Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best Ways to Plan a Family Vacation

Family Holiday trip

Planning a vacation for the whole family is not easy. Each family member has an idea of what he or she wants to do during the vacation, and most of the time plans conflict and chaos ensue. The boys want to go fishing or hunting and the girls just want to relax by the pool and get a gorgeous tan. To make everybody happy during your vacation, you should plan things carefully before you buy your cheap air tickets. Here are some tips on how to go about it. 

• Vote for the activities that you want to do during the vacation

To be fair and to make sure everybody will enjoy the vacation, vote on the things you want to do and the places you want to visit. First, it is important that all of you agree on the dates of your trip before you make your air ticket online booking. Then make each family member suggest great destinations for your trip. Narrow down your choices (using factors such as time and budget) then have everyone vote on them. 

• Take turns in planning the vacation

It’s only fair that everyone will get the chance to plan a family vacation. But keep in mind that the one in charge will have to take care of everything – from planning the activities to managing the budget. 

• Find a destination that can please all members of the family

You have to do some compromising on this one. It’s pretty hard to decide when Grandpa wants to go to a hunting lodge while the women in the family want to go to the beach. Find a resort that can offer both and you will please everyone. If this is not possible and Grandpa has his way, promise the girls that they will get their beach vacation next time. 

• Create a reasonable budget and stick to it

You have to make everyone understand the importance of sticking to the budget. You don’t want to end up broke after the trip, or worse, during the vacation itself. Everything must be covered – food, accommodations, shopping, and fare money.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ways to Avoid Getting Sick During Long Flights

Long Flight

It’s natural for some people to experience sickness during long flights. Dizziness, nausea, sweating, and vomiting are only some of the sicknesses that one can have while staying in an airplane for long hours. There are lots of ways to avoid or cure airplane sickness. Here are some of them:

  • When you buy air tickets, make sure to choose a seat over the wing part of the plane. This part of the plane has less movement compared to the others, so staying here will minimize the chances of you getting nauseous. It will also depend on other factors, such as the size of the plane. You will most likely feel dizzier in small planes since turbulence and movement are more noticeable.

  • Choose a window seat. When you buy air tickets, make sure to select a window seat, which can help ease your dizziness during the flight. During the nighttime, try to take a nap since you can’t see anything from the window.

  • Avoid eating heavy meals before boarding the plane. Heavy food can make your stomach feel queasy during flight and can make you throw up. Just take a small meal before the flight, preferably one that does not contain spicy or greasy foods.

  • Take anti-nausea medications before the flight. This will help control the dizziness and will make you feel more rested during the trip. Most medications require you to take them an hour before boarding the plane.

  • Stay hydrated during the flight. Dehydration can cause dizziness and queasiness, so make sure to drink lots of water and juice while on board. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake because this can make your skin dry.

  • Put candy or crackers in your hand carry. When you start feeling sick, you just eat these and you will feel better. Gums and ginger candy are recommended for those who have motion sickness.

  • If you are suffering from diseases such as epilepsy or diabetes, always carry the name and contact number of your doctor in your bag. This can save your life just in case you fall ill during a flight.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Conquer Your Fear of Flights

Flight schedule
Photo by Erik Odiin 

If you have a fear of flying, don’t get too self-conscious about it. You are not alone. Lots of people, regardless of age, sex, and social status, get sweaty palms and get all jittery when the plane is skidding down the runway. It doesn’t matter how many times the pilot will tell you how safe the plane is; you just keep getting visions of the plane crashing in the middle of the open sea. Fear of flying is definitely a hassle for those who want or have to travel, but there are various ways to overcome this phobia. 

First, you have to remember that plane travel is actually safer than land travel. When you compare the number of automobile accidents to the number of plane crashes that happen every year, you will notice that the figures are in favor of plane travel. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of people working to make sure that your plane is in good shape, so don’t be afraid to buy those air tickets.

Second, you have a solid ally with the internet. Not only can you book online plane tickets, but you can also do research and read up on plane safety. You will find out how a plane works, from the mechanics and technical parts to the safety measures practiced by the pilot and flight crew when aboard the plane.  You will find out how important it is to follow the rules set by the pilot and flight attendants for passengers. You will know how vital the seat belt is to your safety and how to deal with turbulence during flight. 

If you have a fear of flying, you must choose your seat with care. When booking for air tickets, make sure to get seats near the aisle. Some people get freaked out when they sit by the window and see how high they really are from the ground. When you are seated near the aisle, you can pretend that you are just inside a big bus with lots of passengers.  Bring stuff that can distract you from your fear of flying; your laptop, iPad, Playstation, or books and magazines can keep you occupied during the flight.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tips on Packing Your Carry-On Bag

Carry on Luggage
Photo by Sigmund

Packing the carry-on bag is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks a traveler faces. There is so much stuff to carry but so little room to put them in. But it’s important to master the art of packing the carry-on bag. It’s big enough only for your essentials, such as air tickets and select clothing and toiletries. You have to choose which items are important enough to bring to your trip, which means you can do away with the other bags that can cause you hassle at the airport. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Contact your airline and find out their restrictions regarding carry-on bags

Airlines have different restrictions when it comes to carry-on bags. After booking your air tickets, ask them the maximum size of carry-on bags they allow for passengers. It is usually different for international and domestic flights. This way, you will have a general idea of what can fit inside your bag and how much you will be able to carry.

  • Roll your clothes

Instead of folding your clothes, try rolling them instead. It takes less space so you can have more room for other stuff. Choose wrinkle-free clothes so you don’t have to worry about wrinkles. Or you can just make use of the iron in your hotel room for your clothing. If you like putting them in plastic bags, make sure to squeeze the air out of the bag before you stuff them into the bag.

  • Buy travel-size versions of everything you need to pack

This applies to toiletries and gadgets such as blow dryers and curling irons. Or you can simply use the ones in your hotel room. Buy small bottles of shampoos and body washes. For medications, you can bring them in the smallest bottles available. Take as few cosmetics as possible.  

  • Wear your bulkier clothing and shoes then pack the lighter ones

Wear your boots then pack the slippers and sandals. This goes for the jacket and coat as well, depending on the weather. Pack footwear that you can use for different purposes. This will allow you to pack as fewer shoes as possible.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Finding the Right Travel Agent

Travel Preparation
Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel 

Some travelers prefer not to seek the services of travel agents. They already had bad experiences with agents who try to take advantage of customers and cost them more than what they should pay for their trips. But you should not discount the advantages of having the right travel agent. The right agent can give you great savings not just on air tickets and hotel rooms, but on meals and car rentals as well.

The trick is to find one that is not only honest but is capable of giving you the service that is right for your needs and preferences. This is advisable especially if you are not so knowledgeable about finding cheap offers on airfare and hotel rooms online. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when finding the right travel agent:

  • The right travel agent will ask you many questions.
 This is the only way that she can find out what exactly it is that you need for your trip. She will ask for details about your itinerary, travel experiences, and budget. She needs the following information to get you the right deals you can choose from.

  • The right travel agent has many contacts.
The more vendors your agent is working with, the better. This means she can present you with more choices that you can select from. Avoid agents that refer only to one or two vendors consistently. You won’t get much choice that way and she is only interested in the commission from the said vendors. Look for an agent that will make the effort to shop around for deals that will suit your budget and preferences.

  • The right travel agent should be able to give you prices that are close or lower to the going rates online.
 Do a little research first before asking the agent the prices of the deals she can offer. This way, you will know if she’s giving you the best deal or just trying to rip you off. Better yet, list down the low prices that you see online and ask the agent if she can get the same deal for you at lower rates.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Air Travel with Babies

Air Travel with Babies or Kids
Photo by Octav Cado 

Most people avoid taking their babies during vacation, especially if it involves putting the infant on an airplane. But some parents cannot avoid this and will have to bear the thought of strapping their little one to an airplane seat. The good news is that it is generally safe to let infants travel as long as they are four to six weeks old.

But you can already buy air tickets for babies two or three weeks old if you have no choice but to take your baby with you on your trip. Airlines have strict guidelines regarding infants in airplanes. Here are some tips to help you plan your baby’s trip:

  • Book your air tickets in advance

This is important because you have to choose the best seat for your baby. Avoid seats at the rear end of the airplane, which is closer to the engines. Your baby might be disturbed by the noise. Take seats at the front of the plane if possible, you will appreciate the extra legroom.

  • Make sure that the airplane has adequate facilities for infants

Call your travel agent when you book your air tickets or contact them online and let them know you are traveling with an infant. This way, you’ll know what facilities and services they have for passengers traveling with babies. They can note on your record that you will need extra help for your little one.

  • Make sure you have all the baby stuff in your hand carry

Stock up on diapers, milk bottles, baby food, baby wipes, and other baby stuff to make your trip as comfortable and hassle-free as possible. If you need help with wiping the mess that your baby made, you can always ask assistance from the flight attendant.

  • Let your baby wear comfortable clothes

Babies get irritated easily with uncomfortable clothing, and the last thing you want to happen is your infant screaming loudly inside the plane for all passengers to hear. Dress him up in light clothes that are easy on the skin. Always have a blanket ready in case he gets too cold. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Best Asian Cities for Food

Asian Cuisine
Photo by Markus Winkler 

There are lots of reasons why travelers from all over the world flock to Asia, and one of them is to taste the unique, mouth-watering cuisine that the continent has to offer. Foodies from the West couldn’t get enough of the various Asian dishes that they sample during their travels, so much so that they look for the same dishes back home or learn how to make the dishes themselves. If you are on a big gastronomic adventure in Asia, here are some of the top cities that you should visit for an eat-all-you-can adventure. 

  • Bangkok, Thailand

When traveling in Bangkok, food is everywhere. Not just in restaurants but on food courts and food stalls that crowd the streets. For those who are on a budget and looking for something exotic, try the stalls that serve delicacies such as insects. Clearly, this is not for the squeamish traveler with regular Western tastes. Must-try food items include som tam (papaya salad), curry, and different types of rice. The city also has lots of restaurants for other cuisines, and you can have your fill of Lebanese and Indian food here as well.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If you still don’t know your way around KL, try the dishes at the food court inside the KLCC mall, which is underneath the Petronas Towers. Lots of international dishes are here under one roof, so you can feast on Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Western food here without having to venture elsewhere. Of course, when you set out to explore the city, make sure to head to Chinatown, where you can sample the best Chinese food around the area.

  • Beijing, China
The list wouldn’t be complete without Beijing, where naturally, Chinese food is at its best. There are thousands of dim sum restaurants where you can feast on every Chinese food imaginable. Make sure to drink lots of tea to make room for more of the dishes. It is too easy to get stuffed when eating Chinese food. Never leave Beijing without tasting the Peking duck, which is regarded as one of the best poultry dishes in the world.