight.

If you have already checked in via the airlines website, you usually do not have to check in at the airport check in counter. If you have bags to check, many airlines again have curb-side baggage check in, and/or they have self serve baggage check in kiosks. Using these services saves a lot of time and hassle. If you are unsure how to use the self serve kiosk, ask an airline employee, or another traveler who seems to know how it works.

When in line for security, put all metal objects, keys, watches, coins, pens, money clips, belt buckles, cell phone etc. in a pocket of your carry on bag, even your shoes if possible, send that bag through the scanner, as you walk hassle free through the metal detector.

If you are carrying a computer, be sure to take it out of the carrying case. I have my business card, taped to the top of my computer with duct tape for fast identification. If your business card has personal information on it, be sure to block that info out.

Have a Safe Trip!Jim Newell

10 Adventure Activities Travel Tips – Travel tips

When it comes to adventure travel the destination should be as adventurous as the activities planned. After all most of us can sky dive, scuba dive or bungee jump at locations either local to us or relatively close by. So when you add adventurous destinations to your adventure activities you have created the ultimate adventure experience. Just remember that many of these activities are excluded from your standard travel insurance so a special adventure activities travel insurance policy may be needed to provide for necessary protections.Here are my recommendations for some of the top adventure destinations that include adventure activities.Scuba Diving in MyanmarFor the last half century this southeast Asian nation has been closed to outsiders. Now as it begins to open up you still have an opportunity to visit this land with its diverse cultures before the McDonalds, shopping malls and traffic choked highways arrive. The Mergui Archipelago remains relatively untouched by modern society and scuba diving here will allow you to observe pristine coral reefs and magnificent sea life in addition to the cultural wonders of Myanmar before the modern world arrives in full force.Bungee Jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge, ZambiaAt 111 metres above the Zambezi River the Victoria Falls Bridge is considered one of the best bungee jumping platforms in the world. When your heart settles back into your chest, try a walking safari or jet boat up to the base of the fabulous Victoria Falls. Don’t forget to speak to your travel insurance company about the adventure activities you plan on doing while in Zambia to make sure that your adventure activities travel insurance covers you sufficiently.Go Kite boarding in Fujian, ChinaWhile relatively new to China, the sport of Kite Boarding has been adopted by the people of Fujian in a big way. If you’re new to the sport instruction is available. Other great adventures in China include mountain trekking in Tibet’s autonomous region, although proponents of ethical tourism may wish to consider where they stand on this point.Hot Air Ballooning in KenyaOK so Kenya isn’t the great adventure it once was; it’s still pretty adventurous. The adrenaline levels for this trip can be bumped up a notch through a hot air balloon ride. Bump up the adrenaline even more and plan to go during the great migration in the dry season where millions of African migratory animals begin the move towards water. Check with a destination specialist to arrange for this experience. Want more adventure? Try a guided camping safari in the bush.Surf Oahu’s North Shore, HawaiiGranted, Hawaii isn’t that adventurous but if you’re a surfer; the north shore of Oahu is all the adventure you need.Climb Mount Everest in NepalEver since it was first conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Everest has been attracting adventure seekers to challenge its slopes. I shudder to think what a decent adventure activities insurance policy would cost for this trip.Swim with Sharks in South AfricaWhile not that exotic a trip, your first face to face meeting with a 7 metre great white shark is bound to get your adrenaline going.Zip line in Cebu City, PhilippinesNot adventurous you say? This zip line launches from 473 feet atop the Crown Regency Hotel crossing over to an adjacent skyscraper.Rock Climbing in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, ColoradoFrom the novice to the advanced rock climber, Garden of the Gods in Albuquerque offers a suitable challenge for every level. Need more adventure? Colorado offers some of the finest skiing in the United States.Sky Dive in GuamJump from a light plane high above the Micronesian Island of Guam. Just make sure you are fully covered by getting an adventure activities travel insurance!

Traveling Tips – How To Keep Your Luggage Secured – Travel tips

Lost luggage or stolen luggage can happen in different parts of the world. Your luggage encases your important belongings. You would not want to be left with nothing because your bag got lost or stolen.To keep your luggage secured, here some of the tips you would want to know:Tip 1: Choose a luggage bag with secure features. You would want to look for double zippers or locking mechanisms that will prevent other people from opening your bag unsuspectingly.Tip 2: Label all your belongings. Place an identification tag most especially to your checked luggage. Make sure you indicate your name and the destination of the bag. Just in case it got lost or it boarded another plane, the airline can easily rectify the blunder. Also leave contact details.Tip 3: Also place individual labels to the pouches or bags inside your main luggage. Experts also suggest printing out your travel itinerary and placing it inside the bag just in case the identification tag found outside gets misplaced. The airline can still trace the luggage easily.Tip 4: Upon checking your luggage out, do not leave it attended. When hailing a cab to take you to your hotel, ask uniformed employees of the airline to help you out. Do not trust someone to carry the bags unless they are really employed by the company or the hotel you are staying.Tip 5: Before traveling, arrange for a service car to pick you up at the airport. Most hotels offer this service to clients for an extra charge. This is convenient for those traveling with more than 2 luggage bags. It will be easier to keep track of your bags if you hired a service car rather than if you commute.Tip 6: Always keep the checked luggage receipt with you. This will serve as an additional proof for you. You can present this to the airline just in case you have a case of missing luggage.Tip 7: Get the customer service contact details of the Airline Company. List it in your planner or phonebook so you can easily call if there are any problems.Tip 8: The fewer bags you bring with you, the easier it is to keep track of them. Buy a good-sized bag that can accommodate your belongings during your stay in the place. Avoid bringing expensive items.Tip 9: Avoid wearing flashy jewelry when traveling. You could become the object of interest of local thieves.

Northern Thailand Travel Tips – Travel tips

How long do I need in the north?Many people ask me how long they need in the North – my personal answer would be ‘it could never be long enough!’ My first visit to Thailand 4 years ago was to the North, and I have been living here for the past 2 years. For those restricted to a travel schedule though, at least 2 days is needed to cover the basic sightseeing of Chiang Mai (the capital of the North) although you could spend a week and not have covered all that the city and it’s surrounds has to offer. If you want to explore the countryside beyond Chiang Mai a recommended 3 days is needed to fully appreciate Chiang Rai province, and a further 5 days for Mae Hong Son.What is the best time of year to go?Winter in Thailand is from November – February, which is also the tourism high season here. Travellers prefer to come during these months as the temperature is slightly cooler, it is also the best weather for trekking. Whilst many people avoid rainy season (May-Sep), there are advantages -this is when the fields and nature are at their most lush green. Most of the time the rain will come in short spurts, it does not rain heavily all day. Summer time (March-April) is the worst time to come, when temperatures soar to mid-late 30’s. This is also when farmers burn the fields, so air quality is very bad and visibility of the mountain views masked by smoke. Note that prices for many things such as tours,accommodation,flights are much higher during high season, so it can be cheaper to travel in the low season.Is it recommended for kids?Northern Thailand is a fantastic destination for kids, in fact it offers something for all ages. Soft adventure and outdoor activities, nature and animals are sure to keep the kids entertained whilst opportunities for cultural exploration together as a family can an enriching experience for all.TransportMost major to mid size towns in the North are well connected by local bus routes, so its possible to get around by bus, however to explore outlying areas and small villages then you will need your own transport. In some of the more developed and touristic towns there will be motorbikes for hire, if you want to hire a car it is best to do so from Chiang Mai.Destinations in mountainous or more remote areas, will not have any form of transport so it’s advisable to have your own transport here too. Local buses come in 2 classes – air conditioned or fan. Air con buses are slightly more expensive but worth paying the extra baht for as they have more leg room and seating is more spacious. Overnight buses in Thailand are very comfortable, seats recline to about 150 degrees with enough leg room for the average height person. The only things to watch out for are the air-conditioning which they tend to put on high and karaoke songs which they like to keep you entertained with at high volume.Travel StyleThere are various ways you can travel around Northern Thailand – independent travel, group package tours, or something in between such as a private tour. Which one you opt for will depend on how you like to travel and your budget. Independent travel (the cheapest form) is obviously for those who don’t like to be restricted and prefer to explore by themselves, commonly done by backpackers on a low budget. The downfalls can be that whilst you may cover many areas with an open schedule, your travel experience will be purely observatory, you won’t know about the meaning and culture behind places without the knowledge of a local guide. Package tours are for those who feel less comfortable exploring a place on their own and like to have everything pre-planned, the disadvantage being that every aspect (hotels, transport, itinerary) is fixed including the amount of time you can spend at a sight, not good for those that don’t like to be rushed. A private tour combines the best of both independent and package travel in that you can tailor the itinerary to what you want to see and do, without the restrictions of a fixed schedule, basically you are the boss.Your trip to Northern Thailand could combine a mix of styles, for example for tourist areas such as Chiang Mai city which are easy to get around by with public transport where a lot of the attractions have explanations in English then a guide and private transport is not required. For sightseeing in outlying Chiang Mai (adventure activities, national parks, waterfalls and temples) you may want to consider hiring a taxi or song tiaw for a day. Then for excursions to the countryside beyond Chiang Mai, which are not so easily done on public transport you could hire a car, driver and guide for a tour.HotelsNorthern Thailand offers an amazing array of hotels and guesthouses from budget backpacker to 5 star boutique hotels. If arriving during low season it is not necessary to book beforehand, although you may get better rates if you book online. Many hotels in Chiang Mai can be found on online hotel booking agents. In rural parts most hotels/guesthouses (unless they are high end well established ones) are not available on any of the online hotel booking agents, you might be lucky if they even had their own website, so a phone reservation is the best way. During high season and any national holidays booking beforehand is advised as places get full pretty quickly.

Travel Tips – Don’t Leave Home Without Them – Travel tips

The annoyance of planning your trip will be forgotten when you are enjoying your vacation. In this day and age, traveling requires a lot of advance decisions to be made for both enjoyment and security. Read the following tips for help planning a trip and doing everything possible to enjoy it.Leave your valuables at home. Too many items often burden travelers with additional responsibility, which increases the possibility of these items getting lost or stolen.When traveling by airplane, it is important that you think ahead. Airports located in large, unfamiliar cities can be difficult to find. The traffic around airports can also create serious delays. Pack up all your suitcases the night before you travel. Get yourself completely ready to go the night before your trip. You do not want to miss your flight.Take clothespins when you travel. While you might not think of them immediately, clothespins can perform many functions.Always remember to tip housekeepers and bellboys. The bell boy should get a bare minimum of $1/bag, and housekeeping should get at least a couple dollars a day. That ensures that the people in charge of your service are happy and helpful.You don’t save much space using travel size toiletries and when you run out, the local stores often charge more for products that you need to replace. Try simple folding and packing tricks to expand your luggage space instead. A packing plan could save you serious space in your luggage.Sleeping pills can help get you through a long flight. For many people, sleeping on a plane is almost impossible, between the uncomfortable seats and the noise level. A sleeping pill may be just what you need to go to sleep quickly and make it through your flight without any problems. Don’t take these prior to takeoff, as there may be a delay or problem that requires a return.Staying awake until about 8pm in local time will help you to adjust better in the new time zone. Though you may be tired, it’s best to not go to bed early so you don’t exacerbate jet lag. Adjusting to local time is best way to defeat the effects of jet lag.Traveling a great distance from home is not always necessary for a fun getaway. Enjoy a staycation by visiting attractions in your local area. Your travel expenses can be lower if you support local businesses by staying close to home. There are often many undiscovered attractions closer than you think.Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water when traveling out of the country. The water you find in other countries may not be safe to drink as it can cause different sicknesses. Bottled water is important even for tooth brushing purposes. You may get ill from using the tap water.Stretch your legs once per hour or more when you’re on a long flight. You can do this by walking to the restroom, even if you don’t have to go. Sitting for hours is bad for your circulation and you might experience pain in your legs if you do not stretch.If you are going to travel, make certain that you have made copies of all of your important documents. Place different copies of your documents in several locations so that you cannot lose everything at once. Make sure you leave a set of documents with a friend or family member in case yours get lost or stolen.As was said before, planning your trip might not seem as fun as going on a trip. You can, however, make preparations for your trip and have a more enjoyable experience without a lot of stress. To have a wonderful getaway, apply the advice this article has given you.

Goa Travel Guide: Safety Travel Tips to Follow – Travel tips

Have you decided to party with your friends? What is the main thing that excites you? Of course, it should be beach vacation. Goa, Caribbean Islands, Florida and Miami are excellent beach destinations perfect for vacation. If you have planned to visit Goa, you need to remain alert to the nightlife, people, culture, crowd and everything around Goa. Ensure to follow these instructions to enjoy a safe beach vacation.Do not indulge in beach surfing at late evening or night:You would have come to Goa to enjoy beaches and adventurous activities. It is not advisable to indulge in surfing during night times. Sometimes, you would find the entire beach dark or without lights. There are chances for you to get into serious trouble. As you have come as a tourist, you would find lots of suspicious and unfamiliar faces. Act smart.Ignore complete strangers:Recently, it has been reported that Goa is prone to lots of eve teasing incidences and thefts. The tourist authorities are focusing on Goa safety concerns. If you are travelling as a solo woman, ensure to get along with good team of friends. They will accompany you throughout the trip. You can remain safe from the unknown crowd.Travel in groups:Goa is popular for its nightlife. However, there are chances for you to get attracted towards unnecessary things like misleading companies, rave parties, alcohol, drugs, etc. It is best to travel with your friends. They will stay by your side and you do not hand to step into legal crimes. When you join with a group of friends or known people while travelling to Goa, you can enjoy a best unforgettable trip. Also, ensure to avoid travelling by walk during the night. It is good to book a cab. Most travel dangers in Goa happen on the roads.Do not drink everywhere:If you are a moderate drinker, it is best to avoid trying new dishes and tastes at all food outlets. In some situations, liquor can cause food poisoning. You need to be alert when it comes to eating and drinking in Goa. Do not eat anything or everything you come across. It can result in severe hangover and bad health conditions. If you are not sure about taste, consequences and the brand, it is better to avoid.Do not swim if you are drunk:Guess, the above statement does not require much explanation. When you swim in drunken status, you will lose grip in high tides. There have been occurrences of natural sinking at the Goa beaches. Many times, youngsters due to their overly flowing adrenaline indulge in adventurous activities. It ends up serious or fatal. Remain safe. Stay away from water if you have drunk.Do Not Walk in Swim Suits or Bikinis:Goa is a traditional place. The local crowds are not used to casual dressing standards followed by the western or urban tourists. If you are wearing good decent clothes, you will not find much difficulty. But, if you try to wear something that is apt to your urban culture, it can invite goons and even teasers. It is waste of time and energy to fight with those people. If you vacate the place in a safe manner, you will not end up in any risks.Some people will wish to wear their bikini or swimsuits during their Goa trip. Well, it is best to choose private spaces, secluded beaches and less popular beaches in Goa. You can wear clothes as you wish and also remain safe. Hope, you have got a clear idea regarding Goa beaches. Enjoy your trip by booking your Goa tour packages in advance. Ensure to share these tips with other travel buddies. Happy holidays!

Travel Tips For Bali – Nusa Dua – Travel tips

The area of Nusa Dua was originally developed as a secure and peaceful resort location away from the bustling tourist precincts to the north. Home to the Bali Golf & Country Club as well as the Bali Convention Centre, the manicured enclave of Nusa Dua is all about premiere hotels and fine dining.Some of the most luxurious hotels in the world find their Bali home in Nusa Dua. Unknown to even some of its most loyal visitors, Nusa Dua offers more than just ranks of five-star hotels and up-market restaurants and boutique shops. For instance, many of the visitors staying at these fine hotels are largely unaware of the pristine white-sand beach located just five minutes away on the southern edge of the peninsula known to locals as Geger Beach.The public beach at Geger is recommended for tourists. Beautiful, safe and tranquil the beach area is also home to some of the best museums in Bali. Geger beach is safe for swimming and experiences a cooling ocean breeze as it is one of the few beaches facing east. Public transport is far from regular in the area but most hotels will assist with arranging taxis for tourists.There are three manned gates that lead into the Nusa Dua enclave and everyone entering the area is subject to a security search that has the unfortunate effect of detracting from the relaxed ambience.Immediately north of the Nusa Dua enclave is the peninsula of Tanjung Benoa that accommodates less exclusive hotels and Benoa village. Indicating this to be a multi-cultural area, visitors will see a mosque alongside both Hindu and Chinese temples.Boat rides are available form Tanjung Benoa and Nusa Dua enclave for trips to Serangan Island (Turtle Island). These are typically glass bottomed allowing excellent views of the marine life in the area. Serangan is a turtle sanctuary and conservation area. Local Balinese assist by keeping turtle eggs in purpose-built houses until they hatch at which time they are released into the waters around the local beaches.Numerous water-sport activities are available in the Nusa Dua area including banana boat rides, parasailing diving, fly-fishing and jet-ski rides. Most of the tourism operators in the area work in a cooperative type format ensuring price control is maintained and bartering unnecessary.Nusa Dua is home to some of Bali’s most exclusive spa facilities. Most of the hotels offer in-house spa treatments or will arrange for private operators to visit your villa or room.A morning walk along the extensive beachfront path is highly recommended. The path runs from the south end of the enclave for approximately 7 kilometres ending at the Grand Mirage hotel on the Tanjung Benoa spit.There isn’t a massive choice of restaurants in the area outside of the luxury hotels. Not far from the enclave entrance on the road from Kuta and the airport a number of Japanese and other Asian restaurants can be found. As these eating-houses are primarily aimed at group markets they have little ambience and do not come recommended.Where To Stay In Nusa Dua:Goodway Hotel: The best of a limited choice of budget accommodation the Goodway offer a spa, large swimming pool, Jacuzzi, beauty parlour and fitness centre. Rooms start at around US$75/night. If your going to stay in Nusa Dua I would highly recommend being prepared to spend a little more.Aman Nusa: A member of the Aman group of hotels, this is a truly first class property with all the bells and whistles. The restaurant is world-renowned and affords some of the areas most spectacular views. There is very little (if anything) that this property doesn’t offer its guests. Prices start at around US$750/night.Conrad Bali: Regularly regarded as the best hotel on the Tanjung Benoa peninsula, the Conrad is a massive property with Bali’s largest freeform swimming pool. Over 300 rooms are available to guests and all the facilities you would expect from a five-star property can be found here. Rooms start at US$250/night.Heavenly Residence: If budget is not an issue then this property is highly recommended. These are waterfront private, extreme luxury 3 and 4 bedroom villas with facilities such as 24-hour butler service. The property is set on a spectacular cliff top and offers everything the discerning traveller would expect. Villas are available from US$850/night.Nusa Dua is an artificial and sterile location with the advantages of high-end accommodation and a relaxing quiet ambience. It’s certainly not my choice for locations in Bali but if you are looking for peace and quiet, quality accommodation and very little else, perhaps it’s exactly what you seek.