Travel Tips For Vagabond Travelers in America

A vagabond traveler needs not be the typical homeless wanderer relying on Shrubs, left-over and river water. Ideally defined as back-packers – vagabonds do not plan their trips and they keep moving place to place in search for excitement. So, if you are backpacker vagabond traveling to America then this article is rightly meant for you. Here are some basic tips (though funny they may sound) to be considered for a better experience throughout your nomadic trip.

Like memories of your trip? Ensure you have a journal. An online blog won’t be as good as pen & paper material. Read them after 20 years and you know what we mean. Vagabonds traveling through America can be as much a story (and not diary/journal). If you drink alcohol then always carry your own bottle/wine openers. Often you will found yourself stranded with a bottle of wine or beer and nothing to open. That would be such a bummer.

A vagabond traveler in America always carries pack of playing cards. It will help you kill boredom and make new friends. A roll of toilet paper is a versatile traveling requirement in so many ways and not just a wiper. Use plastic bottles for carrying stuff and not glass bottles. Glass bottles mean as much more weight to carry. They are handy for your salt, pepper, detergent powder and what not. Also, keep stocking sachets of ketchup, vinegar, tissues, salt and anything you get wherever and whenever you get them.

Another good idea to get interactive with locales of America during your vagabond trip will be to increase your own GK. Find out little facts about your own country and town which people like to ask. Buy calling cards smartly. There are several options available in market. Find the one which can have you call maximum number of minutes. A backpacker card like VIP, HI and others will help you save a lot of money when staying in hostels.

Canada Travel Tips

Canada  travel   tips  are basically meant to inform travelers about various necessities which they have to have before entering the country. The following are some Canada travel info:

Registration

Travelers should register to the State Department so that they receive assistance in the situation of requirement. Free online registration facility is being made available by the government wherein travelers can register their travel plan. The registration helps as when the traveler is at some emergency, the government contacts with the family members.

Possess Valid Visa and passport

A valid passport and Visa has necessarily to be carried along so that in case of any inquiry the same can be furnished. Additionally, there should be proper information about who to contact in any emergency.

Family should know about tour plan

Travelers are advised to have briefed their family members about the travel so that they are able to contact for any purpose.

Checking overseas medical insurance coverage

Travelers should check whether their medical insurance has cover to their overseas ailments or not. If there is no medical insurance for overseas country, please make it sure that you have some kind of medical insurance to cover during your outside stays.

Know law of the land

Travelers are expected to be law abiding citizen and comply with the local laws. In order to be a decent traveler, one should familiarize himself with local conditions and laws.

Avoid being a target of crime

It is better to avoid target of crime. Though Canada is an advanced country and has low crime rate, travelers are expected to wear minimum jewelries. Travelers should not leave their baggage unattended in public place.

Language

English is an official language in Canada. However, French is spoken widely.

Smoking

Canada is cautious about the harmful effects of smoking. Some states in Canada such as British Columbia ban smoking at public places.

Measures

Officially, Canada uses the metric system wherein distance is measured in kilometers, speed signs are in kilometers per hour. Petrol/gas is sold by the litter and temperature is measured on the Celsius scale.

Taxes in Canada

The country has a regime of taxes imposed on travelers. In Canada the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 7% applies throughout the country and is added to most purchases and services. However, basic groceries have been exempted from it. In British Columbia, a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of about 7% applies to retail merchandise and services with certain exceptions – such as food, books, children’s clothing, restaurant foods and personal services. Canada taxes hotel rooms too at the tax rate of 8-10%.

Tipping

As always, tipping is a personal subject matter and can be paid at restaurants, bars and pubs, taxis and hairdressers, etc. Travelers should remember that it should not exceed to 15% of the total cost.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in public is prohibited by law in Canada. A person must be 19 years of age to consume or purchase alcohol in the province of British Columbia. However, the minimum age varies from province to province.

Ethiopia Adventure Travel Tips

In November 2010 my husband and I travelled around Ethiopia for three weeks by public bus with a private guide. Travel (especially bus travel) is a real adventure and not for the faint hearted as there is long travel days (even longer if the bus breaks down) on poorly maintained roads. But it is an excellent way to get up close and personal and experience the life and culture of the locals.

Addis Ababa

We arrived at the airport at 3.30am. We had not booked any accommodation due to our early arrival so we stayed at the airport till about 7am. A taxi agreed to take us into the city for USD$10. We went to the Ras Hotel where we had to wait till 9am to see if they had a room.

 Travel   Tip : We stayed at the Ras Hotel 3 times due to its central location. The price includes breakfast which is awful but lunch and dinner are good.

Bahir Dar

We stayed at the Ghion Hotel on Lake Tana and did a boat cruise to the islands to see the painted churches. The Blue Nile Falls area is pretty but not worth the long bumpy ride to get there. Since damming the river, the waterfalls are certainly nothing like the posters show.

 Travel   Tip : Check if a guide is included with your Lake Tana boat cruise. There was 9 of us on our boat. No guide accompanied us on the boat except for our private guide Samson. The first island we visited Samson acted as intrepreter otherwise we would have not understood what we were looking at. The second island we visited the church guide spoke English.

Gonder

The abandoned castles are very interesting and it is worth hiring the guides inside the gate.

 Travel   Tip : We stayed at the Belgez Pension which was cheap, clean and quiet but the rooms were very small and cramped. They do your washing for a very small fee – give to the cleaners in the morning.

Simien Mountains

We did a one day 4WD day trip with another traveller and our guide Samson.

 Travel   Tip : We would have liked to have stayed overnight even though we are not trekkers, as the scenery is stunning.

Lalibela

We spent 2 nights in Lalibela exploring the amazing rock churches.

 Travel   Tip : Keep your entrance ticket handy as they will be checked at each church entrance.

Arba Minch

Arba Minch is a overnight bus stop between Addis Ababa and Jinka.

 Travel   Tip : Spend an extra night on one of the stopovers and do the lake tour.

Jinka

We hired a 4WD locally to tour the main 3 tribes in the area (Mersi, Hamer and Karo tribes). We shared this cost with 3 other travellers who were on the bus and stayed at the same accommodation as us.

 Travel   Tip : Buy your bus ticket to Addis Ababa early (at least 1 day in advance) so you can obtain a better seat number otherwise you will find yourself stuck at the back of the bus on the 2 day journey. Buy good ear plugs so that you can block out the noise of the loud music videos playing.

Transport

We used a variety of transport that included: public bus, minivan, 4WD and boat.

 Travel   Tip : If you find that quite a few of you are heading in the same direction, it will be more economical and comfortable to rent a minivan and driver like we did from Bahar Dar to Gondar (7 people).

Tour Guide

We used the services of a private guide. This was the first time we have hired a guide for the entire trip through a new country. The guide proved invaluable in keeping the touts away (worth the money alone), dealing with local tour operators and obtaining hotels.

 Travel   Tip : Use a private guide’s extensive knowledge and experience to enjoy Ethiopia through the eyes of a local.

Cruise Travel Tips

Are you planning on going on a cruise? Well if this is your very first time, you may not be very sure what to expect. Having a few tips to help you out can be very helpful to you. So, here are some important cruise travel tips to keep in mind when you go on a cruise.

Tip #1 – Have a Carry On Bag – The first one of cruise travel tips that you’ll need to remember if you’re going on a cruise is to make sure that you have a carry on bag. Once you get on the ship, you’ll want to visit your cabin but you can’t expect your baggage to show up for awhile. So, it’s a good idea to have a carry on that has some clothes and a few essential toiletries on hand.

Tip #2 – Get a Map of the Ship – Cruise ships are huge. You don’t want to get lost and a map can definitely be a huge help to you. Make sure you have the map and take a bit to look it over so that you’ll be able to more easily get around the ship.

Tip #3 – Walk to Where You’re Going – When you are going to dinner or you are going to a show on board, you may want to walk wherever you are going. You’ll find that the elevators are probably going to be full and often many people are trying to wait for an elevator and they may not be in a great mood. So, just go ahead and take a stroll and get a bit of exercise walking to wherever you need to go.

Tip #4 – Keep the Noise Down at Night – If you are out late at night, make sure that you keep the noise down. You don’t want to go around slamming the doors of your cabin, since it can wake many people around you up. So, have some courtesy and shut your doors as quietly as possible to avoid encounters with grumpy cruise mates.

Tip #5 – Avoid Wearing Expensive Jewelry – When you are on a cruise ship, don’t go around wearing your most expensive jewelry so everyone can see it. Of course there will be some formal dinners where you will want to look great, but leave the most expensive jewelry at home. You may become the victim or a thief if you go around flaunting expensive jewelry.

Tip #6 – Tip Generously, is the last one of the cruise travel tips listed here; When you are out there on a cruise, make sure that you tip generously whenever possible. Most of the people on the ship make very little money except for by your tips. So, make sure that you are kind enough and generous to give a great tip.

Finally, make your cruise travel memorable and all that you want it to be by doing a lot of planning before you travel.

Business Travel Tips!

When you travel the world around you, it changes the world within you. That was one of my quotes a few years ago from my travel blog when I was blogging the World Tour. It holds true to this day, in my opinion.

I have traveled a lot these past 3 months, in particular, and am often asked how I do it. How do I maintain my energy, my focus, my connections, my health. So here are my best  travel   tips  – try them, you’ll like them.

TIP #1 – MAINTAIN REGULAR SLEEP HABITS. This is normal for me, anyway, whether I am travelling or not. But when I am on the road, it is critical for me to get my sleep. I adjust to the time zone I am in and go with it. I ensure the room is dark, cool, quiet and normally, when at conferences, for example, I always room alone. I know that many people find great joy sharing a room when attending events. That doesn’t work for me because I get enough stimulation during the business days and meetings – I don’t need the additional stimulation of someone in my room wanting to de-brief for the next few hours. It’s my down time so that I can get mentally ready for a restful sleep. That also means limited electronics or TV.

TIP #2 – GET REGULAR EXERCISE. These days, that can mean just counting your steps in the airports – they are so HUGE! It takes a lot of time and a lot of steps to get around. I hired a personal trainer this year and, when I am at home, it makes a huge difference. When I am on the road, I stay accountable, get my exercise and post photos for my trainer so I show evidence of my commitment. At a minimum, I do some Yoga moves which helps with stretching after long plane rides. I bring my exercise DVD with me, too – me and Jillian Roberts – look out world!

TIP #3 – I MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES. There’s not really any reason to look at a menu when I travel. I know what I regularly eat for breakfast, lunch and supper – now, remember my 80/20 rule. When I am somewhere special (like in Africa – I WILL have the chocolate croissants… just sayin’!) – I will try different foods. But for normal travel – I stick with my regular food choices – and rarely will I have a drink when I am on the road. It ruins my sleep. I know it. So why do it?

TIP #4: I KEEP MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL. Next to my exercise clothes, my Gratitude Journal is the one thing that goes in the suitcase. It IS when I travel, that I realize and recognize what a blessed life I live and I want to keep my attitude of gratitude.

TIP #5: KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR. Travel these days can be frustrating, challenging and difficult. There are many things beyond my control. It is so important to keep a sense of humor – and I do that by people watching. I love it! Most people have their face glued to their electronic devices – I just sit, with my latte, and watch. It’s great for keeping stress levels low. (good quality chocolate and a Starbucks latte makes me a happy traveler! – find your happy place, too!)

I have travelled a lot and will continue to do so. My  travels   tips  are not rocket science – they are pretty basic and yet they work. Try them – you’ll like them too.

Gay Travel Tips

Most importantly, let your heart decide where you want to go and what you want to see. This may sound silly, but I believe that we should let our curiosity, desires and wanderlust lead us. Visiting only “popular” gay destinations, or visiting only places deemed “gay-friendly” by other people, is an extremely limiting way to live life. I have traveled the world over and usually in the company of my husband. Not once, not anywhere, have we ever been made to feel unwanted while we were travelling.

Now granted, we may have not visited the most homophobic places on the planet, but we certainly have been to countries that are not known to be “gay-friendly”, like Egypt. Thanks to the news media, we could get the impression that the minute a gay man sets foot on Egyptian soil he will be imprisoned. This could not be further from the truth. There are several reasons for this.

First, for most of us, nobody can know if you’re gay or not just by looking at you. You may think you’re walking around with the words “I’m gay” written on your forehead, but you’re not. And unless you walk down the street in a lip-lock with your boyfriend, no one can tell if you’re gay. Sure, some of us are more “flamboyant” than others, but “flamboyant” is also relative to the culture you are in. The attention you may receive by the local people is most likely because you look like a tourist, not because you look gay.

This brings us to the second point, you’re a tourist. Because you’re a tourist, most everyone is going to love you. Your presence supports the local economy, gives people jobs and puts food on their tables. Even if someone does not approve of gay people, they’re not likely going to be cruel or chase you out of their shop or restaurant if they think you’re gay. This holds true everywhere we go as gay people, not just when we’re travelling. A merchant or restaurant here in America is very unlikely to refuse you service for the same financial reason. Yes, there can be zealots anywhere that will refuse you service, but that is actually more likely to happen in your home town than it is to happen when you are vacationing.

Last, governments are not people. A lot of the world hated the American government’s policies during the George W. Bush years, yet they did not blame or hate the American people. I was told this countless times and in many countries by the local people. Just because a government has an anti-gay attitude or laws, it does not mean that the people on the street have the same attitudes. It has been my experience that if you treat others with respect, offer a smile, say please and thank you (especially using the local language), most people could care less who you love or who you sleep with.

All this being said, you do need to practice a little common sense during gay travel (and when you’re in your home town for that matter). Below are few points to remember while travelling:

Don’t Be The “Ugly American” America is not the only country on this planet. We do not own the world so don’t act like you are better than the local people.

Respect Local Customs And Traditions American ways and traditions are no better or worse than any other culture’s. Learn the local cultural traditions and abide by them. You will gather a lot more disapproval from local people by not following local customs than you will by being gay.

Learn A Little Of The Local Language Learn at least a few words of the local language. The most important words to learn are “hello”, “good-bye”, “please” and “thank you”. I have had many wonderful encounters with local people just because I said (or at least tried to say) “thank you” in their own language.

Visiting Known Gay Establishments If you are going to a country that has a strong anti-gay bias and/or anti-gay laws, do not visit known local gay clubs or other “gay gathering places”. This one is a “no-brainer”.

Want to see my banana? Say no to solicitations to buy sex, no matter how cute he is!

Smile Smile, smile a lot. You’re on vacation for goodness sake. Smile, laugh, have fun and enjoy the people you encounter.

Leave Your Impatience At Home The entire world does not run at the same pace as America does (thank goodness). Leave the rushing at home; go with the local flow; participate in the local conception of time.

Business Travel Tips For Home Based Business People

Business travel has actually increased considerably in the last decade. Even home based businesses may involve travel because small companies are now able to sell to markets all around the world as a direct result of the Internet.

All this travel is putting an increasing strain on business travelers who often become stressed and fatigued at the constant need to be in another part of the world.

Regular travelers tend to ensure that certain routines are carried out every time they travel as this reduces the possibility (and the cost) of wasted trips. Here are some handy business travel tips.

LOST BAGGAGE

When baggage goes missing it is irritating to say the least but for someone on a business trip it can be a whole lot more disastrous. So, wherever possible, pack as much as you can into your carry-on luggage. Having everything to hand means that your checked luggage get delayed you will still be able to meet with clients and get your work done while you wait for less essential stuff to get chased up by the airlines.

HOW TO PACK FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL

When you do pack the main luggage, the clothes you won’t be carrying on as hand luggage, make sure to pack only what you need for this trip. In order to accomplish this, make do with a pair of casual shoes and a pair of business shoes only, and be sure to only bring enough work clothes to last you through the trip. All that is left once this is done is to include your toiletries and other business documentation.

A way to save space and possibly take a smaller bag is to roll some of your clothing up — this takes less room and is a business travel tip well worth noting. Dark clothing is better if anything gets spilled on it, as it is harder to see stains on dark clothes. Of course if you are working to a tight schedule and the inevitable delay happens then you want to know you can attend a meeting at a moment’s notice and the way to freshen up is by using those hand and face wipes that come in travel packs.

MOBILE PHONES AND OTHER ELECTRONICS

Although most cell phones have very good standby and talk times now, you will need to make sure your phone and any other electronic equipment you take are fully re-charged before you leave home.

These tips make sure that no matter what happens when you travel on business, you will be able to continue with your itinerary and those all-important business meetings. Business trips do not have to be boring and stressful if you apply the business travel tips in this article as they will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your free time even more.

Air Travel Tips – How to Beat Jet Lag for Good

Air travel can be a lot of fun, but also it can be very tiring. A common thing people experience after air travel is this phenomenon called jet lag. Jet lag is where your body and mind feels tired and out of sync with the local time zone. One of the causes of jet lag happens when you cross through various time zones and because of that your body’s time clock is not adjusted to the new time zone yet. So for example when you reach to your destination overseas to a new time zone, day time there maybe your late night of your home country, so your body may feel tired because it still thinks it is night time.

Having massive jet lag is not fun and actually may ruin your trip if it is not attended to properly. Here are some quick and effective air travel tips to beat jet lag.

Tip #1: Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane

While on the plane you may be tempted with all the wide range of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks available, but do not give in on them! Reason is that these drinks will cause dehydration in your body, and especially with the dry air in the plane, this will multiply the effect. Dehydration of your body has been found to be linked with making jet lag worse! Therefore drink as much water as you can so that your body stays nice and hydrated while on the plane.

Tip #2: Sleep as much as you can on the plane

One of the easiest tricks to beating jet lag is to sleep as much as you can on the plane. This will help in adjusting your body to the new time zone difference and providing your body with ample rest. If you do have trouble sleeping on the plane, then there are various sleeping aides you can take to help you sleep. However before you start taking sleeping aides, it is best to consult your local doctor for their expert advice.

Tip #3: Don’t be tempted to sleep during the day at your destination

When you arrive at your destination, usually the first two days you will feel the most jet lagged. With that you will start feeling tired during odd times of the day such as in the late morning, or late afternoon. Do not give in and sleep during these times of the day.

You must push yourself to force your body out of your old time zones and stay awake until it’s the evening when it is proper for a night’s rest. One way to keep your body pumped up for the day is to do some regular exercises and stretches. This will help keep your blood circulating and help to keep your mind focused.

Jet lag can be a drag to your vacation. It can ruin your vacation by causing your body to feel tired and out of sync with the world. However if you follow the above three simple but effective air travel tips to cope with jet lag, then you should be able to beat it within the first two to three days of landing at your destination.

Best Travel Tips For a Fabulous Vacation

Traveling is such a great experience that we think that we can do this all the time.
Unfortunately, we now have very little time for travel in this fast & furious world. Most of us hardly get a few weeks per year to take vacations if we are lucky enough.

We have to make sure the trips to be the best with some amounts of humor (unlike many travel movies where there are only nightmares around each corner). We are providing you with our top 10 travel tips to make your vacations unforgettable – (of course without the nightmares).

Top 10 Travel Tips

1. Plan early & book when a best deal fits your budget. New companies pop up everyday for more and more travel. Why? Because as the baby boomer age group gets grown-up & the parents once take their kids out of the house, they are traveling more and more. Best deals are easy to get through many sound companies that offer great & economical rates and fares.

2. Be familiar with your destination and the best times of travel. Remember the incidence of Angelina Jolie who takes the whole family to across the country only to find out the favorite Fun Park closed for the day? Do not let that happen to you. Try to know what is going on and when is the best time to travel. For example, most people know that March and April tend to be spring break times. Well, if you take your little ones to Panama City Florida during these months you might end up in a large crowd.

3. Take care of your belongings including family pet.

4. Budget wisely. Make provisions for worst situation and carry enough resources to fall back on. If you are on a budget, be smart & enjoy doing things on a trip.

5. Don’t forget your key documents at home. There is nothing more frustrating than this.

6. You have to choose your place of stay smartly. If you choose to stay close to beach, market, and restaurant for any famous vacation then that will be the best. On the other hand, it will be equally frustrating if you need to catch a train or a rent a car just to get there from the hotel. You have to make sure that everyone who is traveling with you will also have fun! Again, in Las Vegas vacation when the kids are too young to gamble, you have to come up with some creative ideas so the kids will also have a good time.

7. Sign up for online magazine & newspapers to keep you abreast of new information about the destination of your choice.

8. Plan it properly. It can really cut you short on certain things like rentals and transport charges.

9. Make a checklist and be sure to check that everything is in order before starting and during the trip. From booking to packing to check in, do not fail to remember anything and fail to consult with checklist.

10. Have a great fun and enjoy no matter what type of vacation you are going on.

These are our top 10 travel tips and we try to abide by them each time we take a vacation. Hope you too will find your trip to be more enjoyable using these tips.

If you want your Trip with a strict budget, I promise that you too will be pleased if you try it like me. Besides, you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying. So give it a try. I suggest you for best travel website as I found while searching on Google. These are Airtkt.com, Cheapfareguru.com, Erostours.com, Latinfare.com, for Last minute cheap airline tickets.

Happy Traveling

Senior Travel Tips – How Seniors Can Outwit Pickpockets and Other Petty Criminals

Probably one of the biggest senior travel tips that I can give outside of having proper health insurance is to safeguard your items. I have been extremely lucky to have never been robbed during over 30 years of traveling.

However, there has been an occasion where someone removed some items from my checked baggage. Someone also stole my passport out of my back pocket, but it was later recovered after I offered a small reward (Small in comparison to paying for a new U.S. passport).

Senior citizens and other adults might not realize it, but there are pickpockets and other thieves at nearly every tourist destination in the world, and that includes the United States. Some of them are professionals who can easily relieve you of some of your valuables unless you learn to avoid making it easy for them to take.

Theft doesn’t only occur on the streets, but it also happens at the airport, bus or train stations, and even during the trip.

In this article, I will offer some field tested ways to help seniors avoid losing their valuables to criminals.

Senior Travel Tips – How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

Many locations are different, but some of the same methods are used to remove valuables from tourists in any country. You can practically eliminate most of these methods by following these practical senior travel tips:

• Keep Most Valuables in Your Hotel Room – If you are not walking around with your valuables, you are less likely to have them stolen from you. Leave them in your hotel room, or better, don’t bring them with you during your trip. Instead of taking your expensive watch, buy a cheap digital one that keeps time. Instead of wearing expensive jewelry, you should keep some nice imitation jewelry to wear at your hotel, or to a nice restaurant or other event. When you are walking on the streets, you should dumb down your dressing. There’s nothing wrong with walking around and looking poor at a popular tourist destination.

• Money Belts – It is a good idea to keep your money and credit cards inside a money belt. However, use the thin kind that slips around your waist and underneath your shirt. Not the ones that hang on the outside with an imaginary sign, “Hey, I’ve got my valuables in here.”

• Special Inserts – There are some specially designed pants or shirts that have hidden pockets or zipped areas where you can also hide your money and valuables. It’s a good idea to keep your bigger bills in such places, and only keep a few smaller bills in your pocket for when you need to pay for something quickly.

• Wallets – For those seniors who still feel the need to carry a wallet, there are a couple of ideas to lessen the possibility of someone lifting it. First, you should always keep it in one of your front pockets. Second, it’s a good idea to place a couple of rubber bands around your wallet before putting it in your pocket because it is more difficult for someone to remove it. It also makes it more difficult for your wallet to bounce out of your pocket while you are walking.

• Avoid Crowded Areas – Another one of the simple senior travel tips is to avoid crowded areas. Crowded areas are the perfect spot for pickpockets and thieves. When people are pushing against each other on the street, an elevator, or on a busy subway, professionals are quickly working their targets. If you must go to a crowded place, keep your eyes and hands close to your valuables at all times.

• Create a Checklist – Many forget their items on tables, in drawers, pillow cases, or under mattresses in hotels. Sometimes, creating these extra hiding places are the reasons that seniors don’t remember them later. It’s enough to keep your mind on all of your suitcases and other travel bags. Always go through your entire hotel room and check everyplace to make sure you have left nothing behind. The same goes for rental cars, planes, buses and other transportation.

Senior Travel Tips – Conclusion

Thieves will always thrive where there is money. If you ever get your things ripped off (Or, nicked, like the Brits like to say), immediately file a police report in case your items are returned or recovered from the thieves. You will also need your police report for insurance companies if you have travel theft insurance.

If someone steals from you, the only thing you can do is be more careful next time. Don’t allow a theft to ruin your holiday and try to prevent becoming a victim in the first place. Follow these senior travel tips for a safer trip.