Dreaming of traveling to Greece? Have you already made your plans but not finding the right flight to reach there? Well, if you are going through all these then you are in for a treat, because it’s Greece! Known to be the birthplace of democracy and the Olympics, and some will even say of the entire civilization, however today it is mainly known as a popular tourist destination thanks to known sites like Athens, Santorini Islands, Rhodes, Mykonos, and many more islands. While most people opt for highly recommended sites to visit, there are some lesser known places around that can be considered as real beauties. Here are some destinations that will make you want to go visit as soon as possible.
South Korea, Japan, these two countries are my two favorites in the East Asia part. I have always heard stories about Japan, its beauty, its structures, and its endless traditional architecture. Embarking on a journey to Japan is a dream of mine, and it’s soon to become a reality. From Tokyo to Osaka, this country never seems to end with the surprises while traveling. Japan is a unique country with its beautiful architecture and contrasting culture compared to the United States. I think we can all agree that Japan is an exciting and extraordinary trip. So, here is my list explaining why I want to visit Japan, and why you should too.
1. The Stunning Architecture
Japan has tons of beautiful and ancient temples and shrines. The city of Kyoto has around 2,000 Buddhist temples and shrines within the city limits. That number alone is impressive for just one city. Japan also provides thousands of endless Torii gates leading you up a mountain. Talk about getting a workout while exploring another culture. Japan is a perfect mix of culture, history, and modern comfort. There are skyscrapers, trendy restaurants, and everything else you can come across in the modern world. But, Japan does have it’s own unique, modern style and can’t be compared with any other advanced country.
2. How Clean Everything Is
You won’t see any trash or litter anywhere. The Japanese take great pride in their cleanliness, respecting their surroundings. Everything in Japan is super, super clean. You’ll never find any litter on the streets anywhere, for that matter. Every hotel and accommodation we stayed at always smelled rosy clean, and every restaurant table is efficiently cleaned before we sit down.
3. Their Food Is Cuter Than Your New Puppy
Have you even seen their food? It’s absolutely adorable! Just imagine some foods I’m about to describe to you: pandas made of rice in curry, marshmallow cats in your coffee, sleeping bear rice, cat donuts, bunny bread, and Chewbacca noodles (for all you Star Wars fans).
4. Kit Kats Come In SO Many Flavors
Being the huge Kit Kat fan that I am, just knowing the fact there are hundreds of flavors makes my mouth water uncontrollably. Let’s keep talking about food a bit longer. Because, well, I love food and Japan is an excellent place for foodies. KitKats are available in all kinds of flavors in Japan. Strawberry, pear, citrus golden blend, cinnamon cookie, strawberry cheesecake, wasabi and many more! Yes, also matcha! Really try out some of those crazy flavors!
5. The Beautiful Natural Landscape
Japan is perfect for nature lovers; the land looks like it was created by angels. Everything is perfectly placed as if it were planned, but nope. That’s just the beauty of Japan; including Mount Fiji, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, gardens, trails, and pretty much anywhere you look.
6. Seeing The Whole Country Covered in Cherry Blossoms
Cherry blossoms only last for two weeks in Japan, so I definitely need to go during that time. If you wanna experience a magical moment, go see those Cherry blossoms.
7. Experiencing The Weird And Wonderful Side Of Tokyo
Cat Cafes, Karaoke Bars, Pokemon Center, and Robot Restaurants… Do I need to mention more?
8. Ancient Japanese Culture
Next to the wacky side of Japan is the amazing culture that they hold so dearly to themselves. Their culture dates back to thousands of years ago; with many of the oldest aspects withstanding the test of time! Kyoto is the best place to witness geisha history, especially in the Gion district. The ancient Japanese culture is really interesting, and it has been around for thousands of years. Even now the culture and heritage is very prominent in the country. During your visit in Japan you can learn a lot about the history by visiting castles, temples, shrines and more. Especially Kyoto is a perfect destination if you want to experience the ancient Japanese culture.
9. The Toilets
Toilets?! I know. I know, but just hear me out on this one. The toilets are the most hygienic ones you will ever use. Yeah, I’ve heard it’s a little weird getting used to, but once you do, it’s a great experience. Of course, staying in a different country will need some getting used to. Plus, the toilets talk to you! (Only in Japanese, though!)
10. Getting Lost Is Half The Fun
Many people have said when you visit a different country it is best to lose yourself. Literally. You’ll end up finding things you’ve never imagined; see sites a lot of tourists haven’t. Just get lost and enjoy the magic that is Japan.
11. One of the safest countries
Japan is one of the safest countries to travel in the world. According to Worldatlas.com, Japan was in the top 10 of the World’s Safest Countries in 2017. What makes Japan so safe? For one thing, Japan puts a strong focus on crime prevention, with measurements such as ATM’s inside buildings or banks and the fact that firearms aren’t readily available.
12. Be a foodie in Japan
It is known that Japan is more than only ramen and sushi! Japanese food is all about taste, spices, and cooking. Japan has more amazing food than only ramen or sushi! For instance, try the Okonomiyaki pancakes, made with cabbage and topped with a variety of options. This can be anything from meat to seafood! Other food to try in Japan are Soba noodles, Yakiniku barbecue, Tempura, Sukiyaki, and Yakitori.
13. One of the most beautiful cherry blossoms
One of the most popular times to visit Japan is during spring. This is, of course, because of the amazing pink cherry blossoms that cover the streets. But not only the trees start to blossom when spring approaches, everything else in Japan turns into “sakura” mode. Think fake cherry blossom flowers in stores, cherry blossom drinks and even food.
Alright! So, that was my top reasons why I want to visit Japan and why you should too. If I missed anything, or if you have another reason to share, please let me know. Thanks for reading and have a kireina (Beautiful) Day!
Romania is a country not so many people have ever heard about. For some fans of sport the word “Romania” gains a meaning only after hearing such names as Gica Hagi or Nadia Comaneci. Others have heard about it from Eurovision contests. However, Romania is a country which is worth being discovered. It is situated in the South-East of Europe on the coast of the Black Sea. Her neighbors are Moldavia, Ukraine Hungary, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. These countries and the complicated history have definitively let important signs and defined its variety and specific.
The first aspect somebody gets to know when coming for the first time to Romania is the language – Romanian. For those who have never studied it it is very easy to note that the language is very similar to Italian, French, and Spanish. You are probably wondering why, as Romania is far from being a geographical neighbor of Italy, France or Spain. The history gives us the answer. The former territories of Romania, once called Dacia and populated by Indo-European tribes with the same name, were concurred by the Roman Empire in 106 AD, after which followed an intense process of colonization and romanization. This process had such a great success for the colonists that the new Romanian language, born from fusion of Latin and Dacik, consists to 60% of Latin word, which makes Romanian the most approached language to Latin. So if you know at least one of the Latin languages, there should not be great problems for you to understand the locals. Other relatively long lasting conquests (Turkish, Russian, or Austria-Hungarian) also let their imprint on the Romanian language.
However, the language was not the only element which had been influenced along the history. Different people brought to Romania their culture, traditions, architecture, religion, and even their specific way of living and thinking.
Romania is divided in nine regions and each of them has something special, unrepeatable, which is not to be found in the other ones. For example the regions which were under the rule of Austro-Hungarian Empire are very similar to the authentic Hungarian ones. At the time of Austro-Hungarian control, the people used to live in communities and this influenced the architecture of the houses. Have you ever seen more than seven houses, wall to wall without any gap between them? If you are interested, the West and North-West regions are the right thing for you. Advancing from the country side towards the center of the cities closed yards for ten houses give way to paved roads and European architecture as you know it.
Another region where the houses have an interesting architecture lay in the North of the country. Totally different from those in North-West and West, each house attracts by its fairy tail aspect and the gardens around them remind you about Eden Gardens. Some people would like to rest there, for the others it is their home.
As long as some regions impress us by their houses, the coast of the Black Sea impresses us with its ruins. From here on once started the Roman colonization and parts of the towns built by the colonists can be seen until today. The coast itself does not differ from the Spanish or Italian ones and can comfort you at any time.
Whether the South-Eastern region reminds us about the Roman occupation the capital of Romania Bucharest offers us a flashback into the times of communism. The impressive House of the People built at the dictator’s order is the second largest White House in Europe. To visit at least half of it you would need more than one day.
Religion is neither to be forgotten. The Romanians are a very religious people. From the whole population, about 80% are orthodox Christians, and only a small part of it is catholic (especially in the former Austria-Hungarian areas). There is an uncountable number of orthodox churches and monasteries, which brings the people closer to God. Only in the cultural capital of Romania – Iasi – there are over 300 churches. Each monastery from the neighborhood of Iasi (region of Moldavia) has its specific color, although their construction and style are mostly the same. There are both men and women monasteries in Romania, but curious is the fact that these monasteries differ one from another. For example in the Eastern region you will be more welcome in a female monastery, but in a mountain area the monks are much friendly than the nuns, although there the monasteries are isolated and far away from civilization. How paradoxical it would not be, we should not make fun of religion and the people who dedicated themselves to it.
The large spread of monasteries in the Eastern area can be explained by its economy. This area is considered to be the poorest one from the whole country. There are neither natural resources, nor mountains nor sea. On the other hand this area is very developed from the cultural and spiritual point of view. The locals from this region are also much friendlier than those from the other ones. Their difficult situation has probably brought them together and made them help each other.
Tourism is well developed on the Black Sea coast and can easily compete with the coast of Mediterranean Sea. The central area of the country, crossed by Carpati Mountains, attracts tourists from all over the world not only because of the beauty of the landscapes or its thermal bays and salted lakes, but also due to the well-known legend of Dracula from Transylvania. Whatever Romania makes money from its tourism is not to be ignored and would definitively sustain it at any costs whenever I had the possibility to. Discover it yourself!
There’s a wide array of misconceptions that trail behind Saudi Arabia, nevertheless, it is still a conservative and religious country that follows the Shari’a Laws.
Still, you’ll find that upon arriving at the country, it’s unlike its representation by the West. There is a multitude of things to do in the different parts of the country, and you’ll find that you’d have had an enjoyable trip.
Saudi Arabia’s laws comply with the Islamic Shari’a law since Islam is the official religion of the country. There are many restrictions, especially for women who are for instance banned from being behind the wheel. It is important for travelers to carry out early research about the country prior to travelling there. This is to avoid travelers from getting themselves into potential trouble which might lead to unwanted consequences. With that in mind and for your convenience, here are some travel tips when travelling to Saudi Arabia.
Gaining access to Saudi Arabia can be quite tough for some as there are many restrictions. Bear in mind that the currency, customs, and quarantine regulations in Saudi Arabia are updated regularly. It is therefore advisable to visit the nearest Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate to obtain the latest updates on its local news and laws. If you wish to perform Hajj, you must have a Hajj visa. Ask your travel agent about this before you travel. You may not be able to enter Saudi Arabia if your passport or luggage has any evidence of prior travel to Israel, such as Israeli entry or exit stamps. Make sure you also have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining prior to departing.
Whether you are a local or foreigner, you must respect the local laws of Saudi Arabia given the highly conservative nature of the country. Hence, you should always mind your behavior when travelling to the country to avoid yourself from offending others. Be careful when taking pictures. You wouldn’t want to get yourself into trouble by pointing your camera at Saudi Muslim women which is strictly forbidden. Alcohol is strictly prohibited and unavailable for purchase throughout the country. The spreading of religious views and teachings which are opposed to Islam is also not allowed under any circumstances.
Saudi customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the importation into the country of banned items such as weapons, non-halal items such as pork products and alcohol, pornography, and religious materials not pertaining to Islam. It is normal to shake hands with the locals when meeting them and on departing from a gathering. Kisses however are not permitted. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden. In this case, gay and lesbian partners would have to sleep separately. If you happen to visit the country during Ramadhan, bear in mind that all restaurants will be closed during the day and will only open in the evening once fasting is broken by the iftar (a meal or buffet).
Did you know that showing the soles of your feet to anyone in Saudi Arabia is considered a major insult? So, be careful of where you point your feet in public places. When it comes to women’s well-being, women are required to abide by certain rules and restrictions. They are not allowed to drive and must never leave home without wearing an Abaya. Whether you are a local or tourist, you too must put on an Abaya if you are a woman. Men and women are not permitted to attend public events together and are segregated in the workplace. Women cannot walk with men who are not their relatives. If you wish to ask for directions, it’s best to ask from people of the same sex.
Saudi Arabia evokes images of camels and deserts. It is a humid place indeed. Due to its extremely hot climate, it is advisable to wear sun block lotion when going under the sun. Always take a bottle of water with you to avoid dehydration and do not stay under the sun for too long. Saudi Arabia has many interesting malls to go to, so you can walk around in the air-conditioned malls. Trust me there is plenty to do both under and away from the sun!
People don’t steal in Saudi because stealing is immoral and committing such offence in Saudi Arabia can be your worst nightmare if you ever get caught! Never attempt to steal unless you don’t mind your hands and fingers getting cut off. Explore the country and you will be amazed with its buildings, food, malls, and vehicles. Most Saudi Arabians drive nice luxurious cars. Forget the camels! Believe it or not, the country has the world’s the greatest number of beautiful and luxurious cars. Don’t be surprised to see an average family driving a fancy car! Visit Saudi Arabia today and experience it yourself. Your trip to Saudi Arabia would be great, if you behave!
The barren, hot, and impoverished fields of the Kyrgyzstan Republic used to be a sleepy back border of the Soviet Union. Now, it is the best kept secret for travelers and tourism. Kyrgyzstan has become a vivacious nation that is no longer defined by dominating powers, having proven this recently by temporarily ousting its president and the entailing capitalist government. National tourist promotions state Kyrgyzstan as meaning “40 towns”, but locals recommend it to be not so. Kyrgyzstan from the sound of its name elicits an impression of a strange and mysterious place unknown to the world for the most part, but the name which actually means in Kyrgyzstan “immortal” or “indestructible” suggests an interesting culture that would name its nation such. Kyrgyzstan has the most liberal tourist visa policies in Central Asia and an economy to match Kazakhstan’s prowess.
Geography & Climate
Kyrgyzstan (42 52 N, 74 36 E) is a mountainous region dominated by the Tien Shan range, which in Kyrgyz means “Celestial mountains”. The traveler will find wild and rugged snow-capped mountains that give an admiration surpassing that of the Swiss Alps. And with 93% of the region mountainous, the nation is a wonderful place to be for nature-lovers. The republic is also a site for glaciers and high altitude lakes, the highest point being Jengish Chokusu at a height of 7,439 meters which is absolutely beautiful for hiking. The lowest point is 132 meters above sea level, the Kara Daryya. The climate is dry continental to polar in Tien Shan, temperate in the north foothill zone, and subtropical in the southwest, at Fergana Valley.
People & Culture
Of the 5,431,747 Kyrgyztanis in 2009, the Kyrgyz (Turkic group) comprise a fat demographic of around 70% of the population. Uzbeks (14.5%) are concentrated in the south, and the Russians (9%), in the north. The sizable minority of Russians in the region explains the culture that remains and, also RUSSIAN as the official language. KYRGYZ, on the other hand, is the language of the state used in the parliament and at home. ENGLISH is spoken for its deemed significance and has been given the spotlight in education since the 1960’s, but English is widely spoken by the Kyrgyzstani youth who have been taught since primary school or have been learning the language as exchange students in the UK. or Germany. Kyrgyzstan is a largely Islamic with 76% of the country as Muslims, while Russian Orthodox followers have a significant population of 20%. As a semi-nomadic society, agriculture is an important sector of the republic where livestock is the largest agricultural activity.
Still a lot of the big cities are modern like Bishkek. Nonetheless, the charm of Kyrgyzstan depends on its nature culture. The stunning beauty of Kyrgyzstan appeals to the traveler who mostly loves the outdoors. Song-kul’s simplistic life among the grandiose of its pristine pastures and Lake Izzyk-kul’s versatility for sailing, surfing, boating, scuba diving and fishing are the main attractions of Kyrgyzstan. Izzyk translates to “hot” because it is the lake that never freezes even in winter seasons. Hiking is just superb in the hills around this lake. What a sight! The best part about Kyrgyzstan, there is no traffic. The rationale: public transport is a developing concept in these parts. The people of Kyrgyzstan make travel even more worthwhile with their naturally generous and respectful nature, so a traveler should know when planning to stay with a Kyrgyzstani family. Hospitality is uber important to the Kyrgyz people, which is why the Kyrgyzstanis host their guests in a generous manner to a point where they will offer you anything and everything they have.
Food is a significant part of Kyrgyz hospitality and might it be said that Kyrgyz cuisine is one of the best offerings you’ll get out of such hospitality. Meat is a primary ingredient in any Kyrgyz meal like horse meat or mutton. There are numerous dessert recipes in the Kyrgyz cuisine that are universal in Central Asia like meat dumplings (manty), noodles and meat (besh barmak), meat and veggie soup (shorpa), or fried meat and rice (paloo). And a Kyrgyz meal never ends without simple delicious desserts, from a nan-and-cream cheese/jam combo or fresh fruits to the most popular choymo tokach or tan mosho cookies made of intertwined leavened dough, fried in oil, and powdered with sugar. Khalvaitar is another ultra-delightful dessert is khalvaitar from mixing flour with sugar fried in sheep’s tail fat. Chak-chak, made of dough sugared with honey is also very popular in Kyrgyzstan or bliny, a Russian dessert of pancakes filled with cheese or jam. In Kyrgyzstan, less is indeed more.
Medications & Vaccination
There are no vaccination prerequisites to enter Kyrgyzstan. Import of medicine for personal use include some restrictions: it is prohibited to import illegal drugs. In case you need to take medical drugs that are restricted, we recommend you to declare on entry/exit, and hold doctor’s prescription handy.
Travel Insurance for Kyrgyzstan
It’s not mandatory to have travel insurance if you are traveling to Kyrgyzstan. However, if you’re planning on doing activities such as horseback riding and doing some treks in the mountains, it’s always a good idea to have international travel insurance!
Visiting Albania: A Basic travelers guide
A bright and beautiful area of rock cliffs, and southern European relaxed living as been in the past destroyed by a totalitarianism regime. But for any would be travelers to the Modern day Albania will find a country filled with sunny Mediterranean beaches, welcoming people and a vivid art explosion reminiscent of the renaissance in Tirana, capital of Albania.
The country of Albania is located on the Southeast shore of the Adriatic Sea, a tiny land mass bordered by Montenegro, Serbia, Greece and Macedonia. Albania’s history is long and vicious, ranging from the trail of destruction the passing of the ancient roman general Julius Caesar and his army left behind, to the recent years of totalitarianism regime. But nowadays there has been a sharp turn around, with Albania offering hospitality reminiscent of the medieval period, like a king. The residents of Albania now offers both the traditional Mediterranean experience for any traveler, but also mixed in with a variety of cultures and landscapes.
Albania is a struggling country, one of the poorest in Europe, partly due to lack of tourism advertisement and a lack of infrastructure available for possible travelers. But luckily for Albania this is quickly changing. Even though many guides on the country will state facts like the lack of ATM’s in the country, this is no longer true, with the country quickly modernizing.
If you want to see the great scenery this Mediterranean country as to offer, then the Northern area of Albania, the area where boats take rides along the large man made river between Komani and Bajrum Curri is where you should begin. The start of the rides, Komani, can be reached easily enough by road, but be sure to get there early since the boat leaves at 9 and 10am and takes 2-4 hours to cross the lake. When you cross the lake you end up half and hour from the town of Bajram Curri, which makes a great base for exploring the nearby mountains since this town provides basic accommodation. When you wish to return you can either go by a number of roads, or back via the boat (Which departs at 6am)
For the budding historians, you can head towards Butrint. Not only is it filled with historical events of the country, but the area is hardly explored giving the feeling of excitement on wonder. Nothing is marked or written down, so unless you are extremely experienced with the place, hiring a good guide is necessary and many English speaking guides can be brought for a fair price, who will take you though the ruins and explain the historical important of various places.
The capital city of Albania, Tirana, is mostly a small center of buildings best looked around on foot. This doesn’t mean though it has nothing to offer for a traveler. The architecture of Albania contains a mix of Italian and Turkish style, due to the fact it lies between both of the countries. The Skënderberg Square is also worth a look since from the large empty space you can see Mt. Dajti, the 5,030 ft mountain, on the Eastwards side. But even with these attractions, there is a small feeling of a dusty town, even with its many museums. This is quickly getting better, but at the time of writing this article there isn’t enough to keep a holiday maker at the capital.
The next stops should be Durrës, Shkoder and Butrint, three towns filled with historical important, including the oldest town in Europe, a large roman Amphitheater, and the ruins of Butrint are a magnet for Greek artifacts.
Gjirokaster is a small town on the way towards the southern Greek border, and is worth a day or two with spectacular sights, having been the home of the writer Ishmail Kadare, and dictator Enver Hodja. When you enter the city be sure to get a cab to take you ‘to the old city’ this is the area high in the mountains, offering great English speaking guest houses which overlook the valleys below. Try to avoid the new city since this is just a block of houses and is often filled with construction work, which can spoil the Albanian experience of this town for any would be traveler.
The best time to visit Albania is during the months of May and October, since like many Mediterranean countries it has boiling summers and freezing winters.
But even though the negatives of traveling to Albania, there are many great things to see and do, for those who are looking for rough beautiful scenery, and towns and ruins steeped with historical importance. Even more surprisingly is the amount of welcome and friendship from its natives, even though most of the country’s people is in poverty. Not only will your trip help a growing country that is starting to become a hot holiday destination, but also give you a lifetime of great memories and experiences.
Albania culture has been heavily influenced by Greece, especially in the cities – for example, a head shake means yes and a nod means no. For several decades, Albanians greeted each other with the phrase Shoku, meaning comrade, but that phrase has long fallen out of use and the simple handshake will suffice. Dress is usually informal in this area, and Albania is no exception. There are still some traditional views regarding clothing, such as the custom that women should not wear anything revealing unless they’re at the beach, and a bathing suit would then be acceptable. The proper forms of address are Zoti (Mister) and Zonja (Missus) followed by the family name; if you are visiting someone, remember to bring a gift, preferably something other than flowers. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll likely be treated to coffee or raki and a variety of sweets. Though harsh smoking bans haven’t caught on here yet, you still need to keep an eye out for any sign that says Ndalohet Duhani or Ndalohet pirja e duhanit, which indicate you’re in a no-smoking area.
The main mode of transportation is the bus system, which can be found in all major cities and will connect you to the major sites for a very low fare; if you prefer to travel more on your own terms, most of the major hotels also have taxi stands for the convenience of their guests. One of the most amazing experiences you’ll have is the 15 minute ride through the Dajt Oark to Tirana, courtesy of the Dajti Ekspres Cable car at Dajti Mountain. The ride will only cost you about 6.5 and covers 4.2 kilometers. Or you can enjoy the ultimate luxury tour on a fully-manned yacht courtesy of Alpha Yachting. If you need some additional cash, visit the Tirana Bank, which includes Visa card access among its many services.
If you choose to visit during the winter months, remember to pack plenty of warm clothes for the evening, and always wear layers even if you’re going to dinner, as many restaurants do not keep the place well-heated. As a general rule of thumb, visitors will be charged more than a local. This applies to both entry fees as well as any goods you might want to buy, so try not to make it obvious that you’re not local when you’re touring the area.
Staying healthy while traveling is a fairly simple task to accomplish. A few precautionary steps to take prior to departure and a few common sense tips to follow while traveling are the only requirements needed. Traveling can expose you to all sorts of chances to get sick. That’s especially true if you are traveling during the holiday season. With more people on the move at the height of cold season, you are bound to come into contact with unwanted germs. Here are some of our tips to help you stay healthy on long-haul flights.
Health Tips Prior To Departure
Visit your physician at least six weeks prior to departure. Some vaccinations may require the passage of a few weeks before they are fully effective.
Vaccinations to consider getting: Hepatitis A or B, Influenza, Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever, Meningococcal meningitis, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, and Varicella.
Booster vaccinations to consider getting: Tetanus, Measles-Mumps-Rubella, and Polio.
Have a complete physical to check the status of your health and any changes that may be needed to your current medications.
Consult your physician about possible complications that you might encounter due to health conditions such as respiratory problems, high blood pressure, or cardiac problems, particularly if you will be visiting locations with high altitudes or poor air quality.
Visit the dentist and complete any necessary dental work.
Refill any prescriptions that you will need to take with you on the trip. Plan to carry additional medicine in the event that you lose some of your medication while traveling. Be sure to carry your medication in the original containers. Many countries have very strict drug regulations. Original containers and identifying documentation will help to avoid any complications that may arise from your possession of medications.
Acquire and wear a medical alert bracelet for any life threatening diseases that you might have.
Prepare a card to carry that lists any pertinent medical information such as primary doctor, all current medication, etc. Remember to list any allergies that you might have, including food or insect allergies.
Prepare a small first aid kit that you can carry with you on the trip. The kit should include such things as prescriptions, pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, bug repellent, antacids, and sunscreen.
Update your eye wear if necessary. Plan to take a second pair if available.
Acquire medication that may be needed in the country that you are going to visit. For example, if there is a risk of malaria in that country, ask your physician for a prescription for preventative medicine.
Check into your medical insurance coverage and understand what procedures or policies you will need to follow should you need medical treatment while abroad.
The types of vaccinations that you get will depend on two things. First, the physician will need to review your medical history. Second, the physician will take into consideration the country or countries that you will be traveling though on your trip.
Health Tips While Traveling
Select your meals carefully while traveling.
Avoid food served by street vendors.
Choose heated, steaming meals as opposed to tepid food.
When eating raw fruits or vegetables, make the selection or peel the fruit yourself.
Avoid uncooked seafood.
Avoid dairy foods that have not been pasteurized.
Avoid beverages that contain ice cubes or crushed ice.
Select water packaged commercially in sealed bottles rather than fresh water from open containers.
Select carbonated beverages over water that has not been commercially packaged.
Remember to take any preventative medicine that your physician has prescribed for you.
Avoid swimming in bodies of fresh water such as lakes and streams, particularly in countries such as Africa.
Remember to use plenty of bug repellent if you are visiting a country or countries that have a high incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
Use bed netting at night if you are visiting a country or countries that have a high incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
Avoid overcrowded transportation. It is simply better to wait a short while for the nest vehicle.
Use seat belts when possible and motorcycle helmets when riding a motorcycle.
Avoid driving in an unfamiliar area unless you have a local map available.
Avoid driving at night, especially if you have night vision.
Carry the phone number of the U. S. Embassy with you in the event that you need medical treatment while abroad. They will be able to provide you with contact information for local doctors, dentists, etc.
Avoiding diarrhea is probably the most important facet of watching what you eat and drink while on vacation. Almost nothing can incapacitate someone quicker than a bad case of diarrhea that dehydrates and weakens the immune system quickly.
Health Tips Upon Arrival Home
Continue to take any preventative medications that were prescribed for you for the entire recommended time.
Visit your physician immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of disease or medical problems.
Once you have arrived home, use your common sense to review your health status. If everything is normal, then, most likely, you have nothing to worry about. When in doubt, make that phone call to the physician and ask questions. A healthy trip is a happy trip. Plan ahead and have fun!
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Traveling abroad is an adventure that is best planned ahead of time as you have to deal with ticketing and packing and everything that involves you or your family or friends. Sure, you don’t want to show up at the check-in counter without your passport, or worst you miss your flight! If you have wanted to travel for a long time or you are going for the first time, then you have to focus on ensuring that the necessities, such as health and safety, are covered. Well, to save you time here is that it will save you some prep time. It includes your international travel checklist for your next long-distance journey.
Get your travel documents early – Most people don’t have a passport. If you are planning to travel, then you may require up to six weeks to receive a passport when you apply. Be patient as sometimes due to some issues, your passport might be rejected. If you have a passport, then do check the expiration date if it is still valid as you don’t want to travel with an expired passport. Also, as you are traveling international, get a visa or letter of invite or recommendation to gain entry to your chosen destination. Do ensure that you have prepared your travel documents early.
Have a travel budget – One of the most novice things to do is to travel without a budget. We all know how risky traveling can get, and traveling does cost a lot. Well, I’m not telling you to spend money by going into debt, but consider all your expenses and arrange your budget according to this. It is better to determine your budget according to your travel destination.
Pick a destination – Have you always dreamed of visiting either Paris or the mesmerizing beaches or Bora Bora? Well, if you are traveling for the first, better pick a destination of your choice. Everyone has different ideas from all the places they want to visit. If you’re going out on a limb, then check with your travel agent, who will inform you about the cheapest flights to amazing places.
Get your travel insurance – It is recommended to get your travel insurance while traveling as it will help you in many situations. The insurance company covers all the problems that you can face while being in a foreign land.
Learn about your destination – If you don’t want to appear as a novice or someone with less general knowledge, it is better to learn about your destination. Read about the region you are traveling to in advance as it will help you gain some insights into what important while being there. Do keep a tab on the exchange rates, useful phrases, tipping norms, appropriate clothing, and cultural/legal customs. Be prepared if you don’t want to land yourself in a compromising situation.
Book your accommodation – If you are traveling during a peak period, then it is advised to book your accommodation beforehand. In some countries, you are asked to present a letter of invite which pertains to where you are going to reside when traveling to that country.
Pack light – Remember, you are traveling for the first time, and yes, you want to grab every souvenir or that pretty black dress to feel pretty in Paris. Well, it is essential that you pack light when traveling. You can take your luggage up a flight of stairs more quickly, and the process of getting on and off public transport will be way less cumbersome. As you’re packing, determine the number of days you’ll be staying, and adjust accordingly.
Many people usually get vaccinated when they travel internationally. However, it is also important you do the same for national travels. This way you’ll prevent yourself from getting any undesired and unnecessary diseases when you travel. Think about it and save yourself the trouble of getting sick by taking care of vaccinations beforehand.
Avoid Motion Sickness:
If you’re prone to motion sickness or other such problems when you travel by road, then it is highly likely that you will be affected when you travel by air. So as a precautionary measure, make sure you take anti-emetic medicines before you start your travel to avoid discomfort.
Keep Important Things Handy:
Stuff like your passport and ticket will be required frequently, and you need to keep it someplace where you can readily take it out and where it won’t be lost. Also, make sure you have some extra cash with you at all times (keep it in your socks). Just in case you lose your stuff, you won’t have a problem traveling around.
Limit electronics. Will you need your laptop, tablet, e-reader, and smartphone? “You want to enjoy the country, not your electronics,” says Wood. Bring what’s essential, such as your smartphone, and make sure the charger is compatible with the electric current where you’re headed. Call your mobile carrier ahead of time to add an international plan temporarily to avoid surprises on your next bill.
Leave copies of your itinerary and passport with family or friends. Bring a copy of your passport with you, in case the original is stolen, because it will be easier to replace – the US. Department of State also offers the new Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows you to register your trip so the nearest Embassy or Consulate can contact you to keep you informed about safety conditions in your destination country or case of an emergency.
Traveling internationally for the first time makes you more confident and become more experienced to travel from one country to another. After a while, you will be sure to travel like a pro!
Every year, there are numerous first-time travelers who travel to their life-long dreamed destination, and others set off on their professional journey. Even if you have been traveling almost every year or once in a while, it is quite reasonable for you to make some mistakes. For people who are traveling for the first time, it is okay for them to make a few mistakes. Well, this is because the situation is new to you and you have got no experience at all. If you want to be someone who is not a novice in traveling, then this blog is totally for you!
In this blog, you will read about the silly mistakes that you can make while traveling for the first time and the mistakes that you can avoid when going the next time.
1. Booking your flight late – One of the first steps when traveling is to check the flight dates and booking one. It is done as the prices tend to rise as the departure date draws near, which implies that the booking at the last minute can be costly. It is advisable to buy your tickets at least one month prior to your traveling.
2. Insurance – Before traveling, you need to make sure that you have a travel insurance cover as it will help you. If you happen to get sick or injured or even lose something, your insurance company will cover the cost. Also, if you are careful, you can’t be too cautious.
3. Not choosing your seat – The seat selection may or may not be included depending on what kind of ticket you are buying. If you are getting a basic economy seat, then it is better to keep some extra cash on you as some airlines charge an extra fee for a seat. It is definitely worth it to pay that extra for your seat as you can choose the one you prefer.
4. Overbooking – It is tempting to get everything locked in – the hotel, the transfers, the breakfast, lunch, and the dinner; so that you don’t get worried at the last moment. Well, it is not recommended to do so as you will have to abide by each of them and disturb your entire schedule. It is better to book in the big things and leave some space on your itinerary to explore other places out of the blue.
5. Being scared of the locals – It is easy for locals to spot a first timer in their city, as some of the first time travelers subconsciously guard their money belts, or have their face set to suspicion, or are always trying to figure out what scam is happening. It is better to set up some connections before to any country. Don’t be afraid to befriend the locals as they are not out to get to you!
6. Underestimating cost – It is essential to save money before you travel. Do not assume that all prices are the same when you travel except if you are going to the district. Always remember the cost might not be the same as you saw online.
7. Forgetting the exchange rate – One of the things that every traveler forgets is the exchange rate. Make sure that you have double-checked the exchange rate of the country you are visiting. It helps you to know the charges and how much money you should carry along. Always keep an eye on the exchange rate, as it may change and make some provisions if that should be the case.
8. Packing too much – Remember sleeping bags are for camping! If you’re going to stay in a hotel, then don’t take the sleeping bag or things that you usually use while going camping. Also, don’t pack too many clothes as it is certain that you will buy more there. Take the basic first aid kit that you need; you will get others there. Do not take more than three pairs of shoes and more than two pairs of jeans. Do bring soap as most hostels do not supply it.
9. Not informing the bank or credit card company of your travels – Remember to inform your bank when traveling abroad as they might suspect some fraud transactions are happening and freeze your account. Prior to your date of travel, inform your bank that you are going abroad and that you will be back in whatever weeks.
10. Waiting until the last minute to be vaccinated – When traveling, it is always good to keep the boring stuff in mind, too, such as vaccines. It is not the most exciting stuff to deal with, but it does make your trip and life easier. Get yourself vaccinated before boarding the flight as you don’t want to get sick while enjoying a healthy and scrumptious Goan dish! So basically, the earlier you get it done, the better it is!
11. Panicking – If you are someone who panics in the pettiest of the situations, then it is not something that you should be wary of. Things always go wrong, especially if you are a rookie. The first mistake for any first-timer is okay, be sure that it does not happen again! Getting upset or freaking out s only going to make it worse.
12. Holding onto the guidebook – It is recommended to carry a guide with you when traveling to a country for the first time. It helps in giving you background information on places you are visiting or cities you are going to. Well, one mistake that most first time travelers do is to hold onto the guidebook as a gospel! They do everything that is written in the book or go to places that are suggested. Move out of the book and explore the city or region you are visiting on your own. I’m sure you will love it!
13. Don’t act like a tourist – Last but not the least, when traveling to any country or city it is better not to behave like a tourist. If you are a first-time traveler, then it is easy to spot you from a mile away, as you will be gripping onto your bags tightly or have a nervous look on your face. If you don’t want to put yourself in the limelight, then try to blend in with the crowd as enjoy your trip as the locals do. Befriend people who stay in the same hostel or hotel as you.
I know, traveling to a new country or city can be scary and exciting all at the same time. Well, the experience will be different each time as you get to meet new people every time you travel. Whether it is at the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower, you can have the time of your life if you avoid making these mistakes.
Mexico City has enough tourism sites to keep you busy indefinitely! Museums, art galleries, sports teams of all sorts, great shopping, a beautiful historic downtown area, wonderful parks… there is no limit to the things you can do in Mexico City. Today, tourist guidebooks on Mexico generally explain the situation in detail. Here are some general guidelines: Carry little cash with you and be very alert to your surroundings. Stay out of places where there are few people. Don’t necessarily trust the police, as in some cases they are involved in crime too. Don’t hail a taxi on the street, as some of the roaming cab drivers are involved in robbery. Taxis at your hotel or in official cab stands are much better. While other parts of the country may have seen some increase in crime, it’s in Mexico City that it’s reached the highest levels. All in all, a hefty dose of thoughtful preparation (making photocopies of your passport, leaving your fancy jewelry at home, that sort of thing) and vigilant common sense are called for.
But do these drawbacks mean you should avoid Mexico City as a tourism destination? It all depends on what you want. Many people love the vibrancy of the city. There may be something you particularly want to do or see there. You may love big cities and want to experience the unique flavor of this one. But if you are just looking for a laid-back, relaxing vacation, you will be happier somewhere else in Mexico.
Going by air
Flying to Mexico is the most common way to go to the main resort and tourist destinations. Major U.S. airlines offer non-stop or direct flights to a wide variety of Mexican cities. You can work with a travel agent or you can book your flight over the internet. There is a tremendous variety in price, so it’s worth doing some homework. Booking way ahead sometimes gives you a bargain price — but you can also sometimes get very good prices if you have an impulse to go right away, or within a week or two. Look for U.S. or Mexican airlines.
Charter flights can offer rock bottom prices at times but do be aware that the charter operator may have the right to cancel the flight if it doesn’t fill, and they can do this up to about 10 days before the flight. However, if you want to cancel your reservation with them it may not be possible.
Vacation packages to Mexico
Combined airfare and hotel packages can offer you very good value. The hotels may not be the best known, but sometimes they are. And in this internet era, it’s easy enough to do a search on the name of the hotel and town. Especially if you are traveling to Cancun, Acapulco, Ixtapa, or any of the many other vacation type destinations in Mexico, vacation package deals are well worth exploring.
Another kind of package is the guided tour, often of several cities and typically with hotels and transportation included. This can be very good for people who haven’t explored Mexico much or who speak little or no Spanish.
Cruises to Mexico
Cruises leave from both coasts of the U.S. and vary in how long they last. The shorter cruises can be very economical. Cruises will only give you a taste of Mexico compared to other vacation choices, but that might be just the thing to whet your appetite!
Mexico has an incredibly good network of buses going between cities. Most foreign travelers prefer the deluxe buses or the first-class ones, which typically offer movies, comfortable seating, rest rooms, and an easy schedule of many departures a day. Between the smaller towns you may get retired school buses from the U.S. and more rigorous conditions.
Driving conditions vary considerably from one Mexican highway to another. Some are slow, while the relatively expensive toll roads usually have light traffic due to their prices. Don’t drive between Mexican cities at night. There are tales of robberies, but more common hazards include livestock lying on the road (enjoying the warmth of the pavement) and vehicles driving without good headlights.
A Few Thoughts on Safety
If you travel in Mexico, do be aware of safety and theft issues. If you carry a purse, think about how easily it could be snatched and perhaps carry your passport and credit cards in your clothing close to your body, even in a pouch under your clothes.
There is much publicity in the U.S. about the occasional dramatic crimes that happen to tourists abroad. If you keep in mind that people are poorer and that you appear wealthy to them (even if that idea is laughable to you), you will make the best choices.
As for health concerns, Mexico is much improved from the past, but do be prudent about what you eat. Most drinking water you will be served is purified now, but it does no harm to ask. Other factors under your control are how much alcohol you drink and how long you stay out in the tropical sun.
Use common sense and be aware that common sense is different from one country to another. Don’t worry too much. Most travelers to Mexico have a safe and delightful trip.