Travel Tips – Packing Light For A Carefree Trip

Travel tips in travel books and on travel websites often advise travelers to “pack light.” In my experience, these sources of travel information don’t go far enough. If you’re a budget traveler you’re unlikely to be relying on hotel porters, taxi drivers, or other people paid to drag your luggage around. You’re more likely to be dragging it yourself – through airports, through subway systems, on and off of buses and airport shuttles, and through city streets.

It cannot be overstated that carrying too much weight around can be the difference between a fantastic, exhilarating travel experience and an exhausting one that you can’t wait to end. If your luggage is heavy, you’re mind will be more on the thought that you can’t bear to drag your luggage down one more street, than it will be on the sights and sounds of that exotic locale. My years of traveling around Europe, primarily by plane, train, bus, subway system and on foot, have taught me several things. The lighter your luggage, the lighter your heart.

Traveling light does not mean hoisting traditional suitcases. The suitcases themselves add extra weight, and suitcases are difficult to carry. I find that holding a large object by its handle, its weight hanging down off the end of my arm is the fastest route to a shoulder and backache. Traveling light also does not mean pulling a suitcase that has tiny wheels on the bottom. Spend a few minutes watching tourists attempting to keep control of that type of unstable suitcase, as they wobble and tip to one side, and you’ll see what I mean.

Traveling light does not mean carrying an over sized, bursting-at-the-seams backpack, either. Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness hiking and camping in the rough, where you’ll have zero access to shops, forget the overloaded backpack. Why lug a heavy backpack through the wilds of London when there are shops on every corner, where you can forage for everything you need?

So, what should savvy budget travelers carry, and how should they carry it? My advice is that you carry one small day-pack style backpack. It can be done, if you think before you pack, and if you make logical decisions as to what you truly can and can’t live without, and what you absolutely must transport to your destination versus what you can easily pick up once you arrive.

For example, if you regularly use a prescription medication, obviously you’ll need to carry an adequate supply with you. Carry a spare as well, and keep it on you, so that you needn’t panic if your pack gets nabbed by a thief. Be sure to also carry the prescription itself, so that you can prove that you’re really transporting a prescription medicine, if you’re stopped by customs or security personnel. It’s even better if you have a prescription that carries not only the commercial name of the medicine, but also its chemical name, in case you need to show it to a pharmacist, doctor, or customs authority, in a country where your own language isn’t spoken.

If you’re traveling to a hot, tropical location, by all means carry a bottle of sunscreen – but buy a bottle that contains the amount you expect to need for the duration of the trip. Don’t burden yourself with a jumbo size container, two thirds of which will be still be with you on the return trip. As a rule of thumb for any type of toiletries, carry (or buy upon arrival) small tubes, bottles and boxes containing just enough for the trip. Don’t drag around weight that you’ll ultimately drag back home with you, or you’ll only end up with a bottle of sunscreen that can boast to its neighbors on the medicine cabinet shelf that it’s been to Tahiti.

If two people are traveling together, whether they’re part of one family or they’re friends sharing the adventure of a lifetime, take only one set of toiletries between you. Carry separate toothbrushes, of course, but pack just one of items such as deodorant and soap and then share them. Half of your toiletry weight will have been eliminated simply by not both carrying duplicate types of items and, believe me, objects like these really contribute to the bulk and weight of your luggage.

Ask yourself if you can live without extras such as cosmetics, perfume and jewelry. Their combined mass and weight can quickly add up. Try a more natural look during your trip. It will save you daily time, as well as saving you daily strain on your arm and back muscles. As an added bonus, the less stylish and flashy you look, the less likely you’ll be to be the target of a mugger.

Forget about electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. You can live without a hairdryer or electric shaver and save not only the weight of these appliances, but also the additional burden of adapters to suit overseas outlets and electrical currents. Carry, instead, a lightweight compact plastic razor, or just let your beard grow. You may later decide that it suits you and decide to keep it ! If you plan to fly, don’t bother packing razor blades or manicure scissors. They are not allowed on planes anymore, anyway, so should be bought locally, if needed, and then properly disposed of before you fly home. I always find it practical to carry a little sewing kit for emergency repairs, but that doesn’t mean an entire kit full of colored spools of thread. It means a single needle plus one little spool of pale thread and one of dark thread together in a little bag.

Keep clothing to an absolute minimum. Stick to one basic outfit that’s comfortable, casual, and not easily wrinkled. Supplement it with a couple of extra lightweight tops and a couple of pairs of socks and underwear that can be repeatedly washed out in hotel rooms. A single sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings and a thin plastic rain poncho and you should be set.

By sticking to one small backpack per person there are additional advantages that you’ll soon appreciate. You need never check bags at the airport and risk having them lost, you don’t need to endlessly load and unload airport or train station trolleys and count your bags to be sure that none have gone astray, plus everything is close at hand and easily accessible. By carrying just one backpack each, you’ll also look less like affluent tourists, and thus you’ll be less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or purse snatcher as you move about city streets and in subway systems. Travel light and you can put less of a burden on your muscles, leaving you with more energy and a bigger appetite to truly experience the marvelous places that you are visiting. Travel light and you’ll be more likely to travel happy.

Traveling Made Easy

Traveling these days certainly can be a hassle. Everything from long lines to airline delays can cause travelers unnecessary and unfortunate inconveniences. Prior to your travels, considers the following ten tips and you will have a greater chance of limiting the hassles of traveling.

1. Know what to pack – Take some time to review the Transportation Security Administration’s “Permitted and Prohibited Items” list. You can find the list on the Transportation Security Administration Website located at http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1254.xml

2. Call the airport ahead of time to verify flight times – Don’t rely on the airlines to notify you of delays or flight changes. Travelers can contact their airline directly or their travel agent to ensure their flight is on-schedule.

3. Be prepared and schedule proper time for travel to the airport – Traveling can cause anxiety, which causes travelers to forget necessary travel items. Consider all-inclusive travel kits to avoid forgetting the essential personal items.

4. Secure a seat assignment prior to check in – This will prevent unnecessary problems during over-booked flights.

5. Secure your valuables – Traveling continues to be one the top times that people fall victim to crime. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry and use credit or debit cards when possible. Credit and debit cards offer a higher level of protection than carrying cash.

6. Check the destination on your luggage tag – Ask the ticket agent or curb assistant to double check the tag on your luggage. This can prevent your luggage going somewhere other than where you will be!

7. Research your destination point – Travelers should research their destination point prior to traveling. Being familiar with major highways, climate, customs, and points of interest will help traveler avoid unnecessary situations.

8. Be aware of unclean hotel rooms – There have been rising complaints about unwelcome insects in hotel rooms, according to pest control businesses. Demand fresh sheets from hotel management or carry portable silk bed sheets. Additionally, inform hotel management if you find any insects or unwanted messes in your hotel room.

9. When traveling for business, compare the cost of renting a car to utilizing taxicabs or public transportation. Travelers may find it convenient to rent a car; however, rental car costs can sometimes include exuberant “extra” fees.

10. Remember your agenda – Traveling in new places can sometimes be distracting and take away from the purpose of the trip. While on business, make sure to write down the times and places of your business. This will help to ensure you are not late to business meetings.

Travel Tips – Packing Your Suitcase without Stress

The thrill of planning a trip will often light you up and consume all of your time. You look through guidebooks, talk to friends about their experiences, and research your itinerary on the internet. Still all this planning and research will not make the task of packing any less daunting.

Who hasn’t stood at the foot of their bed with empty suitcases spread on top, the

night before a big trip, filled with anxiety because you still haven’t packed?!?! You

try and try to think about exactly what you should be packed, throwing things in

and then taking them out. And you wonder, why didn’t any of the guidebooks give

you any advice on packing?

Well, hopefully this guide will help you, so that you can confidently pack and enjoy

the moments leading up to your trip, rather than being stressed over the contents

of your bag.

Luggage – I recommend taking one carry-on and one checked suitcase.

Shorter trips may allow for a carry-on only, but I would never take more than one

checked bag no matter how long you are traveling. Remember, when you get to

your destination, you will need to carry your luggage and you don’t know how far

you’ll be lugging it. While we’re talking about lugging your luggage… I would

recommend selecting a suitcase or pack that had wheels, but that you can also hand

carry. There are many varieties of large backpacks with wheels. The reasoning is

that if your wheels break off (a common occurrence along cobblestone streets), you

will still be able to carry your pack.

Shoes – Bring a pair of sneakers (or boots) for outdoor activities such as

hiking, and a dressier pair of closed-toe shoes for museums, dinner’s out, or other

city activities. If you are traveling to a hot locale, then also bring a pair of sandals

that can go from beach to dinner. Resist the urge to bring 10 pairs of shoes!!! As

someone who loves shoes, I always want to pack a wide variety… but we must avoid

packing too many shoes! They take up space, are heavy, and are an unnecessary

addition.

Shorts – When traveling to a hot climate, shorts are often considered a

requirement. Still, remember that in many cultures shorts are not considered

acceptable. For example, many museums and churches such as the Vatican will not

allow you to enter if you are wearing shorts (or have exposed shoulders for that

matter). Bring only a pair or two of shorts, and make sure that you have other light

weight options for hot weather.

Basics – Bring enough socks and underwear to last for every day of the

trip (up to two weeks) so that you will not need to do laundry. For longer trips,

understand that you will likely need to do laundry on the road if you do not want to

bring ridiculous amounts of luggage. As far as shirts, pants, skirts, and the rest…

Bring clothes that could be worn during the day or at night, and as a general rule

bring half as many items as you have days. Wearing items twice should be no

problem, and you will significantly lighten your load.

Rolling – To avoid wrinkles and use your precious packing area to the

max, fold your clothes in half (in the long direction), then roll as smoothly and

tightly as possible. When you arrive at your destination, your clothes will unroll

wrinkle-free. Stuff socks and underwear into your shoes and carefully place the

shoes on top of the rows or rolled clothes.

Toiletries – Bring all of your toiletries in travel size containers. Full size

shampoo bottles add unneeded weight to your pack. After selecting your toiletries,

place all items into zip-lock bags. If a bottle bursts during travel, you will be much

relieved to have the protection. If you are bringing make-up, keep it to the bare

necessities, avoid bringing extras like eyelash curlers. Any prescription medication

should be accompanied by the actual prescription and if possible, a note from your

physician. Keep the medication, as well as your toothbrush and toothpaste in your

carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost.

If you follow these basic packing rules, you will find that the process of packing and

carrying your luggage will be much easier. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy

your travels much easier knowing that you have brought what you need, but can still

carry the load.

Enjoy your trip (and your packing!)!

Holiday Safety

It seems like the Christmas shopping season starts earlier every year, and this year is no exception. Here we are at the end of October and the stores already have their Christmas stuff out. You are starting to see more TV commercials telling to you start shopping now to avoid the rush.

As the weeks toward the Holidays go by you will start to hear reports of people getting robbed or their cars getting broken into. You can avoid all of this by shopping online. Most of us still like to get into the Holiday spirit by going shopping and touching the merchandise, then when you spot something you get the satisfaction that you have it now!

So when shopping there are some things that you can do that will keep you safer:

  • Park near the parking lot lights if you will be in the store at night
  • Park as close to the store as possible
  • Never leave anything of value visible in your car and make sure that you lock it
  • Go back and forth to your vehicle putting your bags in the trunk, do not carry out two handfuls of bags
  • When approaching your car be aware of your surroundings, if something or someone makes you feel unsafe, go back into the store and ask for help
  • Approach your vehicle from the back toward the front and look in the rear seat area
  • Once in your car “Lock The Door”

I think that most of this is just common sense; however, in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season we sometimes forget the very basis of personal safety.

When talking about Holiday safety we need to mention the safety of your credit cards. I would not recommend anyone shop with a debit card. If lost or stolen the bad guys have direct access to your bank account. Credit cards are much more secure, you just have to be mindful of the money you run up on those credit cards. Remember that cash is always king.

When using your credit card try to keep it in your direct sight when giving it to the store clerk. Make sure you have it before leaving the counter. If you carry a purse carry it across your shoulder and make sure that it is closed and carry it so that the purse is in front not behind you. If you carry a wallet it should be in your front pocket.

Travel Tips – Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.

The best international travel tips is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary travel tips for documents.

Vacations and Business travel Tips

Whether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek travel tips for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.

Airline Travel Tips and Visa Requirements

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

Luggage Documentation Tips

If you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good travel tips is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable.

Travel insurance tips

Most countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.

Business Traveling Tips for Men – How to Pack Your Carry on Luggage

Keeping your shirts­ and suits free of wrinkles is a constant problem for business travelers. Would you like to learn how to better manage your business clothes while traveling? Whether you’re an experienced business traveler or a first time traveler, follow these tips and your clothing will arrive at their destination wrinkle free.

Don’t let packing clothes be a stressful part of your trip. The problems always begin by packing too many items into a small carry on bag. You must make sure you have the correct size piece of carry on luggage for the intended items and duration of travel. Over packing items into your suitcase is the main cause of clothes developing wrinkles. Be realistic when packing and limit the amount of clothes you take on your trip. When traveling for extended periods of time, consider using a larger bag that you may have to have checked.

Once you have the right luggage for your trip, then you have to pack your clothing in a way to avoid wrinkles. The key to avoiding wrinkles is pack your delicate items in the middle of your case. Keep the delicate clothing away from the edges to limit the amount of wrinkling. Place your T-shirts first, your suites next, followed by shirts and ties, then your other clothes. Packing in this way will cushion your suites and other delicate items that are prone to wrinkling. Use caution when packing your shoes as these are a common cause of wrinkled clothes. Modern carry on luggage have compartments specifically for shoe storage and other hard items.

Garment bags are very useful and I highly suggest buying one for packing dress shirts and suits. Using a garment bag, in addition to your carry on luggage, is the best method for preventing wrinkles to your dress clothes. There are luggage manufactures that offer a folding garment bag which stores in your suitcase after packing. These are the most convenient when going directly to your hotel from the airport.

Silk neckties are among the most delicate items to pack in your suitcase. Other options to silk neckties are those made from wrinkle-free microfiber, but nothing really compares to a silk necktie. So, when packing your neckties, keep them away from the edges of your suitcase and away from objects that have sharp edges. It’s best to place them in the center of your other clothes which offer the best padding. Rolling your ties is another option for preventing wrinkles. Begin rolling from the narrow end which give a uniformly tight role and will fit easily into your dress shoes. If money is no problem, you can buy one of the commercially manufactured necktie travel cases, which will definitely keep your ties free of wrinkles.

It’s important to unpack your items as soon as you arrive at your destination. After unpacking, place your suits, shirts, trousers and neckties on hangers and hang them in the closet. Remember, failure to unpack and hang up your clothes will result in severely wrinkled clothing and all of you efforts will have been a waste of time.

Make sure you stay at a hotel that provides an iron and ironing board in your room as this will give you the ability to take care of those small wrinkles yourself. Do not iron your suits of neckties! If you see wrinkles on your suits or ties, hang them in the bathroom during your hot, steamy shower. As soon as you’re finished with your shower the wrinkles will be gone. Following these tips will insure a wrinkle free trip.

Cancun Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

Cancun weather is one reason why this Mexican resort enclave is the second most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean region.

Other reasons why Cancun draws so many tourists include its hotel, shopping and restaurant strip; the inexpensive bus transportation system; plenty of things to do; and convenient access to and from U.S. airports. It is 1.5 hours flight time from Miami and four hours from Chicago.

The best time to go to Cancun depends in part on whether you prefer to spend a lot of time on the beach and in the water, or if you like to spend most of your time shopping, dining and visiting the various attractions in the region. Some fabulous Mayan ruins are located nearby.

Cancun weather is generally warm throughout the year — in fact many hotels and resorts have open air lobbies — but offshore breezes can make the air and water more chilly in winter months.

Average Temperatures

The average year-round high temperature for this resort destination is nearly 88 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is just less than 74 degrees, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Cancun weather in May through September is the warmest time to visit when the average high temperature exceeds 90 degrees each month — peaking at 92.5 in August.

Cancun weather in December, January and February is coolest when the average high temperatures are about 83 degrees.

The average low drops below 70 degrees in January and February, and barely breaks 70 in December.

Average Rainfall

The average rainfall is 4.4 inches per month and the average number of rain days per month is 9.6.

The rainfall and rain days are about average for a Caribbean destination.

February, March and April are the driest months when it rains less than 1.8 inches a month. It also rains only five days a month during that time.

Total rainfall increases in June, drops in July and climbs during the most active hurricane season months of September and October, when it rains nearly nine inches per month.

November also has a higher than average amount of rain.

Best Times to Go

Vacationers will find that the best time to go to Cancun is February through May, while they should avoid it in September and especially in October.

However, be aware that water temperatures in February and March are chilly and not comfortable for swimming for any great length of time.

Brazil – Just Sensational!

Because Brazil is the country that gave birth to the carnival, the dazzling costumes and glorious beaches of Rio de Janeiro, will allure you to the rhythm of the Samba. The mix of colors shows Brazil’s great diversity. It has a hospitable spirit unequaled anywhere else in the world. The country of Soccer, good food, exotic beaches, rain forest, waterfalls, and many other topics make Brazil come together and the ideal destination for those who wish to be well received and treated as if at home. This is a place where many people leave their hearts.

Indubitably it is an ideal destination for travelers that deserve a very luxury custom program, service and money wise tour provide. It’s obvious that so many costumes arrive home already day dreaming of returning.Whoever visits Brazil always comes back. And every time you come back you will witness a different spectacle. Travel to Brazil for an awesome experience in a life time.

Brazil is a unique mix of races, Breath – taking Mountains, Amazing wild life, and a great pleasure. Come and get a glimpse of Brazil rich biodiversity. Those who come, fall in love. Don ‘t miss the opportunity to get your vacation in vacation.

Covering almost half of South America, it occupies an area of 8,547,403.5 square km. It is the fifth largest country in the world. The Atlantic ocean extends along the entire East Cost of the Country offering 8.5 thousand km of marine coastline.

Large International Hotels and good quality of service area way of life. Growing numbers of tourists are coming to Brazil, every year and 96% of the American citizen says they want to return to Brazil.

From Amazon to Iguassu Falls it’s a fantastic scene with beautiful views of cities, Brazil eco-tourism, Unbelievable forest and happy and smiling people. From the big cities to the little ones, you are always going to find many magic spots and a reason to come back to a paradise named Brazil.

Cologne Tips

Traveling to Germany is not complete without a stay in Cologne. Cologne is Germany’s fourth-largest city, and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The city is a beautiful cultured destination with great leisure facilities, pubs, restaurants, shops and history. Many years of restoration work has seen a rebuild to portray the wonderful city it was. Cologne is often called the Cathedral city.

About Cologne

Cologne is an old city, of great importance in Roman History as it is one of four sanctified cities that formed the north corner spot of the Empire. At the beginning of the thirteenth century Cologne was the largest fortified city in the world. However, over 90% of Cologne was destroyed during WWII.

How to get there

Depending on your departure point, flying is usually the best choice of transport. If traveling from Europe, the Köln/Bonn Konrad Adenauer Airport is only 10km from the centre of the city. However, if traveling from outside Europe, Frankfurt Airport is the closest and provides both road and train transfers for the 200km journey.

Where to stay in Cologne

Hotels are the most popular choice of accommodation in Cologne and 2 to 5 star standard hotels are usually available. However, check for the festival dates as this can seriously affect the availability of rooms. Popular festivals include the “Balls ad Fools” Festival (early November), Easter Festivals (March/April,) and Christmas Markets (December)

What to see in Cologne

The Altstadt is worth a visit both during the day to visit Ludwig’s Museum and the evening for dinner where you can enjoy a “Roman dinner”. For relaxation check out Claudius Spa that is found in the Rheinpark area. Visit the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) that was originally established in 1248,

Where to eat

There are over 1,000 restaurants in Cologne. Hence a great range of top quality restaurants that offer all kinds of international food. There are also many attractive cafes and bars as well as all takeaway options.

Where to shop

Cologne has a great range of shops that cater for everybody’s needs. The most popular shopping streets are Schildergasse and Hohe Straße. Other smaller streets that head out of the centre have more unique shops and indoor markets. The shopping areas clearly indicate pedestrian access, making them attractive and well laid out.

There is something for everyone in Cologne. The ancient cathedral city is well worth a visit.

Holiday Driving Tips – Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.

  • Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
  • Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
  • Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
  • Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
  • Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
  • Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
  • Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.

By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident. For more safe driving tips and information on car accident prevention, visit the website of Waukesha car accident lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.