With over 10 million residents and a rich and fascinating history, Moscow is the center of Russia's economic, cultural, and educational landscape. As a result of the country's steady economic growth and virtually unlimited potential, an increasing number of multinational corporations have set up shop in Moscow, bringing an unprecedented number of business travelers to the city. Yet the city's size and complexity, combined with the country's unique language and culture, make Moscow hard to navigate for foreigners. Here, then, are some tips to help ease the way for business travelers. 1. Carefully Choose Your Accommodations Where you choose to stay can make the difference between a successful and a disastrous business trip. Your best bet is to select a business class, fully equipped, serviced apartment rental in Moscow. A short term rental will provide you with familiar Western comforts, while giving you access to the equipment you need (like Wi-Fi Internet; a computer printer, scanner, and fax; and free local calling) to stay connected and get the job done. Many come with a fully equipped kitchen and a washing machine, which will help you settle in and concentrate on the business at hand. When selecting Moscow rentals, be sure to look for rentals in the upscale Arbat area of Moscow, within the Garden Ring Road. This is a very safe area, and one that is close to supermarkets, embassies, stores, restaurants, financial institutions, and nightclubs. Furthermore, unless you're fluent in Russian, choose to work with a company that is Western owned and operated. An English-speaking staff will go far in ensuring that your stay in Moscow goes smoothly and is stress-free. 2. Getting through Passport Control When you arrive at Domodedovo International Airport or Sheremetyevo 2 International Airport, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the lines and procedures at passport control and customs. The best serviced apartment rental companies can also arrange for full airport VIP services, Fast Track check in, and business lounge access. 3. Visa Registration Russia has very strict regulations for foreigners visiting Russia. Not only do you have to register upon your arrival in Moscow, but if you visit other cities, you have to register there as well. If you are staying in a short term rental, the Western company that manages the rental should be able to assist you in complying with the myriad visa requirements. 4. Airport and Train Transfers Many business travelers are overwhelmed by the logistics involved in going to and from Moscow's airports and train stations. There are four major airports and nine train stations in the city, as well as the world's most extensive Metro system. Although it's possible to negotiate Moscow's transportation system on your own, it's much less of a hassle to book an airport or train station transfer with the Moscow rentals company you select. 5. Taxi and Transport Services Whether you need to get around Moscow or are going to one of the many popular tourist destinations in Russia, it's important to select a reliable taxi and transport service. Again, it's helpful to be able to rely on Westerners, who can arrange for you to book an hourly taxi. With the right planning, business travel in Moscow can be both productive and enjoyable.
Going on holiday with a partner is the true test of a relationship. Hereís how to get it just right. What makes a perfect partner? Someone who wants to have sex first in the morning, never asks you to go shopping with her and renounces all rights so the remote control on Saturday afternoons? Maybe, but no relationship, no matter how erotically charged and compatible, is proven until your first holiday together. Ah, the holiday, that breeding ground of vice and corruptibility. You go on holiday to relax, but unless you know exactly what youíre getting into, going on holiday with a partner is likely to leave you more stressed than you were when you handed in your leave form. There are sound reasons for couples fighting when theyíre on holiday. Because youíre out of your familiar, everyday situation, holiday actually increase some stress levels. Also, because youíve convinced yourself that you should be having a wonderful time during every second of your precious holiday small fights and irritations tend to get magnified. A lot of couples break up on holiday, over things that would not have mattered quite as much had they happened during their normal routine. Everything is more intense when youíre on holiday because itís such a valued time for most of us. But more holiday fights are caused by lack of planning than unrealistic expectations. You might not be able to do anything about your heightened holiday emotions, but you certainly can plan for physical eventualities, and in so doing hopefully prevent quarrels in Quebec and sulks in the Seychelles. So if you are planning to go away with a partner ñ especially if itís the first time the two of you will be taking a trip together ñ follow these rules and perhaps youíll still want to look at each other when you return. 1. Make sure you both want go go to the same place ñ Itís no use dragging her off to go hiking in the Himalayas if sheíd far rather be lying on a beach in Thailand. If your idea of a good holiday is vastly different from hers, perhaps you shouldnít be together, or perhaps you should take separate holidays. Or you could compromise and choose a place that offers both your types of enjoyment (such as a resort where one of you can go scuba diving while the other lounges next to the pool with a book and a pina colada). Of course you might not know what her interests and idiosyncrasies actually are until you get there and find yourself shuffling from monument to monument to examine ancient firesoes, despite your longing to examine an affable pub. Holidays show us sides of our partners that we didnít even suspect existed. Thatís why itís important to discuss you idea holiday before you book the hotel room. If you think she might be agreeing with your choice of destination only to please you, thatís her problem, but give haer a chance to voice her preferences. It is always more fun to do the things you love with a partner who loves the same things, but itís inevitable that there will be areas of common disinterest between you. Make it clear that you donít mind pursuing your quest for the tallest redwood on your own, and make sure she knows that you donít intend accompanying her on visits to Cambodian orphanages (unless you want to, of course). 2. Divide the money. Money and map navigation are the two most common causes of holiday tension. Money is perhaps more important because even if youíre lost, youíre still okay if you can afford a bed for the night. No matter how compatible you might be in other spheres, in every couple there is a partner who is the spender. This is increased a hundred-fold when on holiday. The one with the more careful nature will shy away from impulse purchases, while the other spontaneously lashes out on memorabilia that you donít need and that doesnít fit into your suitcase. Some couples try to prevent money fights by nominating one partner as holder of the resolve arguments by saying. ìIím the one in charge of the money and I say we canít have more than one ice cream a dayî is only going to lead to acrimony. Even if one of you is financing the holiday ñ in fact, especially need to have access to your own money, or the power imbalance will lead to bitterness. Workout the budget for the entire trip. Say accommodation is paid for, work out how much youíll need each day for food, and if one of you wants to exceed that budget on a particular day, then economize the next day. Divide your spending money in two and share it. Then, if one of you blows their entire allowance on a three-meter mahogany giraffe. Itís only faire for the partner who still has money to dictate how itís spent. 3. No bagging the navigator- Democracy does not work when it comes to directions. Whether youíve driving yourselves around or simply have to find taxis or stations in unfamiliar places, either draw lots or play roulette before you leave home to decide who will be in charge of navigation. Or split the duties, but when one of you is driving or reading a map, the other keeps his or her mouth firmly shut. Talk about this before you go, otherwise youíll end up in a ditch when you slam on brakes in the pouring rain and shout, ìDo you want to drive?î If sheís driving donít say a word. And if you know she took a wrong turn, never admit later that you knew the right road to take all along. Stick to this rule and thereís a good chance youíll have a happy holiday and perhaps an entire life. The words ìshouldnít you have turned left there?î have been the death knell of too many relationships. 4.Find out if she snores. Itís seldom that a couple goes on holiday without first getting to know each other well, but it happens. You may have shared a bed, but do you know each otherís bathroom? Does she know it takes you half an hour to do your hair? Has she done her morning yoga routine in front of you? Are you familiar with otherís most irritating habits? A first holiday can bring nasty surprises, if you discover on your fist night away that she grinds her teeth, it could ruin your trip. Alternatively you could be prepared for some irritation, and decide beforehand that, unless itís a non-negotiable violation of every value you hold dear, you will allow certain annoyances to wash over you. Say you know each other quite well already and have learnt tolerate each otherís curious habits. You could still find that being on holiday with her drives you nuts (or vice versa) because she thinks that being away means she doesnít have to be considerate of your needs as would be when youíre both at home. Being on holiday does mean you can relax, but it doesnít mean turning into a complete slob. If she doesnít clean up after you at home, donít expect her to do it when youíre away. And if she thinks being on holiday gives her licence to use your razor on her legs, explain (gently) that it doesnít. 5.Donít combine buddies and new lovers ñ You have a friend with a pad in Manhattan whoís been begging you to come and stay. ìBring your new girlfriendî, he says. ìYou guys will have the best time here.î No you wonít. not if youíve never been away together before and you want to spend a lot of time catching up with your old buddy. They might like each other and get along fine, but a first time holiday is about romance, and youíre not going to get that when youíre trying to divide your time and attention between a friend and a lover. Perhaps neither of you is the romantic type and youíre both quite keen on the idea of going away with other people. If these are mutual friends, no problem, but going away to meet someone whom only one of you knows isn't a good idea, donít do it if it's the first time the two of you will be spending time together. You might also discover when on holiday that that one of you is more sociable that the other. She wants to invite those two couples you met on the train to join you for dinner; all you want to do is spend time alone with her. These are things you canít predict. All you can do is reasonably explain your desire to socialize ñ or your objections to talking to strangers ñ and try to reach a compromise. 6.If it all goes wrong.- There is no way to guarantee that your first holiday together will be fight ñ free, but you can stop fights from turning your holiday into a nightmare. It may sound stilted, but if you can face up to it, talk about how youíll deal with fights before you go away. Make a pact that neither of you will storm out, even if it means spending three days in silence. Thereís nothing more mortifying than returning home alone. Having the staying power to see it through gives you time to get over fights. If all else fails then remember to; Always keep your own passport and ticket if she leaves with your documents, youíre going to look an idiot in a foreign place.
Panama is an adventure wonderland just waiting to be discovered. The country’s expansive rainforests are among the richest and most complex on the planet. It’s the only country where jaguars and pumas prowl just a short drive from the capital. Its vast, roadless jungles are home to over 940 recorded bird species and 105 endangered species, including the spectacled bear, the Central American tapir, the American crocodile, the scarlet macaw, as well as several eagle species. This small, untapped country offers some of the finest diving, birdwatching, and deep-sea fishing in all of the Americas—yet only the most avid adventurers are aware of it. Panama boasts scores of deserted palm-lined beaches, miles of lush rainforests, great national parks, mysterious mangroves (where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth), steamy cloud forests, mountains, waterfalls, raging rivers, abandoned forts, as well as desert. In Panama you can spend the morning diving in the Caribbean and the afternoon swimming in the Pacific. You can explore historic ruins of the colonial era…dive for Sir Francis Drake’s lead coffin (supposedly buried at sea near Portobello Bay)…see the rainforest in an aerial tram…ride a dug-out canoe to a native Indian village…discover the remote and mysterious forests of the Darién region right on the border of Colombia (where the roads end a few miles before the border, leaving you with the feeling you’ve reached the end of civilization)…come nose-to-nose with a red-napped tamarind monkey or a trio of colorful toucans… Conde Nast Traveler, in an article from its February 2005 issue said "Panama has temperate rain forests, great surf and beaches, and more birdlife than any other country in Central America. Now…it also has a newly elected administration that wants travelers to enjoy every bit of it." Fortunately, Panama is a small country. In a short one- or two-week trip, you can see much of what this diverse country has to offer. In this special report, the IL team proposes a plan to get the most out of 24 hours in Panama. From a traditional Panamanian breakfast to a trip to the Miraflores Locks to evening drinks in a little boutique hotel overlooking the Bay of Panama…we have it all thought out. Breakfast in El Trapiche Exploring the best Panama has to offer is hungry work. Start your day on a full stomach and head for breakfast in El Trapiche, a busy diner in El Cangrejo (Vía Argentina, tel. (507)269-4353). Here you can enjoy breakfast Panama style and indulge in a hearty feed of carimañol—a yummy roll made of mashed yucca and stuffed with ground beef and boiled eggs—and a side of corn tortillas, that more resemble silverdollar pancakes than taco shells. The bill should be less than $8, even with that second café con leche. Trip to the Miraflores Locks No trip to Panama is complete without seeing the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Panama Canal. According to the Panama Canal Authority "The history of the construction of the Panama Canal is the saga of human ingenuity and courage: years of sacrifice, crushing defeat, and final victory." This statement, while true, doesn’t go far enough to describe the mighty toll taken by the building of the Panama Canal. Construction began in 1904 and took 10 years to complete. It remains one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, completed despite landslides, disease, setbacks, and the loss of 75,000 lives in total. Engineers directed most of the actual construction, which cost $375 million, and involved the excavation of 240 million cubic yards of earth. The Canal, 51 miles long, opened to shipping in August 1914 and was formally dedicated on July 12, 1920. In 1921, the U.S. paid Colombia $25 million as redress for the loss of Panama; in exchange, Colombia formally recognized Panama’s independence. On average it takes a vessel eight hours to travel from one ocean to the other, passing through three sets of locks. The best place to see the Canal is from the Miraflores Locks (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission free). Make sure to get to the Miraflores Locks for 9 a.m. as this is when you are most likely to see large ships passing through. Tamales in Casco Viejo By now you’re probably feeling a tad peckish… Time to hop on a bus or hail a taxi and make your way toward Casco Viejo for tamales. If you’re in luck, you’ll bump into Luis Antonio Visuette on the streets of Casco Viejo, where he has been selling delicious homemade tamales, wrapped in plaintain leaves, for more than 10 years. With his Yankee cap and five-gallon bucket of hot and spicy tameles calientitos, Luis is hard to miss. These lunchtime treats are available in both large (50 cents), and small (25 cents), and are a real hit when washed down with an ice-cold drink. International Living’s local office is located in the Casco Viejo area, in the Cathedral Plaza, next to the Panama Canal Museum and just in front of the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral, so if you want to enjoy your tamales in our office (Luis will be making the rounds) call in for a Panamanian style "power lunch." Explore Casco Viejo Located at the mouth of the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo is the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas…although it was there long before the Canal was built. In fairness to history, the original Panama City (now known as Old Panama or Panama La Vieja) was founded in 1519, about two miles from the center of Panama City as we know it today. From here, expeditions were mounted to conquer the Inca Empire of South America and all of the wealth pillaged from Peru, Chile, and California flowed to Spain through Old Panama. It is no surprise that this booty attracted pirates like Henry Morgan, who looted the city in 1671. During Morgan’s attack, this original Panama City was burned to the ground. Two years later, in 1673, the capital was moved two miles to the west, and present-day Panama City was founded. This is the area now known as Casco Viejo. As the city was being rebuilt by the Spanish settlers, they decided to build a massive surrounding wall and a stronger fortress for its protection and to ensure that the enormous wealth in gold and silver that passed through it would never again be susceptible to the likes of Henry Morgan. The new city boasted a cross-sectioned design of 38 blocks, with three main streets running from east to west and seven streets running from north to south. Unfortunately, this urban development was interrupted by various fires that devastated its streets. In 1737, the "big fire" destroyed two thirds of the city, and the "small fire" of 1756 destroyed more than 90 houses. These and other catastrophic fires help explain why so few true examples of Spanish colonial architecture exist today. The fortress still survives, though, and today houses several important, cultural, and historic buildings and monuments. But it is the architecture of Casco Viejo that makes it so special. The old Spanish colonial style is overlaid with French balconies and architecture, remnants of the French inhabitants who made the initial attempt to build the Panama Canal in 1881. Over the years, a Caribbean influence also took hold and, today, Casco Viejo is a melting pot of architectural inspiration and style, with some buildings dating as far back as 300 years. Museums, shopping, and fortune telling Up until the early parts of this century, Casco Viejo remained a thriving cultural center. But as Panama City modernized, and as the automotive age made transportation easier, it spread outward, leaving Casco Viejo behind. The old city’s narrow labyrinth streets were difficult for cars to maneuver and its buildings were obsolete in comparison to modern skyscrapers being built. By the mid 1900s, Casco Viejo had gone the way of most city centers of that century. No longer the center of Panama City, it was too oppressed for the upper class and quickly became a poor area of tenement-style housing. The area is currently undergoing a complete transformation, however. Restaurants and bars are opening with gusto, tourists are coming in growing numbers, and people from all over now want to make their homes in Casco Viejo. In 1997, UNESCO declared Casco Viejo a Patrimony of Humanity. Today, it is revered as the historic center of Panama City. Two- and three-story houses with flower-adorned balconies overlook narrow streets. At its tip is French Park, where you will find the French Embassy and a monument to the hardy French builders who began the Panama Canal. On one side is an historical Spanish building called Las Bovedas, now housing an art gallery and French restaurant. Panama’s Supreme Court was once housed here. A walkway around the monument offers a nice view of the Amador Causeway, Bridge of the Americas, and Panama City’s skyscraper skyline to the east. A plaque commemorates the firing of canon shots to ward off a Colombian warship and solidify Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903. There are excellent museums in the Casco Viejo area, including the Museo de Canal. Here, you can learn about Panama’s history as the connector between the Atlantic and the Pacific from pre-Hispanic to modern times. Next door is the Museum of National History and across the way is the National Cathedral. Nearby is a small museum dedicated to religious art, found in the old Santo Domingo monastery. This is where you will find the famous Flat Arch, which reportedly helped convince engineers that Panama was earthquake-proof and a geologically stable area for building the Canal. A few blocks away is the old San Jose Cathedral, with gleaming spires inlaid with mother-of-pearl and its beautiful gold altar, intricately carved of wood and gilded with gold. This is a must-see when you visit Casco Viejo. Casco Viejo is home to the Presidential House. If you want to see this, be sure to come on a Sunday as it is closed to the public for the rest of the week. Famous sons and daughters of Panama also make their homes here, including actor/singer (and now Panama’s minister of tourism) Ruben Blades, and boxer Roberto Duran. Bargain hunters can take a break from the historical sights at Salsipuedes, which roughly translates to "get out if you can." Located just before the entrance to Casco Viejo, it is Panama’s bizarre bazaar, a street so narrow and filled with vendors that it is dark at noon. A few steps away is Santa Ana’s Plaza, where you can have your fortune told for just $5. Dine at The Bristol To finish off your day in style, make your way to The Bristol Hotel, just a short taxi journey from Casco Viejo. Dining at the Barandas Restaurant at The Bristol Hotel is an event to savor. The Panamanian-inspired gourmet cuisine, restful ambiance, stunning presentation, elegant settings, and attentive service combine to create an unforgettable dining experience. A Trip To Panama Caught Your Fancy? Hopefully, this special report has given you a few ideas on how to spend your time in Panama, but don’t forget that this amazing country has much more to offer. Pacific Coast beaches near the city; Coiba Island National Marine Park; and the Darién Province to name just a few.
Beachside promenades, lively people laid back lifestyles and sunny weather, Florida is a grand resort travel idea. Take a walk at the famous Miami Beach and enjoy a great meal by the sea or choose from the many popular tourist and travel resort spots in Florida such as Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. Here are some of best resorts in Florida to suit various budgets and maximize your stay in the sunny state. Palm Beach: Perfect travel resort The Breakers is a luxurious resort and hotel with all the best services you could ask for. All rooms offer spectacular views and each designed with classy décor and lavish facilities. Visit and take some time to detoxify and relax at the hotel spa. Sundy House is a historic cottage originally built in the 1902. It has 11 designed rooms, all with artwork and luxurious décor. The house is located within lush, beautiful gardens, lovely balconies, and just a stone’s throw away from the beach. It’s an ideal escape from the hustle that you could spend with family and friends. Miami Double Tree Ocean Point Resort & Spa has this luxurious hotel fuses together the best of American amenities and European spas for you travel. Its amenities include a beachside pool, world class fitness center, lounges and umbrellas facing the ocean, and fine cuisine to give you the most luxurious, and relaxing trip, both inside and out, in Florida. Marriott South Beach, a beachfront boutique hotel located in South Beach has 11 rooms and is perfectly situated in Miami. You can easily walk to the beach and the nearby shopping areas and nightclubs. With a very friendly and accommodating staff, well designed rooms, your stay in Miami will be unforgettable. Visit Jacksonville Suburban Extended Stay Hotel Baymeadows is for the budget traveler, an ideal way to enjoy a travel economically. It is also a pet-friendly hotel hence, you can bring along your furry friends to Florida. Feel right at home with kitchen amenities, a television set, and everything you need without breaking your wallet. Courtyard Jacksonville Mayo Clinic/Beaches is a well-decorated room, a garden gazebo, fine dining, amenities including a swimming pool, patio, and fitness room. This hotel is located within the Mayo Clinic area and sure to satisfy your needs. Fast service from the well trained staff will guarantee that your choice is filled with maximum enjoyment.
Although perhaps not the most glamorous topic in the world, travel insurance is nonetheless an essential part of the holiday process. And unlike the fairly straightforward process of asking ‘which hotel should I stay in?’ getting the right travel insurance can be as confusing as it is frustrating! This is, hopefully, where I come in. As the managing director of Insuremore (http://www.insuremore.co.uk) I like to think I know a fair bit about the whole area. I’ve assembled this guide as something of a ‘top 10 things to look out for’ when purchasing travel insurance. And the common question I get asked all the time is whether I think travel insurance is worth buying. Given my line of work, it’s pretty inevitable that my answer will be ‘yes’ but the reason isn’t just because of the extra money it will ensure I receive! Y’see it’s true that the majority of people go on holiday, have a memorable time and come back without any ill consequences, but a small percentage of people will have an unexpected hospitalization or find that their flights are canceled. And believe me, in those instances trying to get help without travel insurance is not only expensive, but horribly stressful. Indeed, the best benefit of travel insurance is the peace of mind it gives the policy holder. A holiday should be about relaxation (or possibly getting your skin to become as lobster like as possible judging from recent case studies!) and how can you relax when you’re constantly on the lookout for illnesses or injuries? I’m sure that even if you could have relaxed before reading this, you will be worried now! So without further ado: 1)Don’t leave your travel insurance until the last minute Okay, people don’t like to spend money – especially immediately after dropping a load of cash on an expensive holiday, but not getting your travel insurance sorted out immediately can be a massive mistake as you miss out one of the key aspects of it – cancellation cover. Although you may think that there’s no way you’ll cancel, life is full of the unexpected, and we deal with people canceling their holidays due to family emergencies everyday. As your holiday gets closer and closer, the chances of you needing to cancel are heavily reduced, so you completely lose the benefit of part of your insurance if you don’t sort it out nice and early. 2)Don’t settle for single trip cover if you’re going on holiday more than once On the subject of single trip cover, is that really what you need? According to a 2004 study by Alliance & Leicester, 2/3rds of people plan to take two or more holidays a year. If you’re in the majority here, then single trip insurance will not be the best priced option (unless you have a phenomenally good value insurance provider) and it’s worth considering multi-trip or annual. 3)Your E111 health card alone will cost you for medical cover Don’t think that just because you have your E111 European health card you will be covered for free – that’s a myth. You do need the card to show hospitals in the event of an emergency, but you will be charged by the country’s private healthcare system. Make sure your travel insurance covers illness and injury! 4)Be honest about any medical conditions you have On a similar note, make sure you tell your insurers of all your medical conditions even if they seem irrelevant – too much information is a good thing in this case, as not providing details could later invalidate any claims you need to make. 5)Get the right policy for your holiday Just like how there are different holidays for different tastes, there are different policies for different people. If you’re looking to go backpacking, skiing or mountain climbing, you’re going to need to track down a policy specifically for these activities to ensure you’re covered in the event of an accident. 6)Buy for the family and save As I’ve already mentioned, there are different types of insurance for different cover – generally, companies offer single, multi trip, annual and family travel insurance policies. Predict how much you expect to be abroad and buy accordingly. If you are in a family, then it stands to reasons that family insurance is a good option – and some policies include the insurance of under-18s for free! 7)Know exactly what you’re covered against Cheap travel insurance may seem like a bargain – and there are plenty of legitimate companies offering cheap travel insurance out there – but make sure you go through the policy with a fine tooth comb to ensure you’re not missing out on key coverage, such as cancellation and theft. As a rule of thumb, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is! 8)Check out the excesses on the policy Actually, it’s worth going through any travel insurance policy with a fine tooth comb – cheap or otherwise. The excesses on different policies can make a huge difference, and it’s a good idea to find a policy with a lower or no excess on an area you think you are more likely to end up claiming on! 9)If you’re under the influence, then you won’t be covered Sounds obvious, but we often get claims like this, so I’d best cover it: No travel insurance company will pay up on any accidents occurring while the policy holder is under the influence of alcohol or drugs – the policy is not there to allow you to behave more recklessly than you normally would! 10)Look for a company that covers against acts of terrorism for peace of mind In the current climate, insurance against acts of terrorism is something we’ve found people to be calling out for, and sadly, most companies do not offer it as default with their policies. If I may be allowed a brief plug however, it is something that we at Insuremore include in our travel insurance packages for that extra peace of mind. If it is something that’s worrying you, it is worth ensuring it is part of your policy.
Although traveling by air is the fastest way to move from places to place while traveling by car is convenient and comfortable and traveling by bus is the cheapest, not one of them can be compared to the unique experience trail travel could give. Trail travel might not be the most popular way people move. This could be because of the length a trip could take compared to air traveling. Another reason could be the monotony of sights that might bring boredom to passengers. Another could be the price one single train travel could cost compared when taking a bus. All these contribute to the decreasing popularity of train travel but it does not mean that train travel is not good at all. In fact, with a little wit and personal creativity, one could enjoy train travel. 1. Expect to travel for long hours. In this way, you don’t have to look at your timepiece regularly or ask a crew with the most annoying question you also would not want to hear: “Are we there yet?” Keep in mind that if you are crossing state boarders, train travel could take more hours than driving your own car at your own phase. And sometimes, train schedules are not met so you don’t have to nag every crew with the train schedule. 2. Relax and enjoy the scenery. If you are traveling during daytime, you could see sights that might not be possible to see if you are traveling by plane, bus or car. Try to enjoy the scenery. You can even bring binoculars to help you see more views closer. 3. If you are a reader, this is the best time to read. Trains are more stable than bus. So if you would like to read without controlling the motion of your hand with the book, the train could provide you with stability. Bring a book of your favorite author. You can also consider finalizing your report if you are going to present it on meetings. 4. If you are not into sightseeing and reading, you can bring your portable CD player or iPod. Bring your most favorite albums you could bring. Or, if you have an iPod, you can store all your songs to your library. Make sure you have spare batteries. 5. Be friendly and polite. If a person asks favors from you, be more than willing to do it. Train travel would offer you new acquaintances and friends. 6. Do not intrude other people’s business in the best way you could. Respect other people’s privacy. 7. Talk to the crew nicely. Although they would not throw you off the train if you shout to them, doing such is not proper. They are well trained and very friendly, be nice to the crew. 8. Take time to meet other people. Since you expect to be on the train for several hours especially if you are crossing state borders, you wont be doing so much. You can roam around the train and meet other people. This is the best time to have someone to talk to. 9. If in case you are traveling with your children, make sure you provide them with lots of activities. Bring along activity books, quiet toys, color pens, crayons, papers, reading material, coloring books, and video games. In this way, you keep them entertained.
Sticking to a nutritious diet while traveling can be one of the more difficult things to do. However, if you learn how to make smart choices, a healthy diet is really not that difficult. It’s probably not the best time in which to start a healthy diet, but if you are currently making healthy choices in your foods already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel, is not as difficult as it first may seem. If you are traveling by airplane, your diet may have to include airplane food, which can often be of poor nutritional value, depending on the selection. When you book your flight, ask about your food options, ask if a vegetarian dish is available? Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they may be serving. If you can, eat a larger meal before your flight, so that you don’t have to eat the entire meal that is served, to feel full. When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants and eat the meals found there. Avoid this whenever possible! If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast food more than once during a week can really be bad for your health. If you must, choose the healthiest options available, like chicken breasts and diet soda. Also, remember that you can take your own meals when traveling. Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean lunchmeat, and low-fat cheese in a cooler is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Call ahead to ask if there will be a refrigerator in your hotel room. Lastly, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these dieting options directly in the menu for the health-conscious people. Control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in have and getting a doggie bag, and you’ll be well on your way to healthy eating, even away from home. Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. However, your health is worth it. Eating meals high in nutrition will also assist in fighting illnesses that you are likely to encounter when traveling and you will find yourself more alert so that you can enjoy your trip.
Hong Kong is an international city and it has vast number of tourists come from all over the world in all year round. According to the Hong Kong Government statistics, the number of international tourists visited Hong Kong in 2005 reaches 10.8 million which represents a 13.1% increase when compared to 2004. Countries such as Australia, Canada, French, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korean, Thailand, British and United States all contributes significant tourist growth for Hong Kong. This article presents some critical traveler tips for tourists so that you could enjoy more and have a wonderful trip to Hong Kong. 1. Personal Identity and Safety Tourists must carry valid personal identity documentation such as passport during their stay in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a very safe city according to the low crime rate. However, due to the densely population, it is not suggested to take a large amount of cash when going out since most of the shops in Hong Kong accepts credit cards. Expensive belongs should be locked in the safe in hotel. You could easily find policemen on the streets whenever you have encountered any problems. 2. Service Charges Most of the restaurants except fast food shops will add 10% service charges to the bill. Therefore, you may choose to give out the odd dollars from the changes as the service tips. For taxi driver or bellboy in the hotel, there is no pre set norm for the service tips, you may choose to give out whenever you think the service is deserved for. 3. Telephone Service All local telephone call is free except for the public telephone which charges HK$1 for every 5 minutes. Emergency call is 999 and it is free to call even in public telephone. You could either use IDD telephone call card or credit card for long distance call, or simply through operator for collect call in all public telephone counter. 4. Drinking Water The drinking water in Hong Kong reaches World Health Organization standard. However, you may also choose to buy the bottle water in the supermarkets if you think it is necessary. 5. Taxi All taxi only accept cash and they have invoice print out whenever you request. It is easier to catch the taxi in the taxi stop or outside the hotel. Many of the taxi drivers could understand simple English. It is suggest writing down your destination (in English) on paper to minimize misunderstandings. The taxi charges is based on the meter which is HK$15 for the first 2 Km and HK$1.4 for the subsequent 0.2 Km. Besides, there are tunnel charges ranging from HK$3-45 depends on which tunnel you have to take. The charging table is clearly shown on the inner side of the doors so you could check it before you pay. In case of any complaints or lost case, you may record down the name of the taxi driver and his license plate number which is clearly shown on the front seat stand, and reports to the police hotline: 2527 7177 whenever necessary. 6. Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Hong Kong has 6 MTR routes, which covers most parts of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. Tsuen Wan Route: Tsuen Wan to Central Kwun Tong Route: Yau Mat Tei to Tiu Keng Leng Tseung Kwan O Route: North Point to Po Lam Main Route: Sheung Wan to Chai Wan Tung Chung Route: Tung Chung to Hong Kong Airport Route: Airport to Hong Kong Due to the convenience of MTR and the compact area of Hong Kong, most tourists find it is not necessary to rent car during their stay. Besides, due to the very heavy traffic and the complexity of the city roads, it is not recommended for tourists to drive. In case you really need car rental, you may consult your hotel, and be ready with your passport and driving license. 7. Kowloon Canton Railway (KCR) The KCR is the major railway which links up the New Territories and the city of Kowloon. It runs through Tsim Sha Tsui East to Lo Wu which takes about 40 minutes for the whole route. Lo Wo is the final station which you could pass through to enter China with valid visa. The train will depart for every 3 to 10 minutes, and the earliest one will be started at 5:35 a.m. while the last one will be departed at 12:20 p.m. The ordinary fair and the first class fair are HK$18 and HK$36 respectively from Hung Hom to Sheung Shui. 8. Tram The tram service has been started in 1904 and it is the oldest transportation system in Hong Kong. It only services the Hong Kong Island running from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan plus another route to Happy Valley. The earliest tram starts at 6: 00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. and the fair is HK$ 2 for adult and HK$ 1 for children under age12. It is the cheapest transportation in Hong Kong, and you are highly recommended to take a ride at the upper stairs so that you could enjoy all the street scenery of Hong Kong. 9. Star Ferry The scenery of Hong Kong harbor is famous in the world, especially the night scenery. Besides, there is spectacular light show by the commercial buildings in the Hong Kong island at 8:00 p.m. every night which you must not miss. The Star Ferry has been serving on the harbor for more than 100 years, and the fair is less than HK$3 per rides. You could take the Star Ferry from Cental to Tsim Sha Tsui at around 8:00 p.m. You could enjoy the harbor scenery on the ferry and continue with the light show at the Starlight Road of Tsim Sha Tsui. 10. Hong Kong International Airport The most convenient route to the Hong Kong International Airport is through the MTR which takes about 23 minutes from Central. It passes through stations of Kowloon, Olympic, Tsing Yi, and the train will be departed for every ten minutes. With the MTR, you would never miss the airplane due to the traditional traffic jam. Other than the MTR, you could take the Airport Bus which starts from 6:00 a.m. at the morning until 11:00 p.m. at night. It covers most part of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with major hotels.
In a life that is dictated by routines, vacations and travelling is a thing that helps keep us sane. The idea of taking annual leaves regularly makes a lot of sense. The last thing any of us want, on his or her travel, is a non-compatible travel partner. If you are on your own, traveling with a friend or looking for a travel companion, a few tips might help you from having a trip to hell. Here are seven tips for traveling as a couple: • Decide upfront why you are going and what you want to get out of the trip. • Money has the potential of destroying the best of friendships, let alone create problems if your travel companion is a mere acquaintance. Its best to decide what, where, and how much you will be spending on mutual expenses. • Prepare a tentative itinerary; places you want to visit, things to do and time to be spent at each location. • Travelling with some one has benefits, but even then, you should get sometime to yourself. Make allowance for time that each will be spending on their own. • Every one enjoys different aspects of travel. It’s good to figure out each others preferences before getting stuck together on a rather costly trip. Some of us are night people while others can’t keep their eyes open after dark. Some like everything decided and planned, others are more spontaneous. Some like to indulge in the culture while others prefer to immerse in the sights only. Make sure you and your companion share some views, if not all, regarding travelling. • Unless you are a 100% sure about the person you are travelling with, pack some earplugs, they can be a life line during an otherwise sleepless night. • Have an open mind & a generous heart. Give the other person some space & make the most of your solo time as well. Have fun and keep it enjoyable for both.
Planning ahead when you travel reduces stress. This is particularly important for a diabetic. These 5 diabetes travel tips are simple to implement and crucial to your diabetic management. They are particularly important if you are traveling abroad. 1) Have a pre-travel check-up. Make sure your A1C blood sugar levels; your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels are OK. Get the appropriate shots for any country you plan to visit. 2) Wear a diabetes medical ID. Ideally it should be in the language spoken in the country you're visiting. Not everyone speaks your language and you don't want medical problems through misunderstandings. 3) Keep your medication and glucose snacks in your hand-luggage. Check-in baggage does, unfortunately, go astray. Don't risk your diabetes medication by packing it in your main luggage. 4) Keep your medication in its original box, complete with pharmacy labels. It will prevent misunderstandings about why you are carrying drugs and, if you are on insulin, syringes. 5) Be aware of time zone changes, especially when altering your watch. Remember when you travel east your day becomes shorter; if you travel west your day becomes longer. You may need to alter the timings of your medication. Traveling need not be traumatic. A sensible attitude and a bit of pre-travel planning can make things go far more smoothly.