Use Luggage Tags Smartly With These Simple Tips

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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Do you travel frequently for office or personal reasons? Well, every one of us loves traveling as it gives us the chance to make lasting memories, but the thing we hate the most is carrying luggage on the board. Though, it is important, but what if it gets misplaced? How do you find it in a completely new place out of all the similar design bags? Have you ever experienced something like this before? Well, if no and if you don’t even want to face the situation ever, so, you should understand the importance of the luggage tag. Most of the frequent travelers are aware of the product, but those who don’t let us clear the confusion. Basically, a luggage tag is a useful travel accessory that every traveler must use.

The simple math behind using this is that, when you go out, a number of people have the similar design, size, and colors of the bags that get interchanged unintentionally, which can be dangerous for you and chances that you’ll lose all your belongings. In an order to avoid such situation and to save your time, every frequent traveler should invest in luggage tags. Labeling your luggage may help you identify it easily, but in an order to take its benefits to the fullest you have to follow certain tips mentioned below.

  • Make sure you include all the necessary details like any phone number or address or flight details (optional), so, the person who got your luggage can contact you easily.
  • Also, make sure the detail is clear, correct and understandable. But you also have to act smart while putting your details, so, no one can misuse it.
  • Always use a waterproof luggage tag, so, the details onto it don’t get smudged.
  • Use some customized or personalized tag to identify it easily in the crowd.
  • Try to use more than one luggage tag on different handles that come in handy when one gets misplaced.
  • Make sure the luggage tag you are using have non-edgy and not-so-sharp ends, otherwise, it might harm you or anyone with you.

All the above smart tips will help you use a luggage tag for identifying your baggage in crowd while boarding or de-boarding the flight or checking or check-out the hotel. Investing in it doesn’t cost you much but lost of your belongings on the board does, so, you should make this investment to keep your luggage safe, secure and searchable.


The 5 Biggest Differences Between the US and Europe

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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So, to the meat and potatoes (arroz y habichuelas in Puerto Rico)! These observations are purely facts (with a little bit of my opinion thrown in) and not listed in any particular order. Thanks for reading this far! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the rest. Of course, I have to mention that I did lump Europe, a continent composed of 50ish countries (depending on your political views), into one entity, but I was careful to select things that I have personally seen and experienced in at least a couple different countries in Europe. So, that should count for something, right?

1. Smoking
I remember a time in the US when you would go to a restaurant and they would ask you, “Smoking or non-smoking?” Now, everything is non-smoking. Most public places are smoke-free zones. As a non-smoker, I love this. However, moving to Europe may not have been the wisest place to move for a non-smoker who is bothered by the smell.

The Europeans smoke – in public, at home, or wherever they want. Granted, there are some locations where you’ll see a no-smoking sign, but they’re few and far between, especially if you want to go out for nightlife. And even if there is no smoking indoors, there are, without fail, at least three smokers sitting right in front of the door of whatever non-smoking establishment. Europe seems to be receiving the “smoking is bad for you” rhetoric and scientific evidence to back it up, just a little bit later than the US. Although, I am aware that France is aggressively tackling the issue and has seen decent results.

2. Driving
I cannot say with any confidence that European drivers are worse than American drivers. I can say that certain driving expectations are different and therefore affect how drivers act. For example, on European highways there are not exits every 12 miles with food and gas options, like in the states. Or, that Americans will pass you on the right side, but this is blasphemy in Europe. Or, that you can turn right on red in America, but this is illegal in Europe. And, my personal/least favorite, there are no highway cops, and any ticket you’ll get will come from a (sometimes cleverly hidden) camera on the side of the road that flashes a bright white light of guilt at you, and you get to lament speeding, all the way home.

3. Food
Americans are the undisputed champions of food consumption. Food is cheap and accessible. The grocery store in the states is quite similar to a European grocery store, but just add two more cereal aisles, a full chips-candy-soda aisle, three more health food aisles, remove the wine and beer aisle(s), and voila, the stores are identical.

At restaurants, if you order a large meal in the states, you expect to take home what you didn’t finish. In Europe, typically the rations aren’t large enough that there will be any food left, but if you request to take the food home you may received some confused stares, and may possibly leave empty handed.

4. Nature Calls
In America, if you gotta go, it is quite easy to find a restroom at a gas station or a public place (excluding New York). In Europe there are several countries that charge you to use the toilets at gas stations and in public places, but there are some others that simply don’t even have a toilet to offer. If you are accustomed to not going before you leave the house in the states, when you travel to Europe, I wouldn’t recommend taking that chance.

5. Customer Service
We all knew it was coming. Anyone who has been to Europe (or Europeans who have visited the US) knows that most European countries are not known for their stellar customer service (*cough, cough* France & Germany *cough,cough*). Shoot, if you have ever seen a movie or heard someone else talk about their trip to Europe, you probably knew that!

A poor customer service experience in Europe is one of those things that isn’t always as bad as it sounds, but it will for sure happen to you at least once; just like in the US! But, the differences are the motives and your recourse. In the US, customer service in restaurants is over-the-top because waiters work for tips. In Europe, they don’t, so kissing your butt is not vital to their livelihood. Also, in Europe, there is no Better Business Bureau, so if a bank teller or store owner is rude to you, you just have to suck it up and not shop there anymore.


13 Tips to Consider Before You Go on a Tour

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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If you want to enjoy a safe vacation, you need to know a few things to get ready before you leave your house. Listed below are a few things that you may want to consider before you leave your house and go on a tour.

Take photos

You may think that photos are taken while you are there in the destination country. It’s not the whole truth. What you need to do is use your smartphone to take photos of important documents, such as medical prescriptions, passport and other documents that you may need. Instead of carrying around a lot of files, you can use the digital copies of those documents.

Get paper copies

Of course, you need to keep your passport with you while you are in a foreign country. It’s better to keep a photo copy as well.

Inform your credit card company

You may want to let your credit card company know that you are going to use the card. This will help avoid any issues that may arise in case the company assumes your credit card is stolen.

Hold newspapers

It’s better to hold any newspaper that you may have subscribed to. This is to keep the burglars from knowing that you are away for a few days.

Consider a house sitter

When you are away, it’s better to have someone in your house. You can consider someone in your community for this job.

Look for a gardener

If you have a lawn in your house, the plants need to be watered and taken care of while you are away. Therefore, make sure you ask someone to do the job. You may even pay them for the service.

Remove the spare key

Some people have a spare key to their house in case they need it in an emergency. If you also have one, make sure you remove it or take it with you.

Drop the curtain

Burglars may look into your house if the curtains are not dropped. So, make sure you drop all of the curtains before you leave your house.

Activate a timer

To reduce the likelihood of burglary even further, consider installing a timer to turn on a few lights at night automatically.

Switch off water supply

You may consider turning off the water supply to different appliances in your house, such as ice-makers, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets.

Unplug other devices

Obviously, no one will be using the appliances when you are gone. So, it’s better to turn off your computer, toasters and ovens, to name a few.

Check your wallet

Make sure your wallet has only the times you will need while you are in another country.

Pay the bills

Bills must be paid before the expiry of the due date or you may have to pay fees for late payment.

So, if you are going to travel in the new future, we suggest that you consider the tips given in this article. This will help you keep your house and get the most out of your tour.


The Hurdles Of Travelling Out Of The Country

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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Travelling out of the country seems to be fun and exciting. However, the hurdles that accompanied our thrill is unexpected. It starts with the Immigration at the airport and the Embassy where we are scrutinized thoroughly for the purpose of our visit to a certain country.

With my experience, I was almost left in the Immigration. I was held in the Embassy for almost 2 hours. They were very critical when it comes to tourists. But I do understand their protocol especially those who leaving and entering the country. Imagine the show money should be a maximum of US$ 10,000. Better that my purpose was research. But still all the files of my laptop were scanned as well as the Facebook messages and my emails. The good thing that happened was that from being suspicious, they become impressed with my work because I was able to make studies outside the country even if I was not able to visit them physically. I was really afraid to be left in the airport because I have spent much for this travel. My God, I did not sleep for 3 nights because of my immediate need for money to cover my round trip air fare, hotel accommodation and food not to mention to buy enough amount of US dollars in my pocket as a show money in case the Embassy will question my capacity to sustain my stay in Malaysia.

But after going through a lot in the Immigration, I was very happy because I can now go anywhere in the world as a researcher and a writer with no hassles at all. I was able to prove my credibility and identity to them that nothing is impossible if you put your mind into what you are doing.

Just never think that when you go out of the country, it makes you a nobody. You have a very important contribution to make a change especially in the lives of the significant people around you. Lots of people become successful because they are able to overcome all the odds on their way to achieving their dreams. Accept and adapt change! There is no sense in spending your days talking about who you used to be. It will only prevent you from creating a successful and meaningful life.

If you spend too much on talking about your ideas, gathering information, reading, researching, attending seminars, and listening to what everyone else is saying and not putting into action all that learning and knowledge to make your life happen, you are bound to fail.

When you are determined to do what you want, no one can stop you. It’s a matter of having self-confidence, perseverance and hard work.

Never hold yourself back, put worthwhile goals into action. Walk the talk and apply all the learning and knowledge you have to make things happen and make a difference in your life.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9913667

Travelling out of the country seems to be fun and exciting. However, the hurdles that accompanied our thrill is unexpected. It starts with the Immigration at the airport and the Embassy where we are scrutinized thoroughly for the purpose of our visit to a certain country.

With my experience, I was almost left in the Immigration. I was held in the Embassy for almost 2 hours. They were very critical when it comes to tourists. But I do understand their protocol especially those who leaving and entering the country. Imagine the show money should be a maximum of US$ 10,000. Better that my purpose was research. But still all the files of my laptop were scanned as well as the Facebook messages and my emails. The good thing that happened was that from being suspicious, they become impressed with my work because I was able to make studies outside the country even if I was not able to visit them physically. I was really afraid to be left in the airport because I have spent much for this travel. My God, I did not sleep for 3 nights because of my immediate need for money to cover my round trip air fare, hotel accommodation and food not to mention to buy enough amount of US dollars in my pocket as a show money in case the Embassy will question my capacity to sustain my stay in Malaysia.

But after going through a lot in the Immigration, I was very happy because I can now go anywhere in the world as a researcher and a writer with no hassles at all. I was able to prove my credibility and identity to them that nothing is impossible if you put your mind into what you are doing.

Just never think that when you go out of the country, it makes you a nobody. You have a very important contribution to make a change especially in the lives of the significant people around you. Lots of people become successful because they are able to overcome all the odds on their way to achieving their dreams. Accept and adapt change! There is no sense in spending your days talking about who you used to be. It will only prevent you from creating a successful and meaningful life.

If you spend too much on talking about your ideas, gathering information, reading, researching, attending seminars, and listening to what everyone else is saying and not putting into action all that learning and knowledge to make your life happen, you are bound to fail.

When you are determined to do what you want, no one can stop you. It’s a matter of having self-confidence, perseverance and hard work.

Travelling out of the country seems to be fun and exciting. However, the hurdles that accompanied our thrill is unexpected. It starts with the Immigration at the airport and the Embassy where we are scrutinized thoroughly for the purpose of our visit to a certain country.

With my experience, I was almost left in the Immigration. I was held in the Embassy for almost 2 hours. They were very critical when it comes to tourists. But I do understand their protocol especially those who leaving and entering the country. Imagine the show money should be a maximum of US$ 10,000. Better that my purpose was research. But still all the files of my laptop were scanned as well as the Facebook messages and my emails. The good thing that happened was that from being suspicious, they become impressed with my work because I was able to make studies outside the country even if I was not able to visit them physically. I was really afraid to be left in the airport because I have spent much for this travel. My God, I did not sleep for 3 nights because of my immediate need for money to cover my round trip air fare, hotel accommodation and food not to mention to buy enough amount of US dollars in my pocket as a show money in case the Embassy will question my capacity to sustain my stay in Malaysia.

But after going through a lot in the Immigration, I was very happy because I can now go anywhere in the world as a researcher and a writer with no hassles at all. I was able to prove my credibility and identity to them that nothing is impossible if you put your mind into what you are doing.

Just never think that when you go out of the country, it makes you a nobody. You have a very important contribution to make a change especially in the lives of the significant people around you. Lots of people become successful because they are able to overcome all the odds on their way to achieving their dreams. Accept and adapt change! There is no sense in spending your days talking about who you used to be. It will only prevent you from creating a successful and meaningful life.

If you spend too much on talking about your ideas, gathering information, reading, researching, attending seminars, and listening to what everyone else is saying and not putting into action all that learning and knowledge to make your life happen, you are bound to fail.

When you are determined to do what you want, no one can stop you. It’s a matter of having self-confidence, perseverance and hard work.

Never hold yourself back, put worthwhile goals into action. Walk the talk and apply all the learning and knowledge you have to make things happen and make a difference in your life.


Things to Do on the Island on a Vacation

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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An island is any smaller area of land that is surrounded by water on its sides. It is a place where you can spend the quality time with your family and friends under nature. It is the perfect choice for your vacation when you are looking for a family trip, romantic getaway or a nature vacation.

An island is popular because of its amazing view and pleasant climatic conditions. It offers all the modern conveniences that an individual strives for while on a holiday. One can find a variety of comfortable places to stay like hotels, inns, private guest cottages, etc. on the area.

Things you can do while on an Island

An island offers several fun activities and diversions off and on-the-beach both. One can happily spend their quality time by involving themselves in various activities.

— Nature tours

There are water bikes and Segways on rent for people who love to have adventures. One can enjoy on-the-beach tours of the island while having fun with water sports. Go out with your partner to have the view of the island on water vehicles and make your vacation much more exciting.

— Relaxing beaches

Not everybody wants those adventurous activities. For all the lazy people out there, they have beach mats and chairs to relax while having the sunbath in an amazing view. After that, have your lunch and dinner at the fancy restaurants that are there to serve you on the beach itself.

— Off the beach tours

Beside the beach, one can have a tour of the place and explore it with the scooters and bikes on rent. Shopping is one of the options women can go for. The place would have a lot of beautiful shops and galleries filled with unique and antique things. Remember, there is no cluster of malls rather there are beautiful shops to have your shopping done appropriately.

— Others

For the people who want some sort of activities that are similar to their regular life, they can go for golfing, tennis, badminton, cinema, etc. The popular island offers such activities. Also, if you don’t want to go out of your hotels, you can try these activities at your hotels only without going out.

All in all, there is something for everyone to satisfy themselves and there is a surety that you would not be able to stop yourself from visiting an isle again and will make some very beautiful memories to be cherished for the whole of your life.

Make a plan out of your hectic schedules and offices and visit some island. Pamper yourself, and have the best time of your life with your partner, family, and friends at some Island.

Remember you will not get such activities on a deserted island. On a deserted island, you will have to explore the things yourself without any help. But, if you don’t want to go for any experiments, popular islands are the best option for you where you can get all the conveniences while enjoying yourselves.


7 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Private Tour

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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If you want to go on a private tour, our tips may help you. On a trip, you will have tons of fun seeing beautiful sights and getting to know different cultures in a different place. Without further ado, let’s know the tips that can make your tour unforgettable.

Customized experience

Having a private tour is a great idea as it helps you have a customized experience. But it’s possible only if you talk to your guide so you can have the right expectations. Therefore, you may want to share you likes, dislikes and interests with the guide, and this will help your guide make your tour the best experience of your life.

Be ready for poor weather

You should be ready to deal with poor weather. Know that you will have sunny days as well as cloudy days and rainy days. Unlike what most people believe, bad weather is a great time to go on a tour.

However, make sure you make necessary arrangements so you don’t have to face difficulties in case of poor weather. You don’t want to ruin your trip.

Choose comfy shoes

You may want to get a few pairs of comfortable shoes. In the same way, you should have a few dresses for different types of weather, customs and cultures. Again, your guide can help you make the right choices.

Respect the other cultures

You may want to respect the cultures of the places you are going to spend time at. What does this mean? In short, you need to understand the things that are going to be different in those places. As a matter of fact, travelers who spend a good deal of time in understanding different behaviors and customers have more fun during their trip.

Try new things

You may want to try new things, such as food, activity and drink. No matter how small they are, do give them a go. You will have a lot of fun.

Do your research

Before you leave, don’t forget to find out as much as possible about the places that you are going to visit. And do let your guide know about a special place that you are most interested in.

Another way to know more about that place is to read a short story or novel written by an author who lives in that area. This will help you know more about the local culture and get inspired.

Ask questions

Once you are with your guide, make a list of questions that you want to ask them. Guides have tons of knowledge to share. Moreover, it’s a lot more fun to find out more about a place by having a discussion with an expert.

Long story short, these are a few things that you want to consider before you leave for your next private tour. Having these tips on mind will help you get tons of fun. So, don’t ignore these tips and don’t underestimate the importance of consulting a guide. Hope this helps.


Travelling Tips for the Disabled

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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Unlike in the past, today people with disabilities have been recognized, and are less discriminated against. In many countries there are legislations that protect them and make their life a little easier. Also many public buildings have been designed or renovated in order to accommodate people with disabilities.

With all these improvements, people with disabilities are now able to travel for vacation or a business trip to places far away from their home. However, with all these improvements we have made, travelling for people with disabilities is still a challenge for them, especially when they are travelling alone or, they are travelling to an unknown destination. Below is a guide to help people with all forms of disabilities to travel safely.

1. Plan well in advance
Planning is key to any form of success. This is very important because it reduces chances of getting stranded and being inconvenienced. Booking flights and hotel rooms are the top priorities, however if you are going to stay at a friend’s or a relative’s house; notifying them in advance is very important. Then they can be prepared and even pick you up from the airport.

2. Book hotels that are disabled friendly
Hotels with disabled friendly structures are very convenient as they allow disabled individuals to move freely with minimal effort. Most of these hotels also have special emergency protocols that ensure disabled individuals are not left behind in case of an emergency, unlike some hotels where these issues are over looked.

3. Use a travel agent that offers travel packages for disabled travelers
Booking flights and hotel rooms with travel agents that offer travel solutions to disabled people is advantageous in a number of ways. They ensure they book for their disabled clients airlines and hotels that are disabled friendly. They strive to offer services and suggestions that will ensure their clients travel comfortably.

4. Understand and know your rights when at the airport
Travelling, for people with disabilities, is very hectic, especially when they arrive at the airport. They face the challenge of getting proper information and directions. This is further aggravated by the huge number of people traveling and long queues. In airports, there are attendants that are supposed to attend to the needs of those travelling with disabilities.

Disabled travelers should not, and are not, treated differently when they go through security measures. They are also protected from any form of discrimination from any airline. Disabled travelers are advised to be very conversant with their rights to avoid and report any form of discrimination when travelling.

5. Bring extra medication
There is no harm in carrying an extra dose of medication when travelling. People do lose their luggage as they travel so, having an extra dose will act as a backup when one dose gets lost. This also ensures that when travelling, a disabled person does not run out of their medicine forcing them to start looking for a drug store when travelling. These medications should be stored properly to ensure their safety.

6. Take a doctor’s note and contact information when travelling
A doctor’s note contains important information about a condition that a disabled person is facing and this will help doctors save a lot of time on tests in case of an emergency. Contact information for your doctor allows other doctors to get important information from your doctor should the need arise. This small, but vital, information can save lives.

7. Use direct flights
It is very hectic and tiresome for a disabled traveler to use connecting flights. Using connecting flights exposes them to loss of their luggage and even injury as they get in and out of a plane. Using a direct flight cuts all these risks down and saves a lot time and energy when travelling. Direct flights also ensure that those travelling with disabilities are not stranded in an airport as they wait for a connecting flight.

8. Disabled travelers are advised to have some knowledge about where they are travelling to
There is nothing more difficult than looking for directions to a place you do not know about. This is even harder for disabled travelers so, it is advisable to have at least some knowledge and understanding about their destination. This will give them an upper hand when moving around and the knowledge to know where to go and where not to go. This will be very helpful when they are stranded or experience an emergency situation and need urgent assistance.

9. Carry the appropriate luggage
Disabled travelers are advised to carry luggage that they can manage when they are travelling. Unless they have company, travelling with a huge amount of luggage is not easy. Traveling lightly enables disabled travelers to be more flexible to situations that arise besides, a large amount of luggage can also easily get lost.

10. Enjoy travelling
Many disabled people do not travel often because of a lot of limitations which discourages them. However modern technology ensures safe travel for all regardless of their condition. Travelling should be enjoyed by all since it is a chance to experience new things that are different than what they are used to.


Fantastic Ride On The World’s FASTEST Train

April 18, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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Wishes Get Granted… Sometimes!

Cut to 27 years later and I find myself on the Shinagawa station waiting for guess what- the SHINKANSEN! I was waiting in excitement with my wife and kid hoping to the catch the first glimpse of the train. My child was even more excited waiting for “zupp” ( has to be said with a movement of your hand going forward to indicate speed), the train that goes so fast.

I looked at the clock and it was almost time. I turned around and there it was with its long aerodynamic nose and gleaming white exterior. It had managed to sneak in behind me and I saw it standing at the platform waiting for the passengers to board, We boarded the train bucolic and open mouthed in awe at this marvellous piece of engineering

With speeds reaching 320 km/h, the Shinkansen is known for its punctuality,comfort, safety and efficiency. The trains depart and arrive on time to the second. The importance given to safety is highlighted by the fact that there has been no fatal accidents in its history

Inside the Bullet Train

The interiors of the Shinkansen look like an aeroplane with comfortable reclining seats. The seats were 2×2 and spacious with enough space on the overhead shelves for luggage. The seats were all forward facing and very comfortable. Well, what else do you expect from the Japanese. It has to be the best in class!

Soon the train started moving and we were thrilled with excitement. What struck me the most was the silence and smoothness of the ride. Not one jerk, one movement. It was as if the train was floating! My son was a bit disappointed because he still thought that the train was stationary. Only when I made him look outside the window, did he realise the speed with which we were moving

Amenities & Comfort

The train has both reserved as well as unreserved compartments. There are washrooms at both ends of each compartment with a wash basin right out side. The loos have those multiple buttons like a typical Japanese loo. Typical of anything in Japan, they have made it foolproof and have even indicated the correct way of sitting on the loo! The toilets are spacious and have enough space for wheel chair users.

A few trains also have vending machines for food and drinks. Furthermore, pay phone facility is also available in the train. At one end of the compartment there is a surprise – a smoking room! The Japanese do know how to do things in style. The compartments are interconnected and one can move inside the train from one end to another easily. They even have the instructions in braille for the visually impaired passengers! Where else would you find such consideration for people with special needs but in Japan.

The Japanese hospitality

We also witnessed the Japanese hospitality and courtesy. Every half an hour a lady with a cart would come, greet us by bowing down and walked across compartment. She would leave by again bowing down in courtesy. Same went with the ticket conductor. Perhaps the only words we heard were “arigatou gozaimas” (thank you in Japanese)

Basic facts

The fare of Bullet Train ranges between 320 to 720 yen depending on the season. If you are going to be in Japan for long time then the Rail pass can make your commute really cheap. There are two categories of seats- Ordinary and Green Car. Some of the new trains have “Gran Class” which is super comfortable and luxurious. There are reserved and non-reserved categories of cars which is indicated on them. The bookings can be made online or at the ticket counters and vending machines at the station. Each traveller is allowed to bring only two pieces of luggage apart from small bags (details given in the following sections). The train can reach speed of 320 km/h but inside, you will not feel a thing!

Important Tips to keep in Mind

• There is a train every 8 minutes to Kyoto and so you need not worry about reservation

• It is recommended that you write your relevant details on a piece of paper to make your ticketing process hassle free. Details required are:

o Number of travelers

o Date of travel

o Departure Station

o Destination Station

o Ordinary or green car

o Reserved or non- reserved seat

• Talking on phone in the train isn’t appreciated so refrain from doing so or keep your voice super low

• A good book, and a headphone is definitely recommended

• Soft toy or any game for kids to keep them engaged is also a good idea

• Stand in line at the station at the designated place for ease of boarding and alightment

• Each traveler is allowed upto two pieces of luggage onto a train excluding small bags with max weight of each luggage being not more than 30 kilos and dimensions not being more than 250 cms when adding width, height and depth

But the most important fact about the Shinkansen is that despite of being the fastest, Shinkansen has never broken down and got late, ever!

So if you have ever been on this beautiful beast, share your experience with us and tell us about the most exciting moments. If you are planning to get on to one of these and have any queries, shout out to us and we will help you!


5 Ways to Travel Solo Without Going It Alone

April 16, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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Solo travel has become a hot topic. Unlike “single(s)” travel, it is a broader group. It can include those who are single, married or have a partner/significant other. It may be a business person looking to add a leisure weekend or extension to a trip for work. Two stumbling blocks to solo travel can be: I. whether it is lonely to vacation as a “party of one” and ii.whether eating alone, especially dinner, is really uncomfortable.

Now having visited 68 countries and all 50 states, I have found 5 good ways to go alone without feeling you are “going it alone”.

1. River Cruise and Small Ship Cruises

I highly recommend river cruises and small ships. They are especially a good fit for a first time solo traveler. However, they are also great for well-traveled solos in two cases. That is where destinations like Cambodian boat villages are not otherwise easy to reach. Secondly, they work well in places where security is an issue.

Here are the key advantages of such river and small ships for solo travelers, they:

-Give you time alone but a group for tours and meals

-Can be competitively priced when compared to a piecemeal approach

-Make unpacking a one-time chore

-Work well with land packages

-Often have discounted package pricing including flights

2. Select your own lodging, and take day trips.

Here are the key advantages of this independent approach, it:

-Affords you the opportunity to select your own interests and travel style.

-Provides more opportunity to interact with local residents.

-Gives you a “day-off” when you need it.

-Works with a range of budgets.

3. Combine both of the above approaches.

I really favor this approach when I travel. On solo travel for 17 days at New Year’s, I toured Southeast Asia. I started with a private taxi tour in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I then joined a top Mekong River Cruise on to Vietnam. On the last leg, I had five days in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok. In my last stop, I tried all 3 ways of sightseeing: 1. A large bus tour 2. A private guide and 3. Self-directed subway tour.

This blended approach puts you in the driver’s seat and:

-Will let you set your own course while being free to pick and choose

-Gives you a part-time group of travel mates but also time alone

-Makes it possible to follow a budget (or splurges) tailored to what works for you

4. Sign up ahead for a class abroad.

This has become very popular now for cooking classes in France and Italy. However, for decades, language classes abroad have lured students for short-term or full summer programs. Add to that options for photography classes, skiing and scuba diving.

Here are the key benefits to this approach.

It:

-Provides you with a ready-made group

-Gives you a local contact to hear what not to miss off the tourist path

-Make it possible to connect with classmates for meals or sightseeing

-Results in providing local contacts in an emergency

5. Join a volunteer group or exchange program.

I have done this twice. My first trip out of the US was at 18 joining 5 other girls on a summer YMCA project in Trinidad and Tobago. It was the best way to learn about day-to-day life in another country and participate in community activities.

The benefits were endless. They included:

-Meeting local residents outside of the typical tourist path

-Seeing distant and often more unusual destinations

-Providing volunteer efforts to communities than may have experienced natural disasters or other hardships.

If you are new to solo travel, take a look at each of these options. You will be surprised how fast solo travel gives you the chance to make new life-long friends from around the world so that you feel you are solo to more!


Solo Travel – 10 Ways to Save on Single Supplements

April 16, 2019

Travel and Leisure

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In your school days, you may have found, as I did, that economics really is the “dismal science”. However, I did learn one key fact. Supply and demand drive prices. For solo travel, the surcharge or “single supplement” does vary partly in keeping with this tried and true rule. The good news? If you prowl through the Internet, you can find ways to save on solo travel when demand is down. The bad news? Reduced or no single supplement offerings are limited in number and go fast.

Here are 10 ways to save.

1. Don’t ask for one room. Ask for a “room for one’. In Europe, lodging is often sold with solo pricing. Be sure to see if it is a solo price for a standard room or a small single room. Look at the size offered for single occupants. Then consider the amount of time you will spend in your room. I often take 10-12 hour day trips abroad with almost no time spent in my hotel room except to catch some sleep before heading out again.

2. Get there first. Book even one year ahead since few slots are reduced for solos. This is really important if you go in-season. Holiday resorts and hot spots in summer may have return visitors book the next year when they check out.

3. Head to the airport when everyone else is heading home. Off-season travel is the best way to get immediate 50% off reductions. In the south of France, rates go down as fast as Sept 9. Ski resorts, like the fabled Sun Valley Lodge, have specials just before Christmas. In winter and spring, European discounts can be half-price as well.

4. Get excited about rainy weather or extreme heat and cold. You will have to think how far you want to take this. I had a thrilling short term work trip one Jan. in Siberia. I also went on tour in India during the monsoons. In some cases, the negative pronouncements may not impact your trip. A good example? The risk of hurricanes each fall is less likely to touch the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) making for better pricing. In Africa, for example, safari rates are lower during the rainy or “green” season if you can get away, and don’t mind the possibility of short, heavy rains.

5. Look for new travel providers. Hotels that are just opening or reopening after renovations have specials to gain or regain market share. The Hotel Castille in Paris, for example, had short-term deep discounts when it reopened just steps from fashionable boutiques. Thereafter, the rates increased in keeping with other high-end small hotels

6. Be a contrarian. Don’t pay a premium for what’s currently trending. Prowl the Internet for undervalued regions. If it is all the rage, prices will soar. In the 1980’s, I somehow found a Montenegro resort right off the Albanian border. Since then, Sveti Stefan, where I stayed, has been updated as reflected in its 5 star pricing. The moral of the story is get there before the crowds discover a destination.

7. If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, you’ll love the prices! Substitute the road less traveled. If you have a dream to see the Parthenon you must go to Greece. (That is unless you live in North America and would like to see a perfect replica in Nashville, Tenn.!) Regional air carriers are a good way to find out great largely undiscovered places at low prices. One example: I dreamed of Tahiti in my early post-graduate days. When rates were high there, Air New Zealand suggested alternatives: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I took them up on it and had the trip of a life time dining out on the stories for years.

8. Scour the Internet for national and regional programs offered by tourist boards. Check ahead as they may only be available abroad. One of the best deals I found in the 1990’s was with then “Lan Chile”. From the US, I purchased three stand-by tickets for a total of $200 to go anywhere in the country. At that price, I made my way to Antarctica Chile, at the end of the world!

9. Use flexible dates to grab week-day deals. Hotels and airline rates often go up and down together. Why is that? That takes us back to supply and demand. When planes and hotels have low load factors, prices are softer.

10. Share to save. Look for tours that have no single supplements by agreeing to share. The benefit to this approach? It is a way to save if your travel dates are not flexible, and no to low single supplement deals are not available.