Top Travel Tips – Russia

If you are looking for a rich cultural vacation experience, then Russia would make a superb vacation destination. Russia is a massive country. It is actually twice the size of the USA. The culture in Russia is also very different to that of the United States, and as you may expect there is a lot to see and do, much more than you will ever be able to cover in a single holiday.

Russia has a rich history as a superpower, however they have gone through a lot of political changes and upheaval in the past few decades. All this makes Russia a fascinating country with a rich history and a unique culture, well worth visiting.

Travelers should be aware that there are a lot of problems with health and public infrastructure in certain parts of Russia, so it is best to assume, for example, that tap water is not safe to drink.

You don’t have to look very far to get satisfying answers about your travel questions for traveling to Russia. One excellent online resource is The U.S. State Department website. You will find great information and helpful tips for travel in Russia, such as the visa requirements for entering the country and more. Naturally, you cannot enter the country unless you have the proper documents such as a passport and visa. So be sure to comply with the visa requirements. It is an essential part of your Russia vacation planning. One important tip for travel in Russia is this. It could actually take at least two weeks to get your visa, so you need to plan properly. Failure to do so could mean that you may have to cancel your travel plans if your visa does not arrive on time. On the other hand, if you plan well and apply for your visa weeks in advance, you can get all the necessary travel documents in a timely fashion. Another important tip you need to know before going to Russia is that taxis in Russia very seldom use meters. You will need to negotiate with the taxi driver in advance. Failure to do this could result in a conflict or exorbitant fees, so bear this in mind.

Safety In Russia

While Russia is an interesting country with a lot of magnificent sights to see, there are some safety problems ‘ thieves are common, and there is a relatively high amount of violent crime. Some areas are safer than others, so it is a good idea to research the places you plan to visit before you leave, and take basic precautions such as keeping valuables out of sight and not carrying large amounts of cash.

Russia is a wonderful country with a rich heritage and some wonderful cultural institutions. The ballet companies are amazing, and there are some very good museums that everyone should try to visit while they are in the country.

The capital, Moscow, is a worthwhile starting point for first time visitors, with some spectacular architecture. The same can be said of St Petersburg. St. Petersburg is home to many historic buildings many of which date back to the days of Peter the Great.

Travel Tips Every Traveler Should Know

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Portland, Oregon for business. Not unusual for me as most of my work involves traveling somewhere. As I checked into the hotel, a woman was standing at the front desk yelling at the Front Desk Manager. I tried to ignore the situation but she was quite loud and it was impossible not to hear what her issue was. It seems that when she checked into the hotel, they asked her for a credit card to cover her incidentals (phone, mini bar, etc.).

She handed them her debit card. A while later, when she went to purchase something using her debit card and there was not enough money in her account. You see, when you check into a hotel and give them your plastic, they immediately put a hold of $100-$150 for each day of your stay. Within a few days of your check-out, they remove that hold. As I stood there I thought to myself, doesn’t everyone know that? Apparently not.

I realized that as a frequent traveler I take many things for granted. Here then is a list of  travel   tips  that I have found helpful in my many years of  traveling . I hope you find them useful.

o When you make your airline reservation, be sure you know your destination (one of my clients ended up in Portland, Maine).

o Reserve your seat in advance. Go on the airline website and look at what is open. Then go to one of my favorite travel websites, Seatguru.com. You choose your airline and the type of airplane listed on your ticket and it will show a seating chart of your plane and rate each seat for positives and negatives.

o Check to see if your flight is on time. You can use the airline’s website or telephone number but I find Flighttracker.com by Orbitz to be the most up to date and user friendly. You can also download it on your PDA. (Note: Southwest Airlines does not report in to this site).

o Be sure that you carry some small bills with you.  Tipping  and  traveling  go hand-in-hand. And, if you’re traveling internationally carry small bills, as when you exchange your money or pay for something using US Dollars, you will most often receive your change in the local currency. Also, if you’re in a place bargaining for a price, it is difficult to say that you have no more money if you’re paying with $100 bill and asking for change.

o If you drive yourself to the airport, write down your parking information. Upon your return, you will be glad you did.

o If you check your bags with a skycap, be nice. They decide where your bag is going.

o Before you check your luggage, be sure your name is on all bags. And putting a business card or piece of paper with your name and contact information inside is always a good idea.

o Once your bag is checked, be sure to look at your claim ticket to make sure the routing listed is the same as your itinerary. It is supposed to be foolproof, but one must take on quite a bit of personal responsibility when traveling. Also, be sure to remove old baggage tags from your luggage.

o If you are traveling internationally, make a copy of your passport and carry it in a different location than the original. If your passport is lost or stolen, this can expedite the process of obtaining a new one.

o Be kind to your fellow travelers and wear easy on/off shoes when traveling. You will have to remove them to go through security and, trust me, if you’re struggling with your shoes there are people behind  you rolling their eyes.

o Carry-on and liquids – you should know this by now. If not, go to tsa.gov.

o When boarding the plane, count the seats between yours and the emergency exit. I know what you’re thinking; if we go down, there will be enough holes in this plane to get out of. Do it anyway. And make note of your hotel’s emergency exits also.

o When you check into a hotel, use a credit card for incidental charges. DO NOT use a debit card. If you don’t have a credit card, ask about a cash deposit.

o Now that you have your hotel room key, do not put it anywhere near other magnetic keys, credit cards, name badges with magnets or cell phones. Yes, that’s right, cell phones. Or you will find yourself knowing the front desk staff quite well.

o Don’t depend solely on hotel wake-up calls. Use an alarm clock or cell phone as a back-up.

o Respect your neighbors and close your door, don’t let it slam.

o Check your hotel room safe prior to check-out. And don’t forget your cell phone and computer chargers. On a related note, if you arrive at your destination without your cell phone charger, call the hotel lost and found. They generally have dozens left by previous guests that they will be happy to lend you.

These are some of my favorite  travel   tips . What are yours?

Travel Tips For Women Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can give you the freedom to go where you want and to do whatever you want to, but also exposes you to unscrupulous people.

The risk increases as a new arrival in your chosen destination. Women traveling alone should be more vigilant than when they are traveling in a group. Nothing is lost by being attentive for your own security, because if you get caught unprepared, it will be too late to repent later.

When at the airport, avoid the exchange of large amounts of money. Wait until you have settled into the hotel before going to the bank or exchange dealing. Just change the amount that will cover the cost of taxis and a few extra expenses.

Before entering a taxi, take note of its number plate. Once inside, try to make a call to someone. Inform the friend of the taxi plate number and that you are on your way to meet them. Make sure that the driver hears you loud and clear. Do the same, if it feels like someone is following you.

This will discourage bad intentions, if they know you can call for help. This brings us to the importance of a phone. You must have one because you simply do not know when you will need to use it. If you do not have one with you, at least have something that resembles one. Better use some accessory that nothing at all.

When in your hotel room, never open the door to anyone you don’t know. Inviting someone in the room is also a big no no. Avoid using stairs, especially at night, as it is the perfect place for a surprise attack.

You may not have considered this, but a tampon box is the ideal place to store your valuables. You can be sure that no one wants to see what’s inside. Allow at least a couple of layers to cover whatever is hidden inside. Your bra is another good place to store your money. Bras with removable cookie pads are the ideal type, as you can just put the money inside the pad pockets.

Some tips to prevent someone approaching you be surprise: a gold ring on your finger often does the job but if you have one, a bag or jacket on the chair beside you and in front of you should drive the point home. If you take the train or bus, sit in the aisle seat and place the bag or jacket on the window seat.

Do not hesitate to call the police or the nearest security guard if you feel your safety or security is threatened. Many attacks occur because the victims do not seek help when they had the chance.

As a female traveling alone, you must be extremely vigilant to stay safe. sexual predators and offenders are waiting for the moment when your guard is down before attacking.

So, always be aware of your surroundings and keep a watchful eye on anything questionable.

Travel Tips For Last Minute Vacations

Have you decided to take a spur of the moment vacation? Or did you wait too long to plan your trip out West for the annual family reunion? Either way, here’s everything you need to know to plan that vacation swiftly without breaking the bank.

1. Shop Around – When it comes to last-minute planning, no wiser words have been spoken! Don’t settle for the very first seemingly good deal you come across; sit down and spend an hour (or two) researching on various travel and airline websites to see who is offering the absolute best deals.

2. Sign Up for Alerts – Many travel websites (think Priceline or Hotwire) allow users to sign up for alerts. For example, if you need to purchase a flight to New York City, simply sign up for alerts you’ll be emailed when fares dip below a certain price or an airline is offering a screamin’ deal.

3. Call your Travel Agent – It may seem old school but booking your trip through a travel agent is a tried-and-true last-minute vacation method that works more often than not. Why? Online travel booking through the very sites you’re probably using have put the pinch on travel agents. Many of them have several connections within the travel industry that they can utilize to pass on serious savings to you. In addition, you may find a few willing to offer you a great deal in hopes that you’ll use them for your future travel needs.

4. Bundle It! – If you happen to be planning a trip where you’ll need airfare plus a rental, you may have the opportunity to save even more. Many online travel sites offer cheaper rates if you’re willing to bundle airfare and hotel or hotel and rental car.

5. Fly to the Less Popular – Airport, that is. If you happen to be flying to a metropolitan area, save some dough by flying into a smaller, less popular airport. For instance, New York City has three different major airports to choose from: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark in New Jersey.

6. Think Outside of the Box – Instead of paying for the most conventional travel methods and modes, are there ways to save by thinking outside of the box. Instead of paying $100+ a night for a mediocre hotel room, could you save a little (or even spend slightly more) for a much bigger, nicer rental condo? Instead of renting a car, are you in an area that offers mass transit? Be a little creative and you just might find you can save even more on your dream vacation.

7. Be Flexible – Most importantly, when it comes to last minute vacations remember that being flexible is going to allow you to save you the most. You may find that going on a Caribbean cruise is actually cheaper than staying at an ocean-front resort. Or that simply flying out two weeks later saves you hundreds of dollars. Moral of the story: be flexible!

Travel Tips You Never Heard Before

The vast majority of travel advice usually centers around flying, airports and airlines, hotels, budgets, various destinations, etc. This article is intent on exposing some tips that most people would never think of – housekeeping items mainly. They may not save you a lot of money as most  travel   tips  seem to do but they are invaluable when you are  traveling . Especially if you have a business presentation or meeting to go to the following day.

Gum – you perhaps already know this trick. To get gum out of hair (beside cutting it), off a garment or a shoe, you ice it with ice cubes and then break it off when it hardens. Do you know how to get ring around the collar stains out though? Put hair shampoo on it and spread it around the collar. Shampoos are designed to remove oils from hair so they are a natural for skin oil as well.

Need to wash some clothes in the sink but the hotel doesn’t have a laundry to dry them? Try hanging them in the bathroom with the light on. They will be dry by morning. For faster drying turn on the heat lamp (but don’t put the clothes under it or too near it!). Want to rid your room of flies but you have no bug spray? Use hair spray instead. And if you really think ahead, take some laundry detergent with you in a plastic sandwich bag (NOT in your carry-on however) and a small spray bottle. If your clothes need ‘freshening’ , you can spray the detergent in the obvious places (underarms, down the front, etc) and then rinse them off and dry them as directed here.

If you are suspicious about a hotel room or cruise cabin having Legionnaires disease spores, immediately run a hot shower (with the bathroom door open) for 5 minutes and leave the room. It will dissipate any possible spores. A money saving tip: most people know if you forget a toothbrush or need any assorted toiletries, ask the front desk before venturing off to buy anything. Many hotels have toothpaste, deodorant, combs, razors, etc for free. One final tip that MIGHT save you money. Buy a collapsible cooler and pack it in your suitcase. When you arrive at your hotel, if it doesn’t have a fridge in the room (or they charge extra for them), fill it with ice and you can keep food and drinks for days. Really helps cut down on the bar and restaurant tab when you can buy a beer for less than $1 in a 6-pack versus $2.75 (plus tip) at a lounge.

These tips are valuable when you need them but are not ones you would normally think of so re-read this article several times. One day when you need some help along these lines, you will probably remember them by accident.

Women’s Travel Tips – Packing Light

When it comes to travelling these days, the less time you can spend in line at the airport, the better. Every time you fly, your goal is to get in and out as fast as possible, with as little hassle as possible. The key is to pack light. Here are some simple  travel   tips  to make that happen.

If at all possible, the best way to travel is just with a carry-on, so you don’t have to waste all that time wading through a sea of all that checked luggage rolling around on the conveyor belt. If you have to check luggage, you still want to keep it light, and keep it to one bag only.

You may be scoffing right now, but it is all entirely possible. Here’s how you do it.

1. Start with a great suitcase. Something durable. Something colorful. Something with wheels and a retractable handle. Something that has lots of organized compartments and front pouches for important things you may need to access.

2. Know what you need to bring, and what you need to leave behind. Make a list. Pack your suitcase the week before your vacation, and then return to it the next day with a critical eye, and take out every single thing you absolutely don’t need. No “what-ifs” allowed.

3. Stick to a color palette for your clothes. Start with a neutral color that you can mix and match with lots of things, such as beige or black or cream. Then, add in color in your accessories. The goal is to make sure every single thing you pack, goes with everything else.

4. Be sensible with your shoes. They take up a lot of space, and it just doesn’t make sense to bring six different pairs for different outfits. Wear your comfortable walking shoes on the plane, pack your sandals and one (yes, I said one) nice pair of shoes for going out. Throw in folding slippers for the hotel, and flip-flops for the beach, and you’ll still have lots of room for everything else.

5. Pack a few scarves or light shawls, and some funky necklaces and bracelets and you can turn any dress into three or four entirely different outfits.

6. Invest in a good Toiletry Kit, so you’re not bringing giant bottles of product, but just the amount you need. This will also help you get that carry-on through security if you make sure your toiletry kit is compliant with flight regulations. Most of them even come with a hook, so you can hang it on the back of the bathroom door when you’re at your hotel.

7. Don’t pack books, buy a Kindle reader and leave your stack of vacation paperbacks at home.

8. Don’t forget you can buy things you may need when you arrive, such as toothpaste, shampoo or sunscreen. No need to bring it from home.

9. Last, but not least, invest in one of those incredible little folding nylon suitcases that are wallet sized to start, but fold out into a full sized suitcase. While it’s important to pack sensibly at the beginning of your vacation, you will need room to pack all your souvenirs for the trip home.

Big City Travel Tips – Safety First

Big city travel has never been more alarming for individuals not used to city travel and unfamiliar with the city in question. It can be daunting traveling to a new destination, but apprehension is more likely to rise to the surface when you look at just how many crimes take place these days. Couple that with the alarming big city travel stories that have been publicized on the Internet and it is little wonder that individuals debate as to whether they really want to experience certain cities for themselves!

However, big city  travel   tips  can easily help to put the minds of potential travelers at rest. There are several things that anyone can do to keep themselves safe in the big cities and thus can visit them, see the sights and enjoy some well-earned time away from the stresses and strains of modern life with little hassle. Simply follow the big city  travel   tips  below and you cannot go far wrong!

1. Luggage – Only take what you need when you travel and make sure that you have a list of the belongings in your bag. This big city  travel   tip  can save you time if your luggage does get stolen, but will also enable you to find what you need in an emergency. You should never leave your luggage unattended for even a second while traveling in a city. It will most likely either be stolen or tampered with if left unattended for a few seconds so ensure that it remains within your sight and possession at all times.

2. Money – Only take one or two credit cards with you on your big city travel trip and ensure that the PIN numbers, if you have them, are not in your possession. Also, when taking money with you, split it up. Divide the cash between pockets in your luggage and areas on your person. For example, keep some of it in your socks, some in a pocket, some in a money belt under your clothing and so on. That way, if anything does happen to you, you will at least have enough money to get back to your hotel. If you are going to a city abroad then take travelers checks with you because they are insured. If you lose them then you can cancel the originals and receive replacements usually within 24 hours.

3. Schedule – Vary your schedule from day to day when undertaking big city travel. This may not seem like a big deal to couples and families that are set in their ways, but individuals looking to make a quick buck one way or another undoubtedly target some tourists. If you vary your schedule then it will be almost impossible to predict where you are going to be at any given time and this can keep you safe.

4. Clothing – Never wear anything that projects wealth or affluence when undertaking big city travel. This includes jewelry, clothing and any accessories that may point to the fact that you would be a great target for a mugging or robbery. Most tourists wear normal and relatively cheap clothes that blend into the background, and anybody flaunting that guideline is putting him or herself at risk.

5. Family – If you and your family split up during big city travel time, make sure that you have a way to get in touch with each other, have arranged a set meeting place and time, and are completely clear on all of these points so that you will be alerted to the fact that anything is wrong straight away. Wherever possible in big city travel, individuals traveling together should stay together. However, the need does sometimes arise. If it does, make sure that you all have the address of the hotel and a map of the city with you at all times.

6. Scams – There are always individuals looking to scam people that are strangers to an area, and during the course of big city travels there are many of them about. Only ask trusted sources for directions and advice, never follow the guidance of strangers unless they are affiliated with official bodies and only buy merchandise from official stores. These guidelines may sound like common sense, but many people flaunt them and this can get them into difficulties!

Washington DC Travel Tips

Washington DC is a cultural mecca for those who love art, architecture, history and a classy environment. Being the capital of our great country this place has a lot to offer so it is important to properly organize your schedule before visiting such an inviting place.

To quickly mention just a few of the places which are “a must see” we will quote the following:

The Lincoln Memorial which is located at the west end of the National Mall (also a must see), this great landmark offers several view points of the city and it is highly regarded due to its profound historic value.

The Vietnam veterans memorial which is also an important landmark which is meant to engrave in our memories the 58 thousand Americans which died or went missing during the tragic events of the Vietnam war.

Washington’s National Cathedral which is open to worshipers of all denominations is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and due to its unique gothic architecture is quite an attraction which also offers great views of the surroundings.

The National Air and Space Museum where all kinds of aircraft designs as well as the finished planes can be found, this is ‘a must’ if you have children who are big fans of planes. For those who are big fans of Star Trek, the original model of the “Enterprise” space ship can be explored.

There are literally dozens of places which deserve to be quoted but since there are so many places to go to, you will definitively need a way to get around in style without having to rely on taxi cabs every time you want to see a different attraction, not to even mention that in the long run it will be expensive.

For those who are planning to visit our nations capital, the best way to get around is by limousine. If you live in a place where limousine transportation is not that common don’t worry, Washington D.C. is an extremely classy place to be and it’s also the place where the White House is found, so it is not rare to see many people using Washington DC limo transportation to ride comfortably and in style, and if you think about it there are several advantages such as having a courteous and knowledgeable driver who knows his way around the city as well as the safety it represents not having to drive after a few drinks.

Whether you are going for pleasure or if you were invited to a Wedding, are assisting a Convention or are traveling due to business you owe it to yourself to stop by some of the most beautiful and meaningful attractions Washington DC has, as well as enjoying of stylish transportation. Also, remember that when hiring a Washington DC limo service it is important to know whether these services will cover Multi-city transportation since not only Washington DC has great attractions but neighboring cities are also quite picturesque.

African Travel Tips When Visiting Kenya

Kenya is the land that has given birth to the most popular African activity for tourists, namely the safari, and its easy to see why. Blessed with tremendous topographical diversity stretching over four climatic zones and featuring coral reefs, desert landscapes, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, Kenya has it all in one.

Inhabiting these diverse landscapes and wilderness areas are Kenya’s world-famous wildlife, which can be viewed from horseback, 4×4 vehicle, verandah or on foot. There are over 1000 species of birds and huge colonies of colourful butterflies. Also attractive is the rich history, which dates back to the Stone Age, and the various cultures expressed through the sought-after arts and crafts.

So, if you are lazing on the white sand beaches of exotic Mombasa or gazing at the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle, the annual wildebeest migration, you are sure to enjoy a world-class experience.

CAPITAL:

Nairobi

CLIMATE:

Four climatic zones exist: tropical, equatorial, semi-desert and desert. Only two seasons are identified, namely dry and rainy. Due to altitude and topographical differences of the various regions, these seasons and temperatures are not uniform and vary greatly. However, in general the climate is warm and humid at the coast, cool and humid in the central highlands, and hot and dry in the north and east.

CURRENCY:

The official currency is the Kenya Shilling. Traveller’s cheques are widely accepted and many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept credit cards. Foreign currency such as US dollars, British pounds and Deutschmarks can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and authorized hotels. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into Kenya, but taking out more than 500,000 Kenya Shillings requires written authorization from the Central Bank. Before departure, travellers are advised to convert any excess Kenya Shillings into foreign currency at a bank or bureau de change. Departure taxes can be paid in local or foreign currency.

ELECTRICITY:

220/240 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are 3-pin square.

HEALTH:

A yellow fever vaccination is recommended if the traveller comes from an infected country or area. Visitors are also advised to take pre-arrival precautions against typhoid, hepatis A, polio, malaria and meningitis depending on the area visited and time of year. Other health concerns include cholera, rabies, the Nairobi beetle (don’t touch, threaten or kill), dysentery and diarrhoea.

LANGUAGE:

English is the official language, but Kiswahili is the national language.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

New Year’s Day (1 Jan); Good Friday (09 Apr); Easter Monday (12 Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Madaraka Day (01 Jun); Moi Day (10 Oct); Kenyatta’s Day (20 Oct); End of Ramadan (14 Nov); Independance Day (12 Dec); Christmas Day (25 Dec); Boxing Day (26 Dec)

SHOPPING:

Traditional artefacts, beaded jewellery and decorative items, animal wood and soapstone carvings, furniture, coffee, precious stones, furniture, Khanga and Kikoy cloths, musicical instruments, modern art, basket work e.g. Kiondoo/Chondo sisal baskets, Maasai Shukka blankets, ‘Thousand Miler’ sandals, ‘elephant hair’ bracelets.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS:

Culture here is a mix of the modern and the traditional, with European habits prevailing throughout the country. Kenyans are a very friendly nation and you can dress informally for most occasions.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

GMT +3

TIPPING:

Not mandatory. Guides, drivers, waiters and hotel staff can be tipped at your discretion.

TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS DESCRIPTION:

Maasai Mara:

National Reserve The world’s most famous Game Reserve due to the annual wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migration over this vast plain offering breathtaking views; home to a profusion of wildlife and birds; activities include excellent game viewing year round, balloon rides and bird watching.

Tsavo East and West:

The twin national parks of Tsavo, totalling 10 million acres of wilderness, form Kenya’s largest National Park, which make it ideal for those who enjoy solitude; of the two Tsavo West is visited more; apart from the wildlife and birds, visit Lugard Falls, the volcanic Mzima springs and a unique underwater observatory.

Mombasa:

One of the world’s most exotic tropical ports with a turbulent history. Visit the magnificent Fort Jesus and harbour, see the Arab architecture in Old Town and smell the scent of spices. Many fine temples and mosques can be explored such as the Shiva Temple, the Baluchi mosque and the Dawoodi Bohra Mosque. Also don’t miss the Mombasa Marine National Park, the Moi Avenue gateway arch, dhow cruises and the beaches.

Amboseli National Park:

One of the most popular national parks in Kenya with a wide range of accommodation; the landscape is dominated by Mount Kilimanjaro and the park is famous for its big game and scenic beauty; bird life is abundant.

Lake Nakuru National Park:

Famous for its flamingoes and so popular with bird watchers and other nature lovers. Make full use of the view point and visit the Euphobia forest.

Mount Kenya National Park:

The country is named after Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. For mountain climbers and hikers, it offers easy and challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. The local tribes believe it is the home of Ngai (God). A number of unique, rare and endangered species can be found here and there is abundant bird life.

Lamu:

A peaceful tropical island with a fascinating history, which can be explored in the winding streets of its medieval stone town, a World Heritage Site partly due to it being the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa.

Lake Turkana National Parks:

The three national parks serve as a stopover for migrant waterfowl and are major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. Turkana is outstanding for the study of plant and animal communities and the Koobi Fora fossil deposits have contributed more to the understanding of paleo-environments than any other site in Africa, it is also the most saline of Africa’s large lakes and a World Heritage Site.

Aberdare National Park:

A must for landscape lovers, where one can view spectacular mountains, waterfalls, rainforest, trout streams, moorlands, thickets of giant heath, caves, abundant bird life, duikers, the black rhino and the elusive, rare Bongo – a forest antelope. This area is ideal for walks, picnics, trout fishing, camping and night game viewing.

Mount Elgon National Park:

One of Kenya’s most beautiful and pristine areas where you can find giant trees, about 400 animals, over 240 bird species and ‘cave elephants’ that venture deep into the four caves at night to feed on the salt rich deposits. Mount Elgon is also a famous botanical locality with a great wealth of Afro alpine flowers. Hot springs occur and sport fishing is popular on the Suam river.

Best Holiday Travel Tips

With the number of people traveling for the holidays, it is important to take some safety precautions to ensure that everyone is comfortable and secure.

In light of that, here are some of the best  tips  from people who have experienced  traveling  during the holiday rush:

· Home Safety

The first thing that you need to keep safe is your home. Make sure that it will be safe during the entire time that you will be gone. Double check the locks on all your windows and doors. Unplug unnecessary appliances and check your faucets. Turn your security alarm on and put it in timer mode. Inform your neighbor that you will be gone and ask them if they can keep an eye on your home. Do not leave messages on your answering machine regarding the vacation.

· Pack Wisely

If you are going to be away for just a few days, try to pack as light as you can. As much as possible, just take a carry on bag to avoid having to pay for check in luggage. Do not bring items that are highly prohibited at the airport. If you are traveling by car, put all your luggage in the compartment in order to have more room inside of the car.

· Traveling by Plane

Before going to the airport make sure to call the airline and confirm your flight; this is important to make sure that you can be accommodated on the flight, or if there are any possibilities of a cancelled flight.

Leave at least 4 hours early if you are flying international and 3 hours for domestic flights. It is better to wait at the airport than to be left behind by the plane.

Secure all your documents and have them handy when you are in line at the airport security checkpoints.

· Traveling by Car

Have your vehicle checked by your mechanics a week before you leave. This is very important especially during the winter season. It would be a total disaster if you will be stranded on the road in the middle of nowhere because your car suddenly refused to budge.

· Managing your Gifts

Wrapped gifts are not allowed at the airport, so do not waste your efforts on wrapping your presents. It would be a good idea to just bring the items and then wrap them up when you reach your destination. Another good idea is to have them shipped to the destination.

· Traveling with Kids

 Travelling  with your kids can be tiresome, but with a few  tips  and a lot of patience a whole lot of inconveniences can be avoided. If you are bringing an infant, you need to make sure that all the baby essentials are in one bag. Do not forget to bring some toys and make sure that the baby formulas are always ready.

For older kids, try to keep them busy to avoid tantrums and frequent whining. Children have the tendency to get easily bored if they have to stay in one place for a long time, so try to keep them entertained.