Showing posts with label holiday destinations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday destinations. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Exploring Barcelona With A City Trip

There are many culturally diverse cities in Europe that are easily accessible with budget airlines, particularly Barcelona.

Often hailed as one of the best cities in the world, Barcelona is a fashionable location to come into contact with the old and new alongside each other and where all your senses will work overtime.

It is easy enough to see why Barcelona is so popular with its unceasing variety of attractions and sights tempting tourists from all walks of life. Stretching from La Ramblas covering the old port of Barcelona and the Plaza Catalunya, an entire day can be dedicated to walking around the Barri Gothic Quarter without venturing any further as there plenty to see and do. Wander around the labyrinths of the narrow streets that meander between old buildings which open out into quaint squares, and then have a break in one of the alfresco cafes full of bustling tapas bars in the vicinity. Find out something about the chronicle of the city and its Roman roots, or visit the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia that is constructed throughout the 13 and 14 century.

Initially planned by Catalan publisher Joseph Bocabella, who wanted to achieve Catholic Church triumphs via the guard of St. Joseph, this monumental assignment eventually came in the hands of Gaudi when he was just thirty-one years old. Barcelona is truly blessed with his wonderful designs, he could be indeed, and the main reason the city attracts so many sightseers. This famous work by Gaudi will be the most incredible church you will ever see.

Barcelona is still the birthplace for many progressive architects such as the award-winning Ricardo Bofill, the man behind the iconic W Barcelona, shaped like a gigantic boat sail. Born in Barcelona in 1939, Bofill is celebrated for his architectural structures that blend with different cultures. It will also be difficult to miss the perfect geometric block of ME Barcelona Hotel, a glass building designed by French architect Dominique Perrault. Barcelona is widely celebrated for its innovative planning and accessible open spaces; hence there are plenty of places to stroll such as the beaches and gardens. Two of the best are, that goes without saying, Guell Park, another Park de la Ciudadella, a park in Ciutat Vella famous for its museums and boating lake.

In the city centre, there are several places that you can take a walk and admire the sceneries, or enjoy fresh coffee in Las Ramblas while watching pedestrians, musicians and performers. Bars in Barcelona start to fill up from 2am onwards. There are plenty of late licensed bars that may stay open as late, or as early as 10am. These bars are not dance clubs but you can either wind down or party some more, depending on your state of mind at that time. There are plenty of live music jam sessions, jazz, blues, burlesque and clubs to choose from particularly in the Las Ramblas boulevard but do not expect crowds until 2 or 3am.

Maremagnum will be the ideal location for families as it is a huge waterfront mall with plenty of walkways and bars before the dark hour starts. As the families depart and the party animals arrive you will find everything here from stylish bars to Irish pubs, it is quite easy to party here till morning as some of the clubs stay open until 6am.

Obviously, holiday time depends heavily on either work schedule or budget. Many hotels and airlines give discounts on Friday to Sunday reservations and this gives you plenty of time to enjoy the attractions, shop and have a good night out.

If you want a simple way to travel, then think about staying in holiday apartments since Barcelona has a large number of apartments for any requirements. An apartment in any city can help save money and give you a more unique experience of living in a different culture. The internet is the best source for landing yourself the appropriate rental apartment.



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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

5 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides in the World

There is something magical about a hot air balloon ride. Soaring up in the sky, going past the clouds fills the heart with a child-like glee. Since its invention in 1783, hot air balloons have given humans the unique opportunity to see the world from high up above. Be it marveling at the beauty of serene landscapes or seeing the exciting theater of the natural sunset amidst the clouds, hot air balloons help to open a new door of experience for everyone.

The wind tousling your hair, and your eyes feasting on the beauty of nature, hot air balloon rides are a marvelous way to spend your time. They can also be incredibly romantic. Indeed many people have taken the wonderful opportunity to propose to their beloved. A central piece in a Disney movie, hot air balloons capture a child's innocence and excitement with incredible precision.

Here are 5 best Hot Air Balloon Rides in the world that you need to experience with your loved ones or alone:

Napa Valley, California 

While most of Napa's pleasures are best delighted in on the ground with a glass close by, a view from above offers another incredible method to encounter California's well-known valley. On the off chance that you set out from Yountville, you'll be able to see landscapes of Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountains, with clearing vineyards in the closer view; in the correct climate conditions, you'll even have the capacity to see the San Francisco horizon out yonder. Numerous inflatable organizations offer early lunch and wine sampling bundles with their rides to top off the aeronautical experience.


Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya 


Hot air expands in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve have filled in as the ultra-sentimental scenery of almost every East Africa safari leaflet since the early years of extravagance tourism (we're taking a gander at you, Micato Safaris). Like the Serengeti, here, natural life spotting is achievable year-round; however, the vistas here are most stupendous when the wildebeest have relocated over the Mara River into the Maasai Mara, ordinarily during July and October.

Loire Valley, France 

The Edenic valley in the French heartland is best known for its gathering of dazzling châteaux, however the pleasant towns, clearing greenery, and winding stream characterize the locale as much as its stately homes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley is just two hours south of Paris, making it a simple side excursion from the city. The spring and summer months see the locale in full blossom, making it the ideal time for a dawn or nightfall ride over the rural scene.

Jaipur, India 

The strongholds and royal residences of the Pink City are sufficiently noteworthy, yet getting a flying perspective from elevated inflatable trumps a mobile visit unfailingly. Associate over Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), Amber Fort and City Palace (to name yet three of the city's engineering treasures), before gliding over provincial towns and remote stone sanctuaries. Book a trip for dawn, and you'll see Jaipur spring up. While a closer look is needed to peer at the spellbinding architecture, an aerial view can help you look at the city from a whole new perspective.

Yangshuo, China 
The limestone karst arrangements close Yangshuo and Guilin draw guests from everywhere throughout the world, offering a supernatural scene along the Li River that has been deified in everything from customary Chinese works of art to Star Wars. Most experience the locale by pontoon, yet consider a hot air expand ride as an incredible option for dodging the group. Untethered flights take off to as high as 4,900 feet and take you through the karst crests and encompassing farmland, while fastened flights, picking up an elevation of just around 300 feet, offer a similarly engaging alternative for those hoping to remain nearer to the ground.


Author: Roger Voshall


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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Air and Hotel Travel Packages Guide - What Kind of Booking Strategy Would Be Right for You?

When evaluating air and hotel travel packages offered by internet travel vendors, it's crucial that you investigate all of the details before you book. Many of these offers are legitimate and do allow for some savings. You just need to take the time to compare offers and prices to make sure you really are getting a great deal.

If airfare and hotel accommodation are your primary concerns, you probably won't need an "all-inclusive" package, unless it seems to offer things you know for sure you'll really be using, such as fast Wi-Fi and dining discounts at your favorite restaurant(s). Some "bundle" deals also include car rental, in addition to air and hotel. You can combine any of the two or all three when you book your trip online.

Oftentimes it's recommended that you wait for a last-minute deal to become available before making reservations. If you're not picky with the dates, this might be a good option for you. If you can only travel on specific dates, however, it might be a bad idea to risk it. What if a last-minute deal doesn't pop up and you are left without a reservation since you waited so long?

When you simply cannot be flexible with the travel dates, booking air and hotel travel packages well in advance is a smart thing to do. Find out how much travel expenses cost for your destination during the time of year you plan to travel. The tourist season varies depending on the location, although rates in most places are reasonably low during winter months (aside from Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Years).

Air and Hotel Packages Inclusions and Exclusions

Make sure you know exactly what the package does and does not include. Even an all-inclusive package doesn't cover things like airport baggage handling, spa services, off-site activities and tours, and gift shop items. Tipping may or may not be included, so read the policy beforehand.

Air and hotel travel packages tend to have minimum stay requirements. This could be anywhere from two nights to seven nights. Keep this in mind if your vacation dates are set in stone and there is no room for flexibility. 

Also, note that the price you are presented with when viewing a travel package is usually intended per person. Do the math to find out if it really will be cheaper than buying 2+ plane tickets separately from the hotel room.

If you live near more than one airport, see if there is a price difference in air and hotel travel packages between all of the airports you can easily get to. Even if they are in the same state or region, some of the packages might be cheaper than the others.

The simplest and fastest way to find air and hotel travel packages is by looking over online deals. You can also sign up to receive alerts on all of the newest deals on dream vacations, from cruises to all-inclusive Caribbean resorts.

Author: George Botwin

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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Cheap Package Deals: Tips for Finding the Best Travel Deals and Selecting the Right One for You

It's so easy to find cheap package deals these days, just as long as you have the right tools in your hands. Airlines, hotels, cruise lines, tourism companies, restaurants, etc... often run promotions which include incredible savings. Such offers usually include a hotel stay for a certain number of nights and airfare between the destination city and other cities.

As long as you're not stuck with one specific place in mind, you should be able to find inexpensive travel packages. Last minute deals are often the way to go, as hotel chains, cruise lines, and airlines will sometimes lower the fares considerably at the last minute in order to quickly fill the remainder of the rooms or seats. If you're going the last minute route, it would be best to start looking within two weeks of your travel dates.

Even if you have your heart set on going to one specific destination, you still might be able to find cheap package deals. Sometimes it's a matter of luck. It helps to have travel promo codes and coupons as well, which can be redeemed when you go through the online booking process.

Consider an alternative route. If the next city over is a lot cheaper to fly to and has more affordable hotel rooms, why not just stay there? You can simply take a bus or rent a car for a day or two and head to your intended destination.

Which Airlines Will Allow Cheap Package Deals?

Which airlines serve your local airport? Is it a major hub for any airlines? All airlines these days, including the smaller, budget ones, have partners in the hotel industry and work with those partners to provide affordable vacation packages. Just keep in mind that a minimum stay will be required. This could be anywhere from two to seven nights, depending on the hotel and time of year.

Some sites and apps will allow you to set the price range of your ideal airfare, car rental, hotel, or package. If you simply wish to browse through the offers to see what all is available, the items can all be filtered by price, number of nights, location, and so forth.

Travel bargains are usually available for a short period of time, so if you find one you like, you should pounce on it quickly. If you're having trouble narrowing down your search to just one, you will only have so long to make your decision - especially if it's for a popular destination.

When looking over cheap package deals, make sure you know exactly what they include and if there will be any additional fees involved.

Whether you're in search of a golf trip, a tropical getaway, cruise, or a thrilling big city experience, you can always count on online deals. Keep an eye out for cheap package deals. Great new offers pop up every day.

Author: George Botwin

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Thursday, 29 November 2018

Culture And Tradition Of Uzbekistan - The Original Culture Of The East

Uzbekistan’s culture, just like its people, is vibrant and unique. Also referred as the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is located between the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers. In this region and known for centuries, hospitality is ranked higher than courage.

The culture of Uzbekistan takes in tradition and cultures of various nationalities that had settled in this region over a period of time. There are influences from Turkey, Iran, Russia, China and also Arab communities. Its culture reflects in their music, dances, cuisine, arts and language even today. Thanks to the Great Silk Road, Buddhism has found its way into Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan’s hospitality comes through when you look at its history. They opened up for tired tradesmen who sought refuge from the desert in this beautiful place. Their vehicles stayed in Uzbekistan for days before they continued their journey. A variety of musical instruments were also introduced to the Uzbek’s by these passers-by.

Tea Ceremony
The tea ceremony, one of their, traditions is an epitome of Uzbekistan’s hospitality. This ceremony is a ritual filled with grace and shows utmost respect to its guests. A hostess serves tea with a traditional Uzbekistan snack. The tea is poured into a beautiful ceramic cup and then back to the teapot three times. This helps the tea to retain its flavor and build aroma. Only after three times, the tea is poured into a cup and served to the guests. Not just that - the cup is only half filled. The reason is to retain a perfect temperature for the guest to enjoy their drink.

Local Crafts

Uzbekistan has some traditional craft techniques that the local craftsmen practice till today. Be it silk, ceramics, wood and carvings, housewares, metal carvings, carpets or more - each region of Uzbekistan brings in a different flavor to the craft. The craft business relies on tourism for income, providing economic growth in this country. You will get ceramic art, jewellery, embroidered clothes, paintings, wood carvings, local Uzbek dolls and other decorative fabrics in this country.

Music

Music is part and parcel of everyone’s life in Uzbekistan. The Doira is a traditional percussion instrument made of wood. The Rubab is a stringed bow instrument. The Nay is a wind instrument, its sound similar to a flute. The surnay is Uzbek’s national wind instrument. Its shape is in the form of a tube that goes broad at the base and more. However, Makom, the Classical Uzbek music forms a special musical genre and is illustrated by a touching performance.

Dance

The beauty of this nation comes out in its dance form. Expressive, graceful, original, soft and smooth, Uzbek dance can be of two forms. The classic one or the folklore. The classic dance form is an art that is being taught in various art schools in Uzbekistan. The folklore is the common dance form that can be found at weddings, events, and holidays and even amongst family times to celebrate the good moments. These dance forms have been passed down from generations and retain ancient touch with a twist to cater to the modern world.

Food

The food here is delicious, ample, flavourful and some, even unique. Women take the lead in preparing the food. Men, however, are known to be the best for preparing Pilaf, an intricate dish made out of rice, mutton, and vegetables. This nation is also known for the variety of flatbread, made in hot clay oven along with unique stuff pastries. They say lasting friendships happen over a food table and we think it is true!

Author: Nancy Limp


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Monday, 26 November 2018

Barcelona is a Treasure Chest Filled with Culture

Barcelona
In Europe, you have the diversity of coastal France, bustling Italy, romantic Greece right to the eastern beauties of Czechoslovakia and Romania, whilst the Catalan capital of Barcelona retains its own attitude, unlike any other Spanish city.

Art lovers will savour its excellent galleries, historical objects alongside state-of-the-art architecture, chic apartments, outstanding bars and food, all topped off by a Mediterranean climate. Be sure that that your travel plan includes visits to architecture designed by the Catalonian artist Antoni Gaudi. It's a must. A visit to Montjuic to view the city from the coastline to the encompassing mountains is also a delight.

Montjuic

The mountain itself is naturally wooded and also home to the Joan Miro museum, and a museum of ethnology as well as the Olympic and Sports museum. And there is also an olden castle dating back over four centuries, and the wonderful New Botanical Gardens. The yet incomplete construction of the Sagrada Familia is also a Gaudi magnum opus that has transformed architectural and engineering development, with a creation from as far back as the XIII century. Many of the splendours including the ones mentioned above are easily accessible from a myriad of accommodation choices in Barcelona, from budget rooms to first-class service.

Sagrada Familia

You do not have to be an art fanatic to appreciate the creations of Gaudi. The numerous instalments exhibiting his signature style are still standing, and it is worth going to Barcelona just to discover several of his greatest works which are located in the city. Barcelona is truly blessed with his weird designs, he could be indeed, and the main reason the city draws so many tourists. This famous work by Gaudi will be the most incredible church you will ever come across.

With a more modern but similarly Catalonian flair is the Hotel W, or known as La Vela, a striking hotel located next to the sea designed by the Catalan architect, Ricardo Bofill, to resemble like an enormous boat sail. Born in Barcelona in 1939, Bofill is honoured for his architectural structures that harmonise with different cultures. 

Hotel W, Barcelona

Another hotel, located in the 22@ District on Diagonal Avenue, is Hotel ME Barcelona, a glass structure designed by French architect Dominique Perrault. There are lots of public spaces to enjoy in the city including the beaches and gardens. Two of the best are, of course, Guell Park and Parc de la Ciutadella, a park in Ciutat Vella famous for its museums and boating lake.

There are also many more modern architectural gems in the area if you take a closer look, such as the Hotel Habitat Sky, which is also part of the ME hotel brand, Bassat Ogilvy Headquarters, which is noted for making plenty use of natural light, as well as the iconic Agbar Tower (now known as Torre GlÒries) looming at the gateway of the technological district. 

Torre GlÒries

In addition to architecture, Barcelona is also notable for its nightlife, where there is a variety of clubs and lounges covering practically every theme for all palates and budgets. Barri GÒtic and Las Ramblas are most popular as they are found in the heart of the city and have a vivacious atmosphere that appeals to foreigners as well as locals. The area is full of cool discotheques and pubs, and you will find and a wide selection of elegant spots that are loved by the locals but embraces tourists as well.

Maremagnum will be the perfect location for families as it is a huge waterfront mall with plenty of walkways and bars before the dark hour starts. As the families leave and the party animals arrive you will find everything here from techno clubs to Irish pubs, it is quite easy to party here till morning as some of the clubs stay open till 6am.

Maremagnum, Barcelona

Life is short and is worth breaking out of a norm and doing something fun on weekends. Most European cities are a short flight away and can do a lot to bring some excitement back into your life, whether you seek to travel alone or if you are planning a surprise vacation with someone. Instead of doing what others traditionally do by saving all year around for that once a year 2 week holiday, why don't you save money with an apartment in Barcelona and spend it on 3 or 4 short breaks to different cities instead?



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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

6 suggested Historical Destinations To Visit

Student travel promises to be an enjoyable trip. Not only do students can visit several places, they could also learn so much on every trip. And since air travel agencies, as well as airlines, provide student travel discount and special student travel rate, student travel is becoming more and more available for a greater number of students who want to explore and learn more about the world.

For first-time travelers, here are some historical destinations you can consider for your student travel:

Athens

As the center of knowledge, government, and system in the ancient world, every student would be amazed how this ancient city grew and evolved. Students can visit Acropolis, Agora, Library of Hadrian, Kerameikos, Olympieion & Southeast Athens, Pnyx, Roman Agora & Tower of the Winds, Arch of Hadrian, City Eleusinion and other ancient sites in this ancient city of Athens.

Egypt

Visit one of the earliest civilizations founded in this part of the world. Egypt features a 3000-year old city on the banks of the River Nile. Egypt is also one of the oldest tourist spots in the world with visitors coming from ancient Rome and Greece.

Moving your way south from Cairo, the nation’s capital, you can stop at Giza where the infamous Great Pyramid stands. It was built by Pharaoh Khafu in the year 2550 BC. Standing at 147 meters, it was the largest and the most ambitious structure built in ancient Egypt requiring 2.3 million stone blocks to erect. Also at Giza, see the Pyramid of Khafre home if the Sphinx. It was built 30 after the Great Pyramid. As the second largest, the Pyramid of Khafre stands at 144 meters of 471 feet. The third pyramid located at Giza was the Pyramid of Menkaure which stands at 65 meters or 213 feet.

Further south, Saqqara is home to the Step Pyramid of Djoser built in 2630 BC. Pyramid of Pepi II, also located at Saqqara was the last pyramid built by ancient Egyptians. In Dahshur, the Bent and the Red Pyramids are located. And down south at Maidum, the Maidum Pyramid can be found.

See the temples, mummies, tombs, hieroglyphics, and Valley of the Kings and the Queens if you visit Egypt.

Rome

See ancient Rome still intact with pieces of evidence of Roman structure and architectures built more than 2000 years ago. Rome presents the living timeline from the Roman Empire to the shift of the Middle Ages, to baroque and renaissance, to the dawn of the romantic period and enlightenment. Rome preserves its temples, churches, arts, and priceless paintings and murals.

Turkey

A former territory of the Roman Empire which stood strong for more than a thousand years against several barbarian attacks, Turkey is in the easternmost part of Europe that features a diverse culture, religion, philosophy, and architectures.

China

Travel Far East and learn the history of the ancient eastern civilization that was once unknown until the last centuries. See the Great Wall, a remnant of the Zhou Dynasty along with other unique oriental culture and tradition. See the Chinese painting, calligraphy, paper cutting, and Chinese art.

Peru

As the center of the Inca civilization, Peru is a great destination for student travel for discovery of South American history. The 500-year old Inca traces could be relived in the Inca Trail that is both exciting and educational. Walk to the Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman, Machu Picchu, and Pisac.


Author: Hotel Etc

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Monday, 12 November 2018

Traveling in Retirement - What to Take With You On the Road

One of the greatest discoveries as you enter into retirement is that now you have the time to travel. Possibly you have traveled during your work life. But much of this travel may have been work-related, and what was not travel for work, may have been rushed and stressful, or worse, an "on the bus, off the bus" group trip. None of these forms of travel would have given you much of an idea of how glorious and engaging travel can be when it is not work-related, rushed and stressful, or tethered to a group.

Now, as you enter a period when your travels may be more extensive, your questions may become more pressing. You have your bucket lists of travels to accomplish, and you know that it is essential to undertake your travel adventures while you are still energetic and agile. Of course your questions will likely start with: "Where shall I go?" Next you may ask: "Shall I travel independently or in a group?" Then you will inquire: "How shall I plan my trip so it will be an enjoyable and memorable experience?" And probably your next query will be: "What shall I take with me?"

Each of these questions leads to its own set of issues and considerations, all worthy of discussion. This article will focus on what to take along with you on the road. Although what to take with you may seem to be a relatively minor concern compared to the others, it actually will have a high degree of impact on the ultimate enjoyment and success of your trip. Becoming expert at preparing well for travel will yield high benefits and ensure that you enjoy your trip fully while you are taking it. Determine to become expert at this, and you will become a happy traveler. If travel is about to become an important part of your way of life, you need to get really excellent at doing it.

A good way to think about what to take with you on a trip is to enlist your own well-developed expertise about how to live a comfortable life in your own home. It is typical to furnish a home in terms of functions, establishing an orderly and comfortable environment where you have a way to meet needs and accomplish the basic tasks that you encounter in your day-to-day life.

At home, you have readily available not only clothes for getting dressed in the morning, but also outfits that serve you in other important functions-- taking a vigorous walk, dressing up to go to the theater, staying warm when you take a boat ride on a chilly evening. If you need to clear your head from congestion, you have only to walk to your medicine cabinet to find your antihistamines. When you are thirsty, you head to the refrigerator door for ice water to stay hydrated. On days that are too pretty to eat inside, you pull out a tablecloth and your picnic gear, and head to a park or out to the table in your backyard.

At home, not only do you have everything that you need when you need it, but you also know exactly where to find it. Shirts are hanging in the closet and pants are on the shelf. Socks and underwear are in the drawer and shoes are on your shoe rack. Plates are in cabinets, utensils are in drawers, antihistamines are in the medicine cabinet. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

If everything seems so easy at home because you have gathered together and organized your belongings based on function, the same is also true for traveling comfortably. Start with what you will want to be able to do, listing the functions you will need to carry out over the course of your trip. Then determine what you need to take with you to support each function, and where you will keep it so you will know exactly where to find it when you need it. Think function, not packing list, and you will find that you already know very well how to do this.

Functions you will need to carry out as you travel include being prepared to:

  • Dress comfortably, for cool and warm days, sunny and rainy weather.
  • Walk many miles a day, including up and down hills, and possibly across cobblestones.
  • Navigate your trip, with maps, essential information, and a detailed trip plan.
  • Manage your money, credit cards and passports safely.
  • Access critical trip documents, including passports, plane and train tickets, confirmations, addresses and phone numbers, taxis and drivers, and dinner reservations.
  • Communicate and stay connected.
  • Use and recharge electronics, converting to the power system in the country you will be visiting.
  • Stay healthy for the duration of your trip, ready to handle a variety of possible physical challenges without lost days.

Taking each of these functions individually, here are some guidelines about what should earn a place in your suitcases, keeping in mind that everything you take along you will need to carry or drag, on and off trains, up and down stairs, and sometimes across cobblestones. If your destination happens to be Costa Rica, you may even find yourself hauling your bags down steep muddy banks to board boats that take you up a river or across a lake.


Be prepared to dress comfortably for cool and warm, sunny and rainy weather

Avoid taking either too many or too few clothes. While on your trip, you will want to feel good about how you look. So take some of your favorites. Don't bother to stick with neutrals unless these are your personal taste and style. Take along the colors you like, but have in mind multiple ways they can be worn together and layered with each other.

A good rule of thumb is to divide the number of days you will be traveling by three, and take that many outfits, all ones that you like to wear. Of course, you can consolidate further by counting a skirt or a pair of pants as part of multiple outfits. For women, take along a few scarves and necklaces to mix it up a bit. Or, even better, plan to purchase these during your trip.

Put blouses and shirts in a packing envelope so you can transfer them to a drawer or closet shelf as a unit, and disturb only those items that you actually wear. This way part of your repacking will already be out of the way when it comes time to move on to the next stop. Roll skirts and pants and pack them to they form a single clearly displayed layer in your suitcase. This will enable you to locate and remove your selections while leaving the rest undisturbed, again saving you repacking time.

Take along any additional pieces you will need to dress in layers and be comfortable in both warm and cool weather. Certainly, carry along a sun hat and an umbrella. Every day on a trip is precious time. You will not want to be sidelined by sun or rain. Select clothing that does not wrinkle or that will not show wrinkles, with a preference for textured or blended cottons, not synthetics.

Pack enough underwear for a week, in a zippered pouch of course, and plan to do a mid-trip wash. Even if you do not have a washing machine in any of your accommodations, it is a simple task to fill the bathtub with water and liquid soap or shampoo, and wash your clothes that way, hanging them to dry around your room. To be prepared for this function of doing the wash, take along a small container of liquid soap and a stretchable clothes line designed to be used without clothespins. Keep these laundry items together in their own zip-lock bag so you can readily put your hands on them.

All of this pre-organization of your clothing will make unpacking and repacking go quickly, so you will have more time to be where you are.


Be prepared to walk many miles a day, including up and down hills

Traveling can tire out your feet fairly quickly. You will be walking farther, and over more varied and challenging surfaces, than is your custom at home. Take along multiple pairs of comfortable walking shoes to keep your feet happy for the duration of your trip, and swap out your shoes regularly. Happy feet make for a happy trip.

Spend the money necessary to purchase very comfortable shoes, with memory foam to ensure an equal distribution of pressure to the feet, and an anatomically-shaped footbed to eliminate pressure and friction. And make sure that at least one pair of the shoes you take has a closed-back heel and fastens securely with ties or Velcro closures. When you are walking up and down steep hills and steps, slip-ons can become treacherous.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Be prepared to navigate your way through your days smoothly

Carry with you a full set of Day Pages with the day-by-day details of your trip. These will be your "ace in the hole" - an essential ingredient to your having a smooth, stress-free journey. They will give structure to your travels, and optimize how you navigate through each day, always knowing what's coming next, with all the addresses, telephone numbers and closing times you will need, together in one place.

A good set of Day Pages includes orienteering instructions so that in each new destination you can immediately begin learning your way around. These include small Google-map walk-arounds, starting at the door of your hotel. Their purpose is to help you get your bearings quickly, including where to find your own neighborhood bakery, wine shop, fresh market, deli, and café, as well as the nearest ATM.


Be prepared to handle your money, credit cards and passport safely

Money handling is an important function while traveling. You need to have a system for keeping your money, credit cards, and passport safe, while also having convenient access to them. When traveling in another country, exchange enough cash in advance of your trip to get you started when you arrive. Then use ATM machines to replenish your cash supply as needed. Plan to use the ATM machines and debit cards that minimize foreign exchange fees, with bank ATM machines being the best option.

Call all debit and credit card companies before you leave to give them notice that you will be traveling so they will not deny your transactions. Make copies of your cards and passports, front and back, so you can immediately report any theft or loss. Keep these paper copies in a separate place from your cards.

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Be prepared to access all critical trip documents.

You will need to be able to access your critical trip documents quickly--to be prepared to locate and board your train and present your tickets to the conductor as required, to call ahead to your hotel and give its address to your taxi driver, and for all the many additional critical connecting points of your trip. This means you will need all of your trip documents where you can find them without delay, including passports and insurance papers, plane and train tickets, hotel and tour confirmations, addresses and phone numbers, taxis and drivers, dinner and concert reservations.

To keep your travel documents completely organized, purchase a zippered passport wallet and always return your passport to it throughout your trip - no exceptions. Use clear plastic sleeves for itinerary and accommodation information, keeping the next needed information visible through the front, for easy access even in the rain.

Use an accordion folder for train tickets, vouchers, confirmations and reservations. Designate a separate portfolio for each destination's upcoming Day Pages, and another one for days that have been completed. Take along an empty coupon holder for receipts, and a small journal to keep track of them. The key is to get organized and stay organized. This will considerably reduce stress during your trip.


Be prepared to communicate and stay connected with the right phones

It has become easier to communicate abroad now. Country SIM cards are readily available to be installed in your iPhone. Or, as an alternative, you will be able to purchase an inexpensive pay-as-you-go cell phone, complete with a country SIM card and generally some complimentary minutes. "Topping off" your cell phone minutes as needed is a simple matter of stopping by a newsstand. If you plan to use your smartphone and install a country SIM card at your destination, be sure to unlock it before you leave on your trip.

Sorting out your communications during your trip is essential so you can stay connected when you get separated from your travel companions or decide to head in different directions. Also, you will need to call ahead to hotels, make reservations for restaurants and tours, and call taxis when you need them.

To keep track of all your communications paraphernalia, including charging cables and portable power banks, designate one zippered pouch or large zip-lock bag for this use only. These are items that easily can get lost in a suitcase, or left behind in a hotel room. Before leaving each location, check your designated communications pouch to make sure everything is there in its place before you go.

Be prepared to use and recharge electronics

Designate another zippered pouch for everything else you are carrying that pertains to electronics. Into this pouch put all of the power adapters, converters, charging cables, extension cords and multi-socket extension plugs that you will need to keep your electronics functioning throughout your trip. Keep all of these wires neat and compact with rubber bands. And, again, check your electronics pouch before you leave each hotel to ensure that nothing essential gets left behind.


Be prepared to stay healthy for the duration of your trip

Another zippered pouch should be reserved for everything you will need to stay healthy, inside and out. Put in your prescription drugs and supplements. Also carry a supply of cold medicine, Tums, pain medicine, and any other types of medication you could possibly end up needing. Take foot powder for sore feet, Band-Aids and Neosporin for various mishaps, and lotion to protect your skin. Depending on your destination, also pack bug spray and/or sunscreen. Last, but not least, take along a bottle of melatonin to overcome jet lag and to control sleep irregularities caused by time changes or other unfamiliar sleep disturbances. Consolidate these items in zip-lock bags to cut down on packaging and conserve space.

Traveling can be strenuous. You may develop blisters, various aches and pains, or even sniffles. By taking along a selection of items to handle various contingencies, just in case you need them, you will be ready to prevent small complaints from slowing you down.

Some additional advice

Any comfortable home needs storage space. This is also true when your home is your suitcase. During your trip, your storage space definitely should not be in the suitcases you are carrying with you day after day. Do keep everything you need with you. But lighten your load whenever you can. Yes, this will cost money, but not as much as you might think. And you are worth it!

Designate a zippered pouch for mailing supplies - at a minimum packing tape and address labels. Then, periodically, as your suitcases begin to take on weight, mail home a box. Purchase the box at the local post office and get one large enough to do yourself some good. Into this box put anything you will no longer need during your trip - past Day Pages, brochures and booklets, shoes that didn't turn out to be comfortable, books you've finished reading, treasures and gifts you have purchased along the way. Tape this all up and address it to yourself.

This advantage to give yourself when traveling is well worth the cost and bother. Each time you lighten your load, you will feel your burdens lifting. And, of course, you will free up room for additional treasures that you may discover along your way.

As you enter your prime time for traveling, what you take with you and how you organize it, is critical to the quality of your travel experience. Before you depart on a trip, look back through your list of the functions you will need to perform while you are traveling to ensure that you are prepared to carry out each of them. And then you are off!



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