If hiking and camping are what your family love to do, then consider planning a vacation based on these activities. This article will help you plan a fun and safe vacation in the wilderness or campground of your choice. Read on for more information to ensure you have all the bases covered before you travel to your destination.
The great outdoors is truly a wonderful playground for the whole family to explore. However, you want to be safe, especially if children are involved, so the first step is to chose a family friendly spot for your trip. One of the best ways to find a good location for camping and hiking is by asking your friends about the places they have enjoyed on their family vacations. Find out if they used a particular travel agency to help plan their excursion, where they stayed and what worked out and what did not. Don’t be afraid to tap your friends knowledge and experience, because often this is the best possible source of useful travel information.
Once you have some ideas of the area or region you want to visit, hit the internet and research the area for interesting trails or campgrounds. Find out if ranger guided excursions are available and accommodate children. These guide tours can be very educational and fun for every member of the family. Often, the guides will share historical or geographical information along the trail making for a more interesting hike.
Research geological formations near your destination. A side trip to visit a cave, river or unusual outcropping can be a fun break from your campground home base. Make sure you are prepared for anything, so bring swim wear, rain gear and warm underwear and outerwear. The weather can be very unpredictable so keep this in mind.
Purchase maps of all parks or wildlife preserves you plan to hike so you will not end up lost. Always call home and let someone know where you are going and check in each night. That way, if you don’t check in, you will have someone who knows how to find you.
Make sure your gear is in good shape before you leave home. Assemble your tent and look for problems like leaks or tears that will need to be repaired. Fire up your cook stove to make sure it works. You don’t want to find out at the campsite that your equipment is broken.
When you embark on a hiking excursion that will last more than an hour it is best to bring some water and food along. All members of the hiking party should carry two liters of water. It may be heavy but this way, if any delays or problems occur, you will have enough water to fend off dehydration. Trail mix, protein bars and jerky are great trail foods that do not weigh very much and offer a lot of sustenance.
A little planning up front can make your trip go smoother. By using these tips you should be able to plan a safe and fun outdoor vacation your whole family will enjoy. So, start your research now and put together a plan to enjoy the beauty of nature alone, or with your family.
Travel Tip One – Foursquare
Foursquare for those that don’t know is a location-based social network where people tag themselves at locations while leaving tips to gain badges and score the most points against their friends. What started out as more of a game than anything else has now turned into a vast resource of tips and suggestions as users leave feedback on where they’ve been from all around the world.
I like to think of it as a better version of TripAdvisor crossed with speaking to a local as the content is curated from both locals and travellers. It’s my number one go to app when looking for a place to eat and has served me well many times over. My best find so far would have to have been a burger joint discovered down a little Paris street. It’s the last thing you’d think to go to in Paris but that’s the joy of travel, finding the unique in all destinations.
Travel Tip Two – Twitter/Facebook
This might be better suited to the social butterflies of the world but both Facebook and Twitter play a big role in helping me to find great travel tips on new places. While I’m lucky that I’ve got an army of followers to help answer questions the same tips can be used by anybody else. Asking questions on either social network while using hashtags for the specific area will normally result in helpful answers from complete strangers.
Combine that with joining specific groups on Facebook on a destination or asking influential individuals/bloggers via comments on their Facebook page or sending a tweet normally unearths a wealth of tips. Many are more than happy to help answer questions and will often pose the question to their followers for you.
Even Instagram can be the perfect tool to finding places to visit. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at Tourism Australia’s account and noted down places I MUST see next time I’m home.
Travel Tip Three – Free Walking Tours
I’ve written about this recently but Free Walking Tours are run all over the world now and are a unique way to explore a city. Most run for 3-4 hours with tour guides directing you to many well know and a few lesser visited tourist attractions around a city.
Not only will you get to explore a new city but you’ll get to do so with a bunch of strangers who are all full of amazing travel knowledge as well. Word of mouth travel tips can be just as good as chatting to a local in my opinion. It was by chance that I learnt about a hostel along the Amalfi Coast from others taking part in a free walking tour. To this day it’s still the best hotel/hostel I’ve ever stayed in and one of my favourite parts of the world as well.
Travel Tip Four – Travel Blogs
I guess it would be remiss of me not to mention researching destinations via a travel blog, especially since I own one. While not all travel blogs are equal many are filled with helpful first hand knowledge of a destination. Travel bloggers are passionate about travel and often go to great lengths to research a topic and share the knowledge they learn with the world.
Travel Tip Five – Ask A Local
And lastly I bring you perhaps the oldest trick in the book but asking locals about the best places in their town will always trump a guide book’s suggestion. This is where it pays to learn a little of the local language. It shows a willingness to learn about the area and I’ve always been greeted with a smile and help even if I’ve butchered their language trying to get my point across. It’s all about the effort, the more you put in the more you get in return.
Be it the owner of the place your staying, the cleaner, the guy at the bus stop or a friendly shop owner. All have much more knowledge on their town than you ever will and taking 10 minutes to talk to them could well find you a hidden gem that’s well off the beaten path in the middle of even the biggest cities like London or Rome.
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Being alone without someone in our side is so awful. How can we spend every moment in our life without someone that we can share with? I believe that mostly people who are still single will feel so lonely in their life. Indeed, friends can help us and make us so happy in our life but remember that not in every occasion they can help us. That’s why we need to make sure that we can open our heart and mind to anyone so that we can get the love in our life from someone special.
Moreover, when the time for the holiday is coming and you are still so single, what will you do? If you are such a person who does not really think much about partner in life, maybe you will feel so okay. But for you who really want to have someone to share with, you will feel so lonely during the holiday time. Rather than spending the time without nothing, why do not we choose to go traveling for spending the great time in our holiday?
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When it is time to travel, it means that you need to get some plans for it. One of the most important things is planning about the place to stay. Everybody has its own typical holiday so; you can decide your own. When you like to get yourself as the backpacker, it means that you need to be smart to organize all the things including selecting the place to stay. The only way you can find affordable hotels is in best travel websites online. It is where you can have booking cheap hotel since it has lots of hotels in all cities in Indonesia.
If you are planning to spend your holiday in Bali, then do not hesitate to get some fun there. You will have no worry about the hotel price if you book it with best travel websites online. Here you can just set the date when you are going to visit the city for check in and check out. The search engine will take you to the list of hotels about the room availability. You can select the one as your needs and consideration. You can even set the area of Bali that you are going to visit which near the tourism attractions.
Well, it is the same when you plan to go seeing Borobudur temple. It is in Central Java and it takes about one hour from Jogjakarta. It will be easier for you to get a place to stay near Borobudur with best travel websites online. It is not only about the price since you may have detail information about the hotel rooms that you are going to stay. Every hotel has information about the types of room, facilities, and the picture of the rooms. Hence, you will find truly convenient hotel as you select since best travel websites online is the one that offers good hotels in good price.
It is possible for you to have a good stay during your holiday wherever it is. Best travel websites online offers cheap hotel available in all the cities of Indonesia. Hence, there is no need to worry for your holiday by wasting too much money. It saves the cost and you can create such a memorable holiday with good place to stay. This is your truly travel mate whenever and wherever you need some sweet escape. Make your holiday unforgettable by preparing it well. Best travel websites online is always available to give you the affordable hotels like no others can give to you.
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Pulling off a great family vacation requires a lot of planning, patience and effort. You get better at all this the more you do it. You stay more focused on what’s important — and less on what’s not. I’ve traveled a lot with my kids — and learned a lot of lessons — these are my top tips for having a great time while traveling with children.
Planning Your Trip
1. Check the validity of your passports. Be sure they’re good for 3 months after the day of your arrival home. Many people make the mistake of thinking that as long as they’re back home before their passports expire they’ll be fine. (It seems like common sense doesn’t it?) But not so. Authorities will often demand that your passport be good for several weeks — even several months for some countries — past the day of your arrival home. Some airlines will not let you board the plane if there is not enough extra time on your passport.
2. Scan your passports and email them to yourself, along with any other important documents — e.g. green card, birth certificate, the visa pages of your passport. If you ever lose your passports abroad, this will save you a ton of time and hassle when you have to replace them.
3. Notify your credit card companies before you leave. Banks are very careful about fraud nowadays — and run algorithms on your billing history to spot any irregularities. A charge from a country or city that you’ve never previously had a charge from could easily get your credit card frozen. And unfreezing your account from a foreign city in a different time zone, will be a lot harder than just calling your bank before departure.
4. Take more than one credit or debit card. Cards work differently in foreign countries, some will work at bank ATM but not at a corner store ATM, others will work in restaurants but not at an ATM. There are a number of complex rules and reasons but if you don’t work in the banking industry you’ll never know all of them. The best remedy is to take multiple cards.
5. Make an Out-The-Door list. Leaving for the airport — as your holiday starts — is one of the most stressful times of any trip. Have a list of things you need to grab as you’re leaving your home. I don’t mean a list of things you need to take (i.e. 2 pairs of pants, 3 t-shirts ). I mean a list of things you’ll need to physically grab. It should be a last minute checklist of all the little (and big) things you’ll need as you are going out the door. There will be the bags of course, the money belt, some water in the fridge for the airport, some snacks on the counter and sweaters for the plane. Plus all the indispensables you’ll want to double-check one last time before heading to the airport: passports, credit cards, cash. There’s a lot to remember — so have a list for it!
6. Put enough in your carry-on bags for the first day or 2 of your trip. This is good advice for anyone but especially when traveling with kids. If your bags are lost you don’t want to be hunting for diapers or a pair of shorts immediately after your arrival in a new city or country.
7. Count your suitcases, backpacks, handbags and keep the number in your head. This is simple and maybe painfully obvious, but it sure helps. You hop in a taxi, “bag count — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — yep they’re all here”. Easy. (Bigger families may want to conduct a kid count as well.)
8.Use a small digital camera. The fantastic shots you think you’ll get of the Grand Canyon, or Taj Mahal or Great Wall of China will be left and forgotten. The really great photos that you’ll love and savor for years to come will be the up-close and intimate shots of your kids and your family. And the key to getting great family photos is to take a lot of them. A ton of them! And the way you do that is to take a small camera, have it with you all the time and take pictures as quickly and discreetly as possible. You might insist, I’ll do all that, but with a bigger better camera. But you probably won’t.
9. Book a hotel for your first nights of your trip — but then stay flexible. My advice for traveling singles (or couples) is always to book a hotel for their first night after arrival, then get your bearings, figure out where you want to go and just find hotels as you need them. I’ve upgraded this for traveling families — reserve the first 2 or 3 nights. I realize this advice won’t work for everyone. Some people need certainty and plans and dates. And having all your hotels reserved for the duration of your trip can make things easier. But you’ll also lose some flexibility. If something’s working — if you’ve found a great little beach resort or a really fun hotel with a friendly staff — you’ll have to say goodbye because you’ve already booked a room in the next town. On the other hand having the freedom to leave a place that isn’t living up to expectations is a great bonus and can make the difference between an average vacation and an unforgettable one.
Practicalities of Travel
10. Welcome — don’t fear — airport security. Security checkpoints force parents to be lean and efficient with their packing. Take what you need but don’t take what is unnecessary. Security can also be a good reason not to take stuff on the plane that you don’t want your kid to have (i.e. your kid’s new water gun). And insisting that you keep all your little bottles and creams in a Ziploc bag — what a great idea!
11. Don’t line up early for trains and airplanes or anything where you have a reserved seat. If you’re one of those people who like to maximize their time on the airplane, by all means, board early, get that seat warm, burn through all your snacks before anyone else has even boarded. How great! You’ll have enough time on the plane without artificially extending it. As my son said on our return trip from Tokyo, “We have to go when they say final call right Papa?” Right!
12. One parent in charge. Don’t share the burden of any one duty while traveling. Packing for example. One person packs and knows where everything is. Two people pack and no one really knows where anything is. Same with hotels. One person plans them, arranges them, and books them. Do you have that confirmation email or do I? Na-Uh!
13. Get online storage for photos. Besides losing the kids, my photos are what I’m most concerned with losing. Forget your bag on the train platform and there goes your camera — and your photos. You can get free online storage at Adrive (50GB) or SkyDrive (25GB). (You will need a laptop, of course, to upload your photos.) Upload your pictures every night or two and then when you take your camera out on that fishing trip you’re not worried about dropping your camera and losing the last 2 weeks of photos.
14. Hire a car and driver. If you’re traveling in an inexpensive or developing country consider getting a driver instead of driving yourself. Prices are usually reasonable and they’ll know the ways and customs of the road better than you will. (Tip: have the address of your destination for longer distance trips. When you start your trip the driver will inevitably say, “Oh yes, I know where that is”, which translates to “I’ll ask for directions when we get there”. An address, instead of just a name, will help speed the process.)
15. Beat jet lag: stay up late the first night. Get outside and do something active. Long walks are good. Parks and playgrounds are great. Kids are usually so excited by their new environment you can get away with doing a lot that at home might not work. One caveat: most people forget — or don’t realize — that meal times can be way off as well in a new time zone. If your child usually eats a big breakfast and lunch but a small dinner at home. This can translate into no appetite at breakfast or lunch and then ravenous hunger at 7pm and midnight. Have a good array of healthful snacks in your hotel room on the first night.
16. Have a plan for the day. It doesn’t need to be cast in stone – stay flexible and easy going — but you should walk out the hotel door in the morning with a plan of where you’re going, what subway or bus you’re taking, what attractions do you have planned for the day? Perhaps obvious and natural to some but for me it wasn’t and once I took the time to plan the day on the night before, everything became a lot easier.
16. Check the website of the attraction just before your visit. It’s amazing how often museums will have closed for renovations, changed their schedule, or have a visiting show in place of its usual exhibits. Sometimes these changes can be nothing more than a nuisance. Other times they can ruin your plans for the day. Checking the website in the days before your visit eliminates most of this uncertainty.
17. Ask your hotel concierge for suggestions. Another obvious one that you nonetheless might skip because it sounds so touristy and lame. But they often know little tips and tricks for getting around the city and visiting attractions that can make your life a lot easier. Depending on the style of hotel asking at the front desk will often get you the owner or management who might have a monetary interest in directing you towards a certain establishment or tour group. A concierge usually has no connections at all and just give good advice.
18. Don’t do too much BUT don’t do too little either. I think the biggest mistake parents traveling with kids make is doing too little not too much. Get out there. Enjoy. Experience. Wear the kids out and get them tired.
Things to Pack
This could be a long list. I’ve picked 6 essentials.
19. A swim shirt. These make applying sun lotion so much easier. The back, shoulders and face burn the easiest and this takes 2 of those 3 out of play. But they’re not useful just on hot sunny days. If you’re swimming slightly out of the summer season — or even at a temperate swimming pool — they help keep some heat in and delay those chattering teeth for a little longer.
20. A great baby carrier or backpack. These are life savers in airports, train stations, cobblestone streets and hotels without elevators. Strollers are something to consider but if you have a little baby with you, a good carrier is close to a necessity.
21. A fabric high chair. These wrap around pretty much any type or size of chair and hold the baby in place so they can sit at the table. (There are many on the market but Totseat is a good one if you’re looking for names.)
22. A flashlight and a nightlight. Street lighting might not be as consistent as in your hometown and you’ll probably have a few nights returning to your hotel down a quiet road or path. A torch or flashlight can come in very handy. And a nightlight for the bathroom: Hotel rooms are unfamiliar and finding a bathroom in the middle of the night can be tricky. If your child — or even you — have to turn on a light it makes it much more likely they’ll have trouble getting back to sleep. A stumble over an unfamiliar ledge in a dark bathroom could make for a midnight visit to the hospital — or at least a lot of tears. A nightlight (with plug adapter if necessary) can solve these problems.
23. First Aid Tape— aka surgical tape. This stuff is great. Adhesive tape that is so much easier to apply than a band aid and actually sticks to fingers, toes, and the places kids really get cuts.
Most things you do won’t make any difference. The top 5 that might:
24. Know the fire escapes. A good practice at any time but especially in foreign countries where the exits and escape routes might not be as well marked.
25. Drill your kids on swimming pool safety. When staying in a hotel with a swimming pool remind your young kids that they don’t go in the pool without telling mom or dad. Make it the first thing you do after you put down your bags in the room.
26. Get the necessary vaccines and get them early. Check with the CDC or NHS and get the relevant vaccines and anti-malarial medicines well before departure — some vaccines can require multiple visits and can take a few months to get the entire series of shots. Many adults haven’t had their booster shots, so get those as well. There’s nothing worse than getting a deep cut in place far from a hospital and then having to worry about whether your Tetanus booster is up to date.
27. Fly longer distances and avoid the highways. Flying is the safest mode of transport. There can be many reasons to drive instead of fly but don’t ever not fly and choose car or bus for safety reasons alone. The attacks on 9/11 killed almost 3000 people. Unknown to many, it also resulted in the death of another 2100 in the months that followed because people stopped flying and chose the road instead — a much more dangerous mode of transport. And that’s in the U.S. — if you’re traveling in a developing country the disparity in road and flight safety rates will be even higher.
28. Play act out unusual or worrisome scenarios. If you’re concerned about your child being lost in a busy market, then act out the scene and what they should do. If you tell a kid what to do when they’re lost, they’ll probably forget it. If you act out what they should do they’re much more likely to remember it. (There’s a reason employers do fire evacuation drills — they work!)
29. Stay Positive! Be Happy! This can mean many things. For starters, you need a keen eye for what’s important and what’s not. With the typical boundaries and rules turned up side down, it’s very easy to become a “No, No, No, No” parent. Focus on the important stuff. Things that make your day easier and keep everyone safe. Try to hear yourself talking — you should be saying far more positive things than negative things.
1. Don’t ruin that pressed collar.
Using the old shower trick to de-wrinkle a dress shirt while traveling is most likely the last thing you want to do when you arrive. However, a belt is an easy way to keep the collar of a woven shirt looking neat and stiff. Roll the belt around the collar, so it acts as a mold for keeping the collar in place.
2. Take advantage of shoes.
Worried about dirtying your clothes with shoes? Use an old shower cap or take one from the hotel and use it to cover the bottom of shoes, so it keeps the clothes clean in the suitcase. Then instead of weighing down the luggage with shoe trees, roll socks and stuff them in the shoes. They work just as well for preserving the shoe’s shape. When packing, the shoes need to go in the suitcase first as this prevents the suitcase from becoming top-heavy and toppling over.
3. Make use of garment bags.
Next time you pick up the dry cleaning, make sure to save the bags for packing. The plastic bags work especially well for wrinkle-prone clothing because they help reduce friction, which ultimately causes wrinkling. Place the clothes face down on a table and make sure all buttons are closed. Then take a plastic garment bag and place it on the back of a dress shirt, for example. Fold the arms of the shirt around the bag and then take another garment bag and place the shirt inside for extra wrinkle-free protection.
4. Avoid leaks.
There’s nothing worse than opening your suitcase and finding out that your toiletries have spilled. A super simple trick is to cut squares of plastic wrap and then place them in between the bottle and cap. This adds an extra layer of security, should the cap not be screwed on tightly enough.
5. Protect the razor.
Just throwing a razor into your suitcase can easily lead to clothes being snagged. While razor caps are a good idea, the reality is they often just fall off and don’t end up doing their job. An easy way to make sure the blade is protected is to take a binder clip and place it over the blade.
6. Don’t burn your clothes.
Just about everyone can relate to getting ready for a trip and being pressed for time. Next time this happens and there’s a hot curling iron or straightener, don’t risk burning the clothes by just throwing it in the suitcase. Instead, grab a pot holder and wrap the hot tool inside. When at the hotel, the pot holder can then be used as a heat pad on the counter for the flat iron or curling iron.
7. Tag your luggage.
Getting to the bag carousel and not finding your luggage is a bad feeling. The thought that someone could have taken it by mistake is even worse. Avoid this by tying a colored bow or scarf to your suitcase, making it easy to spot among a sea of similar-looking bags. Another good idea is to get a “fragile” sticker at the airport, which helps prioritize your suitcase. One of these stickers can make sure your bags ends up on the top of a luggage pile or be the first ones out on the carousel.
10. Actually Get to the Airport On Time
Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks
Leaving early is really the only surefire way to get to the airport on time without issue, but there are a few other things you can do. First of all, if you can avoid checking luggage you should. Checking bags can add around 90 minutes to your trip (in total), so avoiding checked luggage really cuts down on time. Printing your boarding pass online as soon as possible is also extremely helpful, especially if you haven’t already been assigned your seats. If, despite your best efforts, you don’t make it on time, make sure you know if your airline has formal or informal policies for late check-ins or missed flights. Sometimes, rules-be-damned, you’re not as screwed as you may think you are.
9. Don’t Drive Yourself
Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks
When the holidays roll around, lots of people are traveling and this makes for congested roads. If you have to go by car, it’s best to have someone else drive you for a couple of reasons (whether it’s a friend, family, or a taxi). First—assuming your driver is responsible—it’ll help keep you on a schedule and feel obligated to be ready on time. Second, you won’t drive as well if you’re nervous about getting to the airport on time. Better to leave that job in the hands of someone who has less at stake and will drive responsibly in the Winter weather. Alternatively, you should consider taking public transportation if it’s available to you. While most days you’ll get there faster by car, on holidays you can sometimes save some time by taking the train or even the bus. If you’re not sure what will be faster, check public transportation schedules online and you should be able to estimate the time it will take so you can compare.
8. Make Good Use of Your Smartphone
Your smartphone can be your best friend when traveling during the holiday. Basic functionality will let you access itineraries via email or your airline’s mobile web site. For an overall better experience, however, you should be using TripIt (for iOS, Android, and Blackberry). It’s a free webapp and smartphone app that manages your itinerary and makes getting your boarding pass much easier. In some cases it can even help you get a digital boarding pass so you don’t need to print one at all. You can also use your smartphone as a way to look up gate information, as it frequently changes at a moment’s notice during the holiday season.
7. Get a Free First Class Upgrade
Traveling during the holidays is never a pleasant experience. You need to arrive earlier, security takes longer, and you’re more likely to experience delays. If you’re going to be stuck with a longer travel day, you might as well get comfortable. VideoJug offers some interesting ways to get yourself a free first class upgrade. While these tricks might not work so well for the entire family, if you’re traveling home by yourself or with your significant other you might just be able to pull them off.
6. Ship Your Bags (and Food)
With high bag-checking fees, poor care, and sometimes even theft, you might be better off just shipping your bags home. This is especially useful if you’re bringing any food or liquids. While you’re not going to bring an entire Thanksgiving meal, it’s generally much easier to ship it overnight than it is to deal with it on an airplane—assuming they even let you bring it on in the first place. While it may not be cost-effective in every situation, when it is it can save you a lot of time on your travel day.
5. Avoid Honeypot Rogue Wi-Fi Networks
Not all free Wi-Fi is good Wi-Fi, and even if you’re on a good Wi-Fi network you want to make sure you do everything you can to stay safe. When you’re out at the airport, however, there are a lot of free ad-hoc networks that people create for the purpose of listening for your usernames and passwords. With Firesheep it can be particularly easy. Be wary of the networks you choose and know the network you’re signing on to before you start entering private information.
4. Prepare for Problems with Your Children
Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks
If you’re traveling with your kids, you’re probably aware of the difficulty. Aside from giving them distractions (like a video game, book, etc.) and reminding them not to make jokes about bombs or terrorism, you want to prepare for the worst. It always helps to keep a few plastic bags in your pocket in case the air sickness bag is missing or too hard to get to (gross, but true). It’s also good to split up jobs between parents. For example, in the security line one parent can manage the luggage and the other can manage the kids. The more you plan for messes and split up the work the easier traveling will be.
3. Take a Benadryl
We’re not suggesting anyone abuse any over-the-counter cold medicines, but the fact is, no flight is over faster than the one you sleep through. And with all the runny noses this season, you could be doing everyone a public service by not leaking rhinovirus out your nose during the entire flight. Bring a blanket and a pillow, ask for a cup of water as you board, and prepare for a nice nap after a harmless little antihistamine.
2. Make Your Own Custom Luggage Tags
There are a lot of ways to help identify luggage, but many of them have become a little too common. Tying a ribbon onto the handle or adding some sort of color to your bag isn’t as unique as it used to be, but creating your own luggage tags is a way to ensure nobody’s luggage will look too close to yours. At travel and department stores, you can usually find blank luggage tags that either laminate a piece of paper or have an open slot for a custom tag. Once you have those, just make a design on your computer that’s unique to you and print it out. If you want to have truly unique tags, generate a QR code and add it to your tags. This way if there’s any dispute you can simply scan the code with your smartphone to reveal that the bag belongs to you.
1. Avoid Delays When Going Through Security
Because of the extreme security measures now in place, getting through quickly is basically impossible. You can, however, expedite this process by doing as much preparation as you can ahead of time. First of all, if you’re traveling with a laptop you either want to have it out and ready to load into the x-ray tray or purchase a TSA checkpoint-friendly laptop bag so you don’t have to remove it at all. You’ll also want to have your allowed liquids in one easy-access bag or pouch so you’re not busy sorting through your bag. If you’re bringing any gifts home, don’t wrap them—especially in any foil-based wrapping paper. If you wrap your gifts, they’ll probably end up getting unwrapped by security. Finally, be sure to pack neatly. If your bag does get searched—and it happens to everyone at some point—you’ll save yourself time if it’s packed well. If it’s messy, and the delicate balance you’ve created just to get the suitcase to close is upset, you’re going to need to spend a lot more time repacking after security’s searched your luggage.
The holiday season is usually the busiest time of year for those with leisure properties to let, but they should know that consumers are becoming increasingly selective in choosing only accommodation with good security.
“Consequently, property owners who decide to venture into short-term holiday letting, as well as the owners of guesthouses, B&Bs and other holiday accommodation options, need to make sure their security provisions are top-notch,” says Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.
“Nowadays holidaymakers don’t just want the standard locks and burglar bars. They also want to know about the area they are staying in, the parking facilities available, perimeter security measures, building security features like alarms, remote access and other details,” he says.
However, if they are satisfied that the lodge, resort, B&B, home or holiday apartment is really secure, he says they are much more likely to book.
What is more, Harris says good security can also positively influence the length of stay, not to mention the fact that it will help the owner protect the property and quite possibly reduce his insurance premiums.
When it comes to holiday letting, Harris says homes in gated estates and other security complexes have an advantage in that there has usually been an emphasis on excellent security from the outset.
“Many complexes have tight access control measures, boom gates, patrolling security guards and surveillance cameras. And when these come standard, the choice of accommodation is made that much easier for the prospective short-term tenant,” he says.
“But even in such complexes, short-term landlords need to be vigilant about changing access or security codes for each new guest or tenant, making sure all keys are returned, or changing locks immediately if there is ever even a suspicion of a break-in or that someone may have duplicated a key.”
Proper lighting is also an important safety and security measure, and property owners need to ensure that both the grounds and the unit itself are sufficiently lit, he says.
A third very important consideration for leisure property owners is fire prevention and fire escape routes. Accommodation establishments such as B&Bs and guesthouses are required by law to have a certain amount of fire-fighting equipment such as extinguishers and hoses, as well as clearly marked fire escapes and exit routes.
However, Harris says it is a good idea for the owners of individual holiday homes to also do all they can to mitigate against the possibility of a fire which could harm people, and possibly destroy their property.
“If they do not, they also risk having any claims against their insurance policies being invalidated, which would quite possibly result in them having to pay the medical costs of a guest who was injured in a fire, or for any damage to the property itself,” he says.
“These costs could amount to millions of rands, quite apart from the reputational risk and stigma that could forever blemish a potentially great holiday home or establishment.”
1. Advertise high-standard, customized services and commodities
Business travelers need to have the details at hand. Business rooms should be highly equipped for the type of requirements that business travelers might have: from clothes iron and ironing board to espresso machines. Not to mention high speed wireless connection!
2. Special corporate rates and loyalty packages
Approach the individual travelers but also the companies who regularly send employees out on meetings. It is attractive to offer special rates, discounts and quick booking facilities in order to establish a convenient frequency in staying at your hotel.
3. Corporate events
If your hotel has the right resources to hold business meetings and conferences, then promoting corporate events is a sure way to boost income regardless of season.
4. Fast and professional replies on social media
Business travelers are active on social platforms. It is likely that they will tweet about you or inquire information if you have an account. In this case, Twitter can act as a customer care channel, quickly answering questions as well as preventing a negative opinion from turning into a downright negative buzz.
5. Mobile search optimization and mobile app for your hotel
With an extremely busy schedule, business people book on the go. How? Using phones and light devices such as iPads. These potential customers are more likely to be gadget savvy. You need to win their trust and interest quickly.
Understanding your hotel leisure travelers. 5 tips on what to offer:
1. Good incentives to keep up interest
Leisure travelers are more picky on hotels when it comes to money. For this category, running promotions on social media or letting out a good deal in your e-mail marketing campaigns can work very well. It triggers them to take action.
2. Loyalty packages
Returning customers are any hotel’s great wish. One retainment approach is to keep in touch with them on the long-run, offering loyalty packages. Satisfied customers also spread the word about your hotel by recommending it to their network.
3. A complete information guide
The leisure target is looking for more than just hotel information. This means you can market the events within your city. Not only does this respond to a customer need, but you can tie profitable partnerships with vendors or shops. Maison 140 Beverly Hills, for example, promotes a list of recommendations about shopping, museums, excursions and other events in their Leisure Travel section.
4. Private or personal events organizing
Similarly to corporate events, private ones such as anniversaries, weddings or holiday celebrations can act as complementary revenue in both low and high seasons.
5. Quality content on social media
Leisure travelers usually have more time to research about your hotel. They want to know more of its story and how your services tackle with their desires. Facebook and blogs can suit this purpose very well. Some hotels have blogs for a specific target. For example, Four Season Hotels keep a dedicated blog to families with kids and what these guests can do together while staying over.
Traveling is an activity filled with joy, anticipation, and enthusiasm. And it just happens that you are traveling to your sister’s place to spend Christmas, with your bags packed and all, when you suddenly hear some news channel blaring about a plane crash. You suddenly feel the blood rushing to your face, and wonder if flying the safest way to travel? Well, apprehension is tolerable to an extent, but getting overly apprehensive about safety during travel is bound to get you stressed to an extent that you develop a phobia for traveling.
What is The Safest Way to Travel?
When you travel, there are three modes of transport―road, air, and sea. You choose your pick depending on the place, the distance, and the financial aspect. For instance, you go by road if the journey is going to take you an hour or two. Even trains offer good commuting services. If the distance is too much, and will take too long by road, then flights are considered. And if you are making a trip to an island, and you want to experience your first memorable cruise, then a ship or a cruiser are preferred. But each of the above has its set of risks, which might be overlooked, but cannot be avoided.
In the United States, despite high profile plane crashes, air travel is still sought after as a traveling option, considering the fact that the road route has become equally (or probably more than) unsafe for traveling, pertaining to the number of road accidents every year. But yes, for most of the road kills, people are responsible themselves, as most ignore the driving circulation rules, and also consume excess alcohol before driving. Another major distraction when traveling by road is the use of a mobile phone, which is, many a time, one of the major causes of untimely and accidental deaths. But if you consider traveling by air, I would say, it would be a better alternative as pilots do not drink before flying, and also no one is allowed to use any electronic device (like mobile phones) that transmits signals. Besides, when traveling by air, there is already enough well preparedness and air travel restrictions for facing any issue when flying, should any come across.
Also, if you take a look at the statistics for 2008, there have been 0.2 fatal accidents per 1 million departures, which is substantially low than 1.4 accidents per 1 million departures of 1989. Also, in the approximately 28 accidents which involved large commercial carriers, out of the 10.8 million flights between 2007―2008, there has not been any significant human casualty, except for material damage. But if one takes a look at the death statistics by road, about 44,000 people have been killed in car accidents, which is definitely an alarming number. But all said and done, despite the fact that flying is one of the safest ways to travel, I would say, safety comes with a responsibility that comes from within, for every person. If traveling by road, make sure you do not drink and drive. Mobile phones can wait to get your attention. And if your call is that important, then halt by the side of the road and attend to your calls. In public means of transport like flights, pilots should make sure that they do not drink before flying. Also, before the flight departs, there is a lot of technical staff involved in servicing the plane. So, from the above, one could draw a conclusion that air travel is probably safer than any other means of travel.
It is quite strange, that people start thinking about safety only when traveling, because there is no place in this world without risk, and no matter what, events destined to happen will happen. Some people are afflicted with the fear of flying, which I would say, should not consume them so much, that the fear becomes irrational. People who have been through dicey periods while flying, or have recovered from road accidents, or barely escaped a sinking cruise, might have the initial fear of traveling, because mental scars take a longer time to heal, with physical injuries meliorating faster. However, it is important to remember in life, fear of flying, or fear of traveling, does not imply a plethora of dangers may cloud only during traveling. There are times, when even walking from your home to a departmental store can expose you to unexpected dangers on the way.
So, if you would ask me about the safest way to travel, I would say if each of them were safe, then each of them would be equally unsafe, depending on time and the circumstance. Make sure you have your travel insurance too, apart from your health being insured. So just keep in mind, ‘all’s well that ends well’. Think positive when traveling, and put aside your fear. After all, life is too short to waste it in fear and apprehension, when it can be different; filled with adventure and joy. So, good luck with your travel plans.