Travelling Companions

How to Love Your Travelling Companions – Top Tips For a Great Holiday Part 1

Apparently divorce rates are highest in January and September, so perhaps the only thing more dangerous to the status quo of a relationship than Christmas is a summer holiday. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – travelling together can be an incredible test of a relationship, it can bring you closer together or of course, it can mean losing a friend, lover or even a family member. Some would argue that if that’s the case, “they weren’t that good a friend to begin with”. Maybe they’re right, but for me I think the problem is that we can expect too much. The vision of the perfect holiday is the same as the vision of the perfect Christmas; great food, lots of fun together, relaxing, laughing, and of course the perfect gifts. And how many of us have actually experienced that? And I think we all know that it’s not through lack of effort – it’s just that we all have a slightly different vision of the perfect holiday.

Over the last few years I’ve travelled with my lover, my sister, several good friends, by myself, with a large group who I didn’t know at all beforehand but who shared a common interest in surfing, with my mother and brother and with my whole family several times – and each of those trips has had amazing moments and also moments when I’ve thought “was this really a good idea?”

There are times travelling with a lover when I’ve felt more alone than if I had been by myself. I’ve felt safer walking around Marrakech by myself than I did with two other girls. I’ve had moments of being able to open up spiritually and have a good cry on a deserted beach, when down the other end of it thirty people would share lunch with me. And I believe that each of those trips has taught me so much, not just about other people, but about myself.

If we were all emotionally and spiritually well developed we could “not sweat the small stuff” but on holiday, for some the high point of the year, not only are our expectations naturally higher, but we also have to deal with being outside our comfort zone, and sometimes the challenges of having our basic needs met can raise stress levels – whether it’s getting some sleep, something to eat, or finding somewhere to go to the toilet. All things that can make us lose our cool.

And I’ve been a nightmare. I’ve had a go at my boyfriend because he didn’t thank me for paying for our coffees in a café in New York, before realising later that day that he did a hundred things without me thanking him. I’ve taken over a relaxed backpacking holiday and insisted we stay in a 4 star hotel – giving my friend the choice of which of two nearly identical hotels we stayed in. I’ve burst into tears in a B&B in York because the bed was so uncomfortable, changed rooms three times and refused to take my clothes off – on what was meant to be a romantic break. I’ve got up at 5 or 6am to go off for a walk by myself while a friend was still sleeping and then complained how tired I was later (this is quite common.) I’ve sulked behind a book like a teenager when my mum was trying chat with me – in my late 20s. I’ve snarled at girls in a group in Morocco because I thought they had used the last of the hot water, and fought with a girl over a Twix when both our blood sugars were low (we apologised later.)

Oh yes, the blood sugar thing; I’ve stropped in Barcelona airport because everything was white bread sandwiches and I wasn’t going to eat that crap, I’ve stubbornly insisted that my boyfriend order breakfast in Paris (even though I speak French) before giving in and sulking for the entire meal, texted my sister that I was about to eat him when I had to wait half an hour for a pasty in the Peak District, and been a little bit afraid that a friend of mine was going to eat me when we couldn’t find anything to eat in the tiny city of St David’s in Wales. So yes, for me the very first, most important step to loving my fellow travellers on holiday is to take snacks. After the almost eating of my boyfriend in the Peak District we went straight to the supermarket and stocked up on Babybels, and packets of peanuts – and after Barcelona I now carry trekking bars wherever I go, yes I have a Nak’d snack bar in my handbag at all times. My niece is exactly the same – whenever she starts being fractious and refusing to get dressed I take her to the kitchen and stuff a bit of cheese in her mouth – 3 seconds later and she is sweetness again.

But it’s not all about the snacks. I’ve also argued about money, about which restaurant to eat in, about having to wait around for other people to get ready, and a million other little things.

Take travelling with my mum – she stresses about things, so to compensate I over-relax. When I would normally be cautious I am all super cool to the point that I have lost her boarding pass, spilled coffee all over myself as we run to get a car on a ferry – yup, and then I am annoyed at both myself and her. It’s n

Organized Travel Planning

Bon Voyage – Organized Travel Planning

Well, summer is finally here, and for many people, that means vacation time! Whether you plan to drive, fly, or travel by other means (a cruise, perhaps?), planning ahead will help your travel experience go off without a hitch.

I not only love to travel, I love to plan to travel. I can spend hours researching locales and lodging choices, preparing itineraries, packing, etc. Therefore, it seems only fitting to share some of my well-honed travel planning tips so that you can benefit from my travel planning addiction, and enjoy an organized travel experience. The 11 tips that follow may be common sense, but are not always commonly applied.

Create a Personalized Packing List – Create a packing list on your computer so that you can revise it constantly as you travel and realize what you forgot and would have liked with you, and what you could have left behind. My packing list is organized into the following major categories: Essentials, For Business, For the Beach, For Overseas Travel, For Active Vacations. It is then further broken down into subcategories that are specific enough to easily grab and check off each item without too much forethought (and certainly without that nagging feeling of forgetting something). My list has been customized over years of traveling. Make your list work for you and your family by personalizing it to match your needs.

Freshen Up Your Suitcases – Air out your bags before you pack. There is nothing worse than putting clean clothes in a stale smelling bag. (Hint: A scented dryer sheet or lavender sachet can work wonders.)

Check Luggage Guidelines – Go online and check your airline’s luggage guidelines to ensure that your carry on will fit, and that you will not be charged extra if you exceed the weight restriction.

Pre-Pack and Weigh – Print out your packing list in advance, and start laying out items so that you can get a visual snapshot of what you are bringing. It is wise to pre-pack in advance, especially with today’s strict airline luggage guidelines. I even recommend putting the items in the suitcase and weighing it. Better to know if you will make the cut at home when you can still remove things than to suffer an unexpected luggage fee at the airport.

Pack Extra Storage Bags – Pack a few storage bags for small items, like shoes, etc. Make sure that one is waterproof in case you need to pack wet bathing suits on the trip back home.

Get Your Gadgets in Order – Empty memory cards, and charge your phone and camera before you leave home. Consolidate power cords, chargers and extra batteries in your carry-on.

Refill Prescriptions – Refill prescription medications in advance, and pack in your carry-on in their original packaging in order to pass muster with the TSA. This also provides you with an easy way to remember the exact specifications in the rare event that the medication gets destroyed (melts in the sun, gets wet, etc.) or you are delayed longer than expected, and need to arrange a refill while still away from home.

Copy Important Documents – Carry duplicates of your passport and visa (if traveling outside of the country), travel itinerary, and any other vital documents that you need for safe travel, and keep them in a different location than the originals while traveling. Consider also emailing electronic copies to yourself or storing at a secure online site.

Give Your Wallet a Diet – Pare down the contents of your wallet to only what you need during travel. Only bring essential documents, such as driver’s license, medical insurance card (check to see if you have coverage if going outside of the country), passport, and credit cards.

Alert Credit Card Companies – Contact your bank and credit cards companies before you depart and inform them that you will be traveling, so that they will not be alarmed by out-of-town charges and put a security hold on your account.

Inventory the Contents of Your Suitcase – Take photos of your clothes, shoes, and jewelry, which will serve as documentation if your luggage gets lost or stolen. Download the shots onto your home computer or upload them to an online site just in case. It may seem like overkill (don’t all insurance and risk management measures seem so unless you need them?), but it will save you a lot of stress and money if your luggage gets lost or stolen, as well as peace of mind while traveling.

Do You Love to Travel

Do You Love to Travel?

If you could do anything with no limitations what would it be?

For me it is to Travel!! Where I want and when I want. Travel for me is what I enjoy spending my time and money on. If I could do it full time I would.

My love of travel started at a very young age with family trips to the ranch, a cousins’ home or to the Billings Montana, Holiday Inn when my Dad had to travel for work.

But the trip that I am most grateful for is the one when I was 10 years old and my brothers sent me, my Mom and sister to my grandmother’s home outside of London in 1976. That was the year of a great drought in England and all was not as green as my Mom always described to me.

But I was able to see the history up close. We went to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels and the Tower’s dark history.

That trip changed my life and made travel a true love of mine. I learned what travel is all about for me. It’s not just relaxation; it is learning what people in other countries are like. I have carried this feeling with me for over 30 years.

I went back three years ago with two of my sisters and it was a great trip. I was March and the weather was cool and sometimes rainy; very British! London has changed since I was last there; it is much more fast paced and has lots of Starbucks, but the old basic tourist sites are still as grand as ever. The new London Eye is a great way to see how massive the city is from up high and now in the summer months you can tour Buckingham Palace!

We even went back to my Mom’s hometown of Brentwood outside of London. We met up with our cousins who run the local pub and had a great time. Ruth my cousin picked us from the train station and we went to the pub for a night of fun and beers and conversation. They are wonderful fun and giving people and I am glad for barging in on their Monday night.

Travel Nursing

Enjoy the Perks of Travel Nursing

With the demand on nursing exceeding itself within the bounds of the local job market and military battle grounds, nursing has donned its uniform scrubs and put on its nursing shoes and begun to be a mobile occupation. The result is the creation of the Travel Nurse. Travel nursing jobs are located in all areas of the world and are usually procured through a travel nursing agency.

These agencies typically help healthcare professionals find a suitable job, provide help in filling out all the necessary forms, visas and certifications, negotiate with the potential employer and draw up a contract stating the terms of employment. The placement paperwork is much more complex (and lengthy) for an international travel nurse position but a good agency can take the sting out of the ever growing worldwide bureaucracy

Some agencies offer their clients an additional way to make some extra money by offering a bonus each time the nurse makes a successful referral of a new client to the agency. Because the travel nurse works at a variety of hospitals and medical facilities that are staffed with healthcare professionals who are not current travel nurses the opportunity to encourage referrals is endless. Some agency’s also offer their travel nurses a completion bonus upon completion of a contract.

The career as a travelling healthcare professional has many benefits. Salary ranges are generally higher, or at least equal to the nurses current salary. However, many travel positions subsidize both housing and utilities, and in some international positions, even provide transportation to and from the work site. Health and dental insurance is also provided for the client. These benefits leave more discretionary income to spend exploring the new area. Nursing uniforms are sometimes supplied by the employer, but in most cases the nurse should be prepared to bring her own supply of uniform scrubs and nursing shoes to the new job. Shopping for replacement nursing uniforms may be limited in some areas of the country and world, but damaged or worn out uniform scrubs can be readily purchased online at a variety of websites specializing in nursing uniforms and nursing shoes at discount prices.

While all travel expenses incurred in relocating to the new position are paid, some employers also offer paid vacations and bonuses after a number of months of service. This extra income helps cover recreational activities and sightseeing excursions at the new location.

Travel positions last from 8 to 13 weeks at a specific location, sometimes with an option to extend for another period of time. Often, however, nurses will work 4 separate 13 week jobs, each at a different location. For international nursing positions this means a nurse may get to stay in four separate areas of a country, gaining greater knowledge and understanding of the new culture. This also means that if a nurse lands in a job that he/she does not enjoy the stay in that job is only temporary and the option to move onto another position is only a few months away.

For most nurses, the biggest benefit is the ability to travel to other areas of the country or world with most of your expenses paid. Travel nurses love traveling. This new industry provides a unique opportunity to not only visit different parts of the world, but to actually live and work in a new culture. Working in different medical settings is part of a nurse’s continuing education as they are exposed to the differences in medical services from one area to the next. The travel nurse has the opportunity to become both teacher and student in the new work environment.

Best Careers Travel

10 Best Careers If You Love to Travel

Some people are perfectly happy with their desk jobs. Others like to live life to the fullest by traveling the world and taking in the sights of the various locales. If you find yourself belonging to the latter class of people, here are some of the best careers to turn your passion for travel into a paying job:

Exchange student

Technically not a job, but being an exchange student exposes you to other cultures while giving you a rock-solid advantage of learning about at least two cultures. Once the exams and internships are over, you’ll have a clear direction where to go once you are done studying.

Aid worker

Not as glamorous or as well-paying as other careers, but the opportunity to help people when and where they need it the most will work well for caring and empathic people who love to travel.

Tour guide

If you find yourself knowing a great deal about your local area, then being a tour guide will work well to bring in a little extra money in your pocket. You won’t get to fly around the world on a regular basis, but you will be walking, hiking or riding around a wide area on a regular basis.

Travel writer

Love traveling? Love writing? Mix them together, and you have a traveling writer. Not only can you indulge on your love to travel and exotic fare, but writing about it will earn you a hefty cash bonus if you know when and where to market your pieces.

English teacher

Native English teachers are highly sought in non-English speaking countries like Germany, France, Japan and Korea, which is an excellent opportunity to both teach and experience a whole new culture. The pay isn’t bad as well, since overseas teachers are rewarded handsomely for their services.

Pilot

If you have the brains, guts and presence of mind to fly tons of steel and computers, then a pilot’s life may just be the perfect thing to help you make the most of your traveling needs. The competition will be fierce and requirements tough, but the pay will be more than enough to compensate.

Sailor

If the high seas are what draws you to travel, then there are plenty of jobs in the merchant marine industry. Handling the equipment and gear is also a job fit for gear heads, while naval officers, ship engineers or even cooks are other positions that you can apply for on a ship.

Flight/cruise attendant

If you don’t want to pilot a plane or handle a ship itself, then you can sign up as a flight or cruise attendant. The competition is stiff, the pay is good, and you would go just about anywhere your flights take you; great for the courteous travel-bug who doesn’t skimp on the service.

Real estate broker

If you have an intimate knowledge of property values in varying states or provinces, then a real estate broker may be the job for you. Surveying potential property and bringing your clients to and fro the properties gives you plenty of opportunities for travel.

Overseas entrepreneur

Got big bucks lying around, like say a few million cool ones? Got an idea of a business that can benefit from centering your operations abroad? Then become an overseas entrepreneur, linking two countries or more together in business and reaping the rewards soon after.

Become a Travel Agent

Why the Timing is Right – Become a Travel Agent

Why the sudden surge in interest for the travel industry? Here are a few facts to consider when looking at a travel career as a career option.

Here are the facts:

Travel is a $7 Trillion dollar industry expected to double to $14 Trillion within the next decade.
This lucrative industry is currently growing 23% faster than the global economy.
A key factor in this growth phenomenon is the stream of baby boomers that are retiring, or getting ready to retire.
Baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 1 every 8 seconds.
Travel was rated the number one thing these baby boomers intend to do when they do retire.

When considering a career in the travel industry, there are several options available for those looking to work from home.

There is an increased demand for qualified travel agents, due to the explosive growth of the industry as a whole. To become a certified travel agent, your options are not limited to the traditional brick and mortar setting. Many reputable travel agencies now offer options for the individual looking for a legitimate home based business.

While doing your due diligence in researching whether this industry is a fit for you, consider that there are excellent income opportunities available to work from home.

If your goal is to work as an independent travel agent from the comfort of your own home, consider working as an online travel agent.

Here are some companies that you can research, that offer excellent training. Some of the companies will hire you as an employee, while others offer the freedom of being your own boss, and setting your own hours.

Do your due diligence!

Research each company carefully, and make it a priority to understand the compensation plan.
Know what training is available, and whether the company will offer you the opportunity to become certified.
Does the company have IATA, IATAN, ARC and CLIA affiliations?
What is the initial investment? Are there additional costs associated for licensing, or becoming certified?
If you are considering a work at home position, what kind of support is offered?

Are you a right fit for the travel industry?

Lets break down the qualifications that will determine whether you are suited for this challenging, but rewarding career.

Travel agents should have a minimum of a high school diploma.

Travel agents should have a love for travel. Enthusiasm and a love for working with people are crucial elements for success in this industry.

Travel agents should possess excellent multi-tasking and organization skills.

Great communication skills, as well as computer skills are essential.

Travel agents should possess a professional, courteous demeanor when working with suppliers, and the general public.

Attention to detail and accuracy are very important. Some sales ability is very helpful as well.

Now, the benefits of becoming a travel agent

The benefits of becoming a travel agent are many. I have listed the top three.

Travel agents save up to 80% on travel to many of the worlds exclusive resorts and destinations. These discounts include, but are not limited to:

Complimentary upgrades Hotel room upgrades and discounts

Car rental discounts and upgrades

Cruises

Theme park discounts

Vacation Packages

FAM trips, also known as familiarization trips. Suppliers want travel agents to have first hand knowledge of their facilities, so that the travel agent can make a recommendation based on personal knowledge and first hand experience.

The supplier will offer discounts and other perks, and roll out the red carpet to ensure the travel professional has an outstanding time.

Tax Benefits for individuals who chose to do this profession as an independent travel agent. Consult your CPA or tax professional for more information regarding this benefit.

Passport Covers

Personalized RFID Passport Covers For Those Who Love to Travel

Do you have a friend or relative that loves to travel? Are they impossible to buy presents for because he or she is always on the move? Do they avoid buying furniture or long-term leases, because they would rather be out in the world, exploring? Is their passport always with them instead of hiding in some random drawer like the rest of ours? For the avid traveler, passports are a point of pride. People love to get their passports stamped with all the places that they visit around the world as a memento of that fantastic time in their life. The best way to buy a gift for a travel buff (aside from airline miles) is to give them an accessory that will make sure safe travels: a passport case with RFID blocking features.

When you buy personalized RFID Passport Covers you are giving a gift for your friend or loved one that will protect their personal information from hackers with the RFID blocking feature of this item. These personalized covers are an excellent way to show your support and concern for their protect. If you want to memorialize a certain date or place that you traveled with a person, this is a great way to do it. You can also do something simpler, like their name, initials, or a nickname. If you are looking for a good gift for your boss, decorating their passport cover is a great idea. It also makes for a great wedding present, especially if the bride and groom are planning to honeymoon out of the country. You could put, “Just Married!” and the date on their passports so that they will always remember. If your son or daughter is going on a field trip to France or Italy, you can surprise them with a personalized passport cover with a message to memorialize the event.

There are many ways that you can personalize your RFID passport cover. Passport covers made from leather create a great medium that you can print on using several different methods. One possible way to personalize your cover is through applying a monogram. For example, you can have the person’s initials monogrammed on the cover. You can also choose to put the person’s entire name on the cover in a single line of script. This script is available in a range of fonts, sizes and colors. Another method is to apply the person’s name or initials using a specially designed foil stamp. It is available in a variety of colors. You can also deboss your passport cover. This process takes a chosen image or word and depresses it into the cover so that it shows in negative relief. This is a very attractive option that works extremely well with leather.

There are plenty of occasions for which a personalized passport cover would make a perfect gift. For example, there are weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, promotions, graduations, family events, first trip to a foreign country, etc. Whatever the reason for your gift giving opportunity, we have everything you need to offer an excellent quality item.

Art Travel

The Art of Travel

Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” And that is exactly how I feel. I imagine lots of people share this feeling with me. However I have come across a few people in my lifetime, a select, rare few, who unfortunately have not shared this viewpoint. And I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like if I thought as they did.

My love for travel developed early on. As a young child, I was blessed to have parents that took me all over the country. They both loved to take trips and learn about new places. Before I was even five years old, I had already been all across the Northwestern states, into two Canadian provinces and to two Hawaiian islands. Throughout my childhood, my mother and I would take road trips all over the country. When my father remarried, I lucked out with a stepmother who was not only amazing, but who also worked for Alaska Airlines. Because of her, I got to travel on any Alaska Airlines flight for free. In college I studied abroad twice and almost didn’t come back after the second time. It’s safe to say, I love to travel.

But like I said, I have met a few people in my lifetime that hate to travel. That think that their little corner in the U.S. is the best place on earth and they never want to experience anything else. Now, I know it’s not my place to judge but I can’t help but think of all they’re missing out on – experiences, cultures, people. Travel is how I changed my perspective on life; it’s how I developed compassion and empathy. How can people know what’s really out there, what life is really about, without experiencing the world first hand?