Category Archives: Travel

Top 4 Tips for First-Time Travelers

man is talking on his phone while sitting on his luggageTraveling to another country sure is fun. However, sometimes the excitement (or anxiety) can get the most out of people that they tend to forget what they actually need when preparing for their trip. If you’re a first-time traveler, here are some things you need to remember:

Take Care of the Essentials

One of the first things you need to check are your travel documents. Make sure you already have your passport, and if not, schedule an appointment and get your picture taken at a passport photography studio like JayLynn Studios. There are certain specifications for passport photos, which is why you need a professional to take it. Also, make sure to book your ticket and accommodation ahead of time to get a lower price and avoid any hassle.

Be Ready Financially

It’s easy to plan your budget when traveling, but the truth is it might cost you more than your estimate. Make sure to have extra cash on your ATM and if possible, bring at least two credit cards in case of an emergency. It’s always better to be on the safe side, especially since you’ll be far from home.

Get a Local Sim Card

One of the first few things you need to sort out upon arrival is a local sim card. Your U.S. sim card isn’t likely to work abroad. It’s also possible for your phone to be incompatible with foreign networks or sim cards, so the best option is to buy a cheap local phone.

Learn the Culture

Countries have their own culture and traditions. What’s acceptable in your native country might not be the same for the one you’re visiting. Make sure to research and be aware of the dos and don’ts before your visit to avoid offending anyone.

Traveling liberates you in so many ways, but it can be a bit overwhelming at first. However, it gets easier the next time around, so sit back and enjoy.

Cruising with Kids: 3 Important Tips to Make It Work

luxury cruise shipDo you want to be the hero of the family? Take them on a cruise. It is an experience that kids won’t forget even when they grow up, and your spouse will definitely enjoy it. Cruise Lady swears by this tip.

You can even heighten the experience if you choose to travel to exotic places such as the book of Mormon Lands, the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, the Baltic or South America.

Cruise lines have a wide range of personality, appeal and pricing differences. Make sure to do your homework to ensure that it’s compatible with your family’s interest, including your budget. Here are some tips:

1. Choose a cruise that’s kid-friendly

If you don’t want to spend your time thinking of creative things to do for your kids while on the trip, choose a cruise that already did that for you! Remember, this is not the time to reinvent the wheels, pick one that has kid-friendly activities, excursions and dining accommodations.

2. Choose shorter itineraries if it’s your first time

Kids tend to have a short attention span, and they can easily miss home. As such, it is not the time to get that dream two-week-long voyage to the Antarctic. Play it safe when the little ones are with you, and book a shorter duration.

3. Pools and water parks are must-sees

If there’s one thing that’s true about kids, they’d love to hang out by the poolside. If you’re cruising through sunny climates, you can be sure that your kids will love spending mornings on deck chairs, or the afternoon splashing around the water play area.

Packing for a family trip is different from a couple’s trip. There are all sorts of things that you need to take, such as diapers if you have toddlers, a beloved stuffy or blanket and their favorite snacks. Make sure to have a checklist to ensure you do not forget anything.

Explore Baguio City with This Perfect Itinerary

Friends ready to explore Baguio CityBaguio City is one of the Philippines’ top travel destinations. It’s the go-to place to experience the cool mountain weather, to see art attractions, and to have your much-needed rest and relaxation.

In October 2017, the city was recognized by UNESCO as one of the creative cities in the world for its crafts and folk art. Baguio is also home to the Panagbenga Festival, a month-long flower festival held every February. A colorful parade with costumes and music give life to the streets, drawing locals from different regions and tourists alike to partake in the festivities.

If you’re planning to spend a day or two in Baguio, here’s a suggested itinerary to make your trip worth remembering:

Day One

Check into a boutique hotel in Baguio City where you can have breakfast and relax to prepare yourself for the day’s activities. Afterward, head to the BenCab Museum where you can witness the art of National Visual Artist Benedicto Cabrera and artifacts from the Cordillera Region.

If you want more, visit the Ili-Likha Artist Village, an art-and-food venue conceptualized by renowned Filipino artist and filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik. You can find art pieces intermingling with recycled elements in this tree house establishment, plus organic dishes to satisfy your appetite. In the afternoon, visit Baguio’s famous parks like Burnham Park and Mines View Park for scenic views and fresh air.

Day Two

Start your morning at the Baguio City Public Market where you can find fresh vegetables and coffee beans from the highlands like Kalinga and Sagada. Next up is Camp John Hay where you can have a picnic or lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a 20-minute side trip to the famous Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad where you can pick your own strawberries to bring home. To end the day, head to Session Road, the city’s commercial center, for a nightcap.

There are many other things to do in Baguio, but if your time is limited, then everything in this itinerary will do.

How Safe Is Auckland, New Zealand From Burglary?

Auckland cityscape, North Island, New ZealandNew Zealand has always been one of the few countries that are consistently among the top ranks when it comes to quality of life. In a 2014 Expat Explorer Survey by HSBC, the land of the kiwis came on top as the best place to raise children. It beat Germany and South Africa in the process.
Meanwhile, Auckland, in particular, grabbed the third spot in Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, beating another NZ city Wellington and famous metros in Australia, such as Melbourne and Sydney.

Whilst the criteria for choosing the best city can vary significantly, depending on who’s conducting the survey, basic factors, such as crime rate, are usually taken into consideration. Now the question is, how safe really is Auckland?

Counting Crimes

On June 2017, New Zealand Herald released a series of articles called Counting Crime. The goal was to analyse the crimes themselves – where they happen, when they usually occur and who the victims are.

Researchers discovered that more than 150,000 people became victims of burglary from 2014 to 2016. The crime became more frequent during the weekend until Monday. There are many possible reasons, and one of these is the likelihood that stores are closed or homeowners are away.

Contrary to popular belief, burglaries don’t always occur at night time. In New Zealand, criminals struck around 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., although the peak was around 2:00 p.m.

Where did these crimes happen?

Auckland City was among the top three. You can get more data on burglaries within your area here.

The financial impact of burglary is not cheap, especially for small businesses. Not only does it mean revenue losses; it likewise implies possible higher annual insurance premiums, loss of confidence among your customers and the high risk of a recurrence.

A burglary can be a complex crime with so many forms of motivation. Either way, you can do something about it, starting with improving the security of your property. A smart option is to install security roller grilles that are effective even for indoor businesses like those in shopping centres. They’re affordable and easy to install, and they are appealing enough to maintain the overall look of the building’s façade.

Auckland is a lot safer than other cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can be complacent. You can do your part in keeping the city safe for everyone.

Travel luggage filled with essentials

Packing Light During a Ski Holiday: 3 Benefits You Can Enjoy

Travel luggage filled with essentials

In 2016, the numbers of visitors in Vail, Colorado passed 13 million for the first time and set a new record. As more people visit the place each year, ski resorts can get pretty crowded. While some people opt to visit during off-peak seasons, you can always head to the slopes anyway, as long as you know how to pack light.

Here are some reasons to pack light when going on a ski holiday:

It saves you money

Whether you’re a first-time or an experienced skier, you don’t always need to buy all your ski gear and clothes. Many ski rental shops in Vail, CO offer everything you need for a good time on the slopes. Renting will save you on luggage and is a great option for first-time skiers.

It’s easier to get around

Even if you’re driving to Vail and renting a ski chalet, traveling light allows you to enjoy the ski villages without hauling so much stuff around. After all, you’re on a ski holiday. If you rent your gear and clothes, you don’t need to bring them back and forth after you’re done on the slopes. This gives you more time to enjoy other activities at the ski resort.

In addition, you don’t need to worry about where you leave your items after you’re done using them. Just bring them back to the rental shops and you’re on your way to savor some alpine dishes.

You can pack more essentials

Traveling light allows you to pack the necessary items for your trip, including extra pairs of socks, underwear, and good winter clothes that you can wear when exploring the ski resort and neighboring villages. Don’t forget to bring sunscreens and sunglasses for skin and eye protection. Moreover, when you travel light and rent, you don’t need to stress yourself about the information on good ski gears and clothes. Experts from the ski rental shops can provide them for you.

There are more advantages to traveling light, especially if you’re going on a ski holiday. Consider these advantages if you’re preparing for a ski holiday in Vail soon.

Dental Implants 101: A Basic Guide

Dental Implants Perhaps you have heard about teeth implants, and you are wondering what it means. You are in luck because right here is the guide you need to give you more idea how it works:

Dental implants are a major surgery

Dental surgical procedures may be minor or major. The latter means it’s riskier, takes a longer time to heal, and is more expensive. For this reason, your dental insurance may not cover the procedure as it is usually a major surgery, and insurance usually pays around 10 percent of the total fees, if covered.

Dee Kay Dental highlighted the most significant advantage of implants, which is longevity, saying when properly cared for, they last a lifetime.

There are two kinds of dental implants

Dental implants involved using posts embedded inside (endosteal) or above (subperiosteal) the jawbone. As to which one is best for you, the dentist would have to get a clear picture of your jawbone. If it is shallow, the latter is ideal since it requires only a metal framework placed a bit underneath the gums.

It may require more bones

Dental implants need a jawbone to anchor, but if you have been missing teeth for some time, it’s possible there’s not enough bone left. In this case, the dentist may suggest bone grafting, wherein a dentist attaches a piece of your bone available commercially or sourced from your hip to your jaw.

Depending on the kind of bone grafting done, it may take a few months before the dentist adds the implants to give the bone time to heal and merge with the existing bone.

Dental implants usually involve three phases

Adding the implants can take a long time to complete. Overall, it may take as long as 18 months before the procedure is complete. The good news is in every phase, you have the chance to heal properly.

Indeed, dental implants are complex, so you better make sure to work with a professional implants specialist, who can tell you if it is the best treatment for you.

Must-See: Why You Should Visit Bath for Your Next Holiday

Couple TravellingLocated in the United Kingdom, Bath is a beautiful city with picturesque hamlet ambience, featuring a lot of amazing things to see and do. Here are some reasons why Bath should be your next city break;

The Roman Baths

The city of Bath is well-known for its popular Roman remains, which have become outstanding attractions that make the city a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs, also known as Roman Baths, play an important role in the city’s history. You can visit and explore the Great Bath, the remains, and ruins of the ancient edifices including the plunge and tepid pools, courtyards, pavements and heated rooms.

If you are visiting Bath for a romantic getaway, you and your partner can visit the Roman Baths at night, it is opened until 10 pm. At night, the Roman Baths are well-lit by torch lights, which shine on the pavements to create a magical ambience.

Accommodation

There are a wide variety of accommodation options, which are amazing places to stay during your city break. Whether you are looking for a luxury hotel, bed, and breakfast, or a guest house, you will surely find a good place that will suit your preferences. If you are also looking for a self-catering apartment to stay for a long vacation, you will find the best accommodation choices that offer modern amenities. For short breaks in Bath, you can stay in a townhouse or farmhouse for a countryside retreat. Visiting Bath can be an amazing experience for you.

Unique Local Cuisine

Enjoy fresh and tasty local food at any of the unique restaurants in Bath. The city features a wide range of local dishes and other typical dishes from other British regions. You should not leave Bath without trying the city’s popular local delicacy – Sally Lunn bun.

You can discover and enjoy a taste of history with Sally Lunn bun. The city has a wide variety of restaurants and pubs that will please a food lover. You should explore them.

The city of Bath indeed has many wonderful things to offer. So plan and manage your vacation itinerary and make your stay worth remembering.

Enjoying Your Winter on a Ski Holiday for the First Time

Ski HolidayYou and your friends want to try something different this winter. You have been ice skating and done everything there is to do locally for the winter. Now it is time to challenge yourselves and do something a bit more exciting, preferably away from home. You have decided to go skiing.

Choosing a Resort

One of the primary considerations before planning your skiing trip is the resort. You might decide to blow a month or two’s salary on one of those luxurious ski resorts, but if this is your first time you might not be able to use all the facilities. You might not even be able to ski if all the ski areas are for experienced and professional skiers.

Find a resort that offers slopes for first-timers. You will also save a lot of money if you book a ski accommodation only instead of going all out at a luxurious resort hotel.

The considerations also change if you are taking children with you. Find resorts that are more family oriented, if this is the case. There are slopes especially for little kids, and the resort may also offer some childcare services.

Après Ski

There is something called après ski, which means social activities that ski resorts and hotels hold in the evening. If this is important to you — as it might be if you are going with friends out to have a great time during your holiday — then look for resorts that offer them. These are usually known as party resorts.

Ski Instruction

This is your first time to ski, so you will need some instruction. If one or several of your friends are already experienced, and do not mind teaching you the basics, then you are in luck. If this is not the case, however, find out if the resort has ski instructors and when they are available. Skiing is quite fun and it can be even more fun if you know the basics.

A ski holiday is quite the experience, especially if it is your first time and you are going with friends. There is nothing quite like a good ski holiday to enjoy your winter.

Taking Out a Loan for Your Vacation May Be a Good Idea If…

Borrow Money for Your VacationLiving within your means is the surest way to have a debt-free life. But, when a case of wanderlust hits you, you cannot help shelling out extra cash for your getaway. If you can afford it, then why not? If you have to borrow money for it, then would you still push for it?

If you are torn between taking out a loan from Rapid Loans and forgetting about your vacation to save money, do not get discouraged just yet. Borrowing money for your getaway may be a good idea under these circumstances.

You Need Cash to Pay Accommodations and Tickets Early

Borrowing money lets you pay immediately. You are set to spend based on your estimates, and you may end up paying more if you wait to save enough and take the time off at a different season. Follow your schedule. Pay right away, and you will be able to spend only as much as you intend to.

You Need The Time Off Badly

If you are getting sick, are burning out, or have an emergency situation that requires you to take the time off, take all the money you can get to fund your trip. Quick loans let you secure your plane seat and hotel room fast, so they are ideal for emergency days off and last-minute bookings as well.

You Want an Experience and a Reality Check

A restful time off makes a great experience, and an amount to pay off when you get back is a reality check. If you take out a loan to pay for tickets and accommodation, and pay it back before you leave, it gives you a worry-free vacation and a sense of accomplishment. If not, it lets you rethink your payment plan.

Loans are only as good as your ability to pay them. Borrowing money for a vacation gives you what you need for the experience. If you know which aspects of your getaway you can borrow for, then using a loan for funds may be a good idea. Will you try it out?

Can Mass Transit Really Alleviate Traffic Congestion?

Traffic CongestionWith the way things are going, the terms “urban area” and “traffic congestion” seem as inseparable as they’ve ever been. In almost all of the major metropolises in the world, traffic jams are a part of everyday life. Sometimes it’s manageable and you can get used to it. Other times, you can simply lose it. Much has been said about the possible solutions to curb this worldwide problem, but no other method has garnered as much discussion as public mass transit.

A Look At Worldwide Efforts Into The Sector

Several of the world’s largest cities can boast the best public transport systems. New York with its 660 miles of track, spread across 24 lines and 468 stations, is the most extensive. The closest competitors are literally miles behind, but still are good enough: Moscow (202 miles, 194 stations, 12 lines), London (250, 270, 11), and Beijing (289, 232, 17). And yet, all those cities are in the running for the world’s most congested urban areas in terms of traffic. On the other hand, Singapore with its more modest network (106 miles spread over 14 lines) is considered the most efficient, and there’s little traffic congestion in the streets.

Singapore’s rail network is laid out good enough to make most key locations within manageable distance of a train station. Looked upon by operators such as blog.smrt.com.sg, the transit system is responsible for an excellent economic effect on the city’s coffers. A study of 35 cities tried to determine the economic cost of inefficient transport to their economies. Singapore came up on top, praised for its high-capacity system that meets current demand. The governing authorities were also lauded for their efforts in planning to meet future demand. So why’s that?

Good Public Mass Transit Doesn’t Always Equal to No Traffic Jams

In truth, the connection between these two terms is indirect. So if mass transit isn’t the main driver for reduced congestion, what is its real role? Keep in mind that ‘traffic congestion’ doesn’t always mean ‘total gridlock.’ Once congestion reaches that level, people could simply opt to not travel at all. In that regard, one can consider traffic congestion as a constant factor, which goes unchanged. This is true in car-dependent cities, where the constant congestion serves as a cap on economic activity—things may not improve from there. Whereas, transit-dependent cities can still expect to grow since there are alternative modes of transportation.

The situation described above with transit-dependent cities has a simple explanation. It allows those without cars living in car-dependent cities to participate in economical development. In other words, a lack of commuting options in such cities keeps the city’s economy from taking advantage of added manpower. Lastly, transit-dependent cities are considered more sustainable, since less land is covered and there’s fewer emissions. With more people walking and/or taking their bicycles, it also contributes to lower healthcare costs, since people are generally healthier.

Summing Up

It’s all about the economical effects in the end. The largest cities can have the most extensive public transit systems, but in the end, traffic congestion (and the productivity loss that comes with it) is not always inevitable. This is why cities like Singapore are heralded worldwide for pushing the right buttons and making life easier for its citizens.