Travel Tips – Reducing Stress and Enjoying Yourself When Traveling

“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 – 1944)

What does this quote mean to you? In my opinion, there would be several meanings, let me give you some suggestions and see if you agree.

* MAKE A SPREADSHEET or use graph paper listing the items you plan to take for your trip. After you pack each item, check it off knowing nothing will be forgotten. This creates a sense of control knowing you have everything you need. You will feel less stressed as well. Keeping a master list works as a template for future trips making a few adjustments with each trip. When you travel, keep this list with you to make sure you re-pack your belonging so nothing is left behind. The list comes in handy for lost luggage.

* PACK with the idea of mixing and matching outfits. Using the same clothes, with a few variations, and having a toiletries bag all ready to go at a moments notice, makes it easier to remember the important things. There are lots of ways to use your master list.

* REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN. Airline travel can be fun, however, if you want your trip to be more stress free, you must prepare. One of the tips I have used for years is to count backwards; start by knowing the time of the flight, account for travel time to the airport, anticipating possible traffic issues, add extra time to get through security, now you have your starting time to leave for the airport. Arriving at the airport without enough time creates stress that can be avoided if you arrive early.

* ADD MORE TIME if you are checking in a bag for a flight. Remember not everyone does a carry-on bag, so prepare to wait in line, or do Sky Cap. If it is a popular flight, even 45 minutes before departure time may not be enough time to check baggage in. Checking in at least 90 minutes before your scheduled flight, is probably the best advice to follow or you will find yourself very anxious and stressed wondering if you will make your flight.

* CHECK BAGGAGE FEES with the airline beforehand, this eliminates surprises when you check in your overweight bag. Carry-on luggage is restricted to two bags that will fit under your seat or in the overhead bins. In doing my research I found that most airlines charge $15 for one checked bag and $40 or more for two bags. The size of your bag is also restricted to no more than 62 to 115 inches and weight is generally restricted to fifty pounds. The fee for overweight or oversize baggage can be as much or more than $125 per bag. Fees for International baggage can vary depending on your final destination.

* KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL. This can be one of the most exciting things. Writing down what you did, and where you went, will help to keep the memories and experiences alive, it will also help relieve stress. In your journal, describe the sights and places you visited, the people you met, describe the feelings you felt about that place. Get small keepsakes from each experience, a napkin from a restaurant, a receipt from a souvenir shop, keep the bus or subway ticket. This will keep the magic of your travels alive.

Must-Have Android Applications for New Users

1. ASTRO File Manager: Organize and manage your files and content such as pictures, music, videos or documents on your phone, tablet, PC (via networking) or on cloud services like Facebook Photo Albums, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive or Box. It’s like Windows Explorer or Mac’s Finder with connections to the most popular clouds.

2. Evernote: an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

3. Where’s My Droid: The first find your phone app on the Android Market continues to get better and better. Now with more features it is easier then ever to track down your missing phone.

Where’s My Droid can turn the ringer volume up and make your phone ring. The app can also get the GPS coordinates with a link to Google maps if you’re not near enough to your phone to hear the ringer. You have the freedom to track your phone from anywhere with a text messaged attention word.

4. Pixlr Express: a fun and free photo editor that lets you quickly crop, re-size, and fix any picture, remove red-eye, and whiten teeth. Then choose from more than 600 effects, overlays, and borders to personalize any image-all for free. From the makers of Pixlr-o-matic, Pixlr Express will make you look like a pro, even if you’ve never edited a photo before.

5. TripAdvisor Hotels Flights: Plan and have your perfect trip with TripAdvisor. With over 75 million candid reviews and opinions by travelers, TripAdvisor makes it easy to find the best hotels, great restaurants, and fun things to do, wherever you go. Our robust flight search helps you find airfare deals, even on the go. And booking options for hotels, restaurants, and airfare are just a tap away.

6. Kingsoft Office: the only mobile Office with full-features FREE. Support for running on Android 2.1 and above system. User-friendly & nice UI interface! Users from over 200 countries and regions around the world are using it. The Average Rating of Kingsoft Office is up to 4.6 stars! Whether in a small cell phone screen or on a large screen on the Tablet, Kingsoft Office has a superior performance.

7. WhatsApp Messenger: the best smartphone messenger available for Android and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages.

8. TED: presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus, and music legends. Find more than 1400 TEDTalk videos and audios (with more added each week) on the official TED app.

9. Pinterest: a tool to find your inspiration and share it with others. Use it to collect things you love, organize and plan important projects, and more.

10. CamScanner: an intelligent document management solution for individuals, small businesses, organizations, governments and schools. It is the perfect fit for those who want to digitize, sync, share and manage various contents on all devices.

Why You Need Backpacker Travel Insurance

Thousands of us each year decide to up sticks ad go on an adventure to the four corners of the world. We all go for different reasons, to explore another culture, to put off working, to find ourselves etc. Whatever your own personal reason it is important that you first get the boring stuff out of the way. Being prepared before you go away can go along way to ensuring you have a much more enjoyable time away.

Something that is often overlooked is backpacker travel insurance, many travellers either don’t think about it or chose not get any. In my opinion, for many reasons, this is a bad idea. Although most of us do not look to dwell on the negatives, it is possible that you will run into some kind of trouble on your trip. Now, many people go away and come back months or years later, having had a safe and trouble free time. However, there are also those who unfortunately encounter problems along the way. Having backpacker insurance gives you a safety net to fall back on when things go wrong.

Nine times out of ten, as a backpacker your funds will be limited and the little money you do have, you will want to spend on funding once in a lifetime experiences. Paying huge amounts of money out to cover medical expenses or lost luggage is not featured in many travellers’ budgets. Take for instance, a friend of mine who recently had a skiing accident and was forced to shell out close to £1000 in medical bills, without backpacker insurance this kind of expense would not be possible for most of us. Is especially important if you are planning on participating high risk activities, you do not want to end up in a foreign hospital with no way of paying to get better!

As well as medical cover, another important issue is the loss of personal possessions. Living with your whole life in a bag for months on end means your belongings are vulnerable to being lost or damaged. Most insurance packages will pay out, for lost or stolen goods. You also need to get covered for travel delays, the recent problems with the ash cloud of Europe has highlighted the importance of insurance. Although many people find themselves having to pay out for new flights in these circumstances, you will find that most insurers will pay out for expenses incurred during the delay. This could be an invaluable asset to you on your travels.

Online Travel Resources – Know What To Expect On Your Next Vacation

When it comes to holiday hotel-stays, the smallest details often account for the most in terms of making the experience extra special. And while we continuously expect a certain level of service during a hotel stay, such details can still come as a pleasant surprise!

Most of us have a story – or few – to tell about outstanding service we’ve received from a hotel: perhaps a member of the hotel staff went beyond their call of duty to deliver impeccable service, or a particular aspect of the hotel’s facilities really impressed you. Or, maybe the notable gesture was as simple as taking a few extra steps to make you feel at home or an extra-special greeting to welcome you to the hotel. It could even be a gesture as ordinary as leaving your favourite chocolates under your pillow! Whatever the feature or service, your hotel-stay experience was better because of it.

When such experiences arise, they’re certainly worth talking about. After all, if a hotel experience made an impression on you, it might very well do the same for another guest. But how likely is it that your praise will go beyond the ears of friends and family?

These days, it’s very likely; and it’s just as easy for you to learn about others’ travel experiences. That’s because a number of online travel resources and leading hotel accommodation providers, now allow past, present and potential customers to access online forums and post travel experiences – enabling you to easily voice opinions and travel recommendations, as well as make informed travel decisions based on other people’s encounters. One such service is Homewood Stories, which is operated by the Hilton Group of hotels.

Such sites have proven to be a huge success with both past and potential travellers – and it’s not hard to see why. While a hotel’s website can inform potential customers of the hotel’s facilities through descriptions and images, only an account of a guest who has actually stayed there can relay information from a truly validated point of view. Moreover, hotel guests who have a first-rate experience at their chosen accommodation have a means of informing potential travellers of their recommendations, opinions and travel tips.

So next time you’re looking for a hotel stay that stands out, or you simply want to share your remarkable hotel find, you can do so conveniently! After all, knowing what to expect on your next vacation is always worth talking about.