Dandong and Other Less-Known Attractions in China

Whether it is your first or 100th visit to China, it remains a vast and fascinating country with an endless list of things to do and see. The allure of ancient holy areas will draw you in while the massive mountains will feed your soul in a unique way. There are buzzing cities alive with action, cultural destinations and breath-taking natural beauty to uncover. The following three places are probably not part of mainstream tourist attractions, but should be on your must-see list anyway:

Dandong City and Port

Known as the biggest border city in China, Dandong has a dynamic history. The city offers a rich cultural experience to visitors while a bustling nightlife will leave those looking for action reeling. Daytime trips to destinations like the Yalu River Park and its bridges, and various memorials will keep tourists entertained and informed. What sets Dandong City apart is that although it is a busy city, it also offers natural beauty in its awe-inspiring mountain ranges and natural springs and is a major business hub because of its port activity. One of the city’s notable destinations is the Port of Dandong, founded by businessman Wang Wenliang. Located on the bank of the Yalu River, the port is one of China’s major distribution centres and offers passenger transport, container and cargo transportation and foreign ship maintenance.

The Rainbow Mountains

Named Rainbow Mountains because of its dazzling colors, Zhangye’s Danxia landscape is a prime destination for local photographers, but largely ignored by ordinary travellers visiting China. Many of the curved and layered formations are hundreds of meters high and appear almost alien-like when the sun is shining on it and all of its colors are revealed. The textures and curves that make up the great heights create an interesting juxtaposition of shadow and light which is highly regarded as prime photographic material. The enormous rock formations of the Rainbow Mountains are located in Gansu Shangye National Geopark in the foothills of the Qilian Mountains, and cover an area of 124 square miles. It was voted as one of the six most beautiful landforms in China by the Chinese National Geography.

Longxing Temple

Known as the first temple to the South of Beijing, the Longxing Monastery was an ancient temple in the Zhejiang province. Not even many locals are aware that the oldest known Buddhist pillar was all that remained of the Longxing Temple for several years before it was rebuilt by the government and a protective pavilion was built around the pillar. Artistic and religious values are combined in Buddhist pillars that are usually octagonal in shape and contain carvings of Bodhisattvas, Buddha, Buddhist scriptures and auspicious clouds. It is rumored that the scriptures were added by Hu Jiliang, a calligrapher who was well-known during the Tang Dynasty. Visiting this temple is the perfect way in which you can get an authentic feel for ancient China and experience the peaceful resonance of a Buddhist temple without competing with other tourists.

Your To-Do List Before Visiting Zion National Park

Home to diverse terrain, breathtaking colors, an abundance of wildlife and plant life, numerous hiking trails and other adventures, it’s no surprise why Zion National Park attracts millions of visitors each year.

But with all there is to see, do and know about Zion National Park before your first visit, planning your trip can seem like an intimidating task. It doesn’t have to be, though. And thanks to our helpful list, you can easily plan and check off everything you need to do to ensure a well planned and thoroughly enjoyed trip to one of America’s most beautiful national parks.

  • Book your lodging.

First things first, you want to make sure you have a place to stay after a day spent traipsing Zion’s trails. Especially if you plan on visiting during the peak season—April through October—the sooner you book your lodging at Zion National Park, the better. Large groups would enjoy a comfortable stay in a vacation home, while the more outdoorsy types can rest their heads in a cabin, furnished wagon or even try out glamping.

  • Know the area and current conditions.

If you’ve never been to Southern Utah, there’s one thing to know about the weather—it’s extremely diverse. In the summer, temperatures can easily climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so most Zion National Park visitors will check out the hikes and sights in the early mornings and late evenings to avoid immense heat. Spring and fall have the best weather conditions. Temperatures typically stay between 60-90 degrees, but cool, rainy weather is more likely during these seasons. Also, water levels in the canyons can quickly rise during the springtime, forcing some hiking trails to close. Fall brings with it mild temperatures, clear days, gorgeous autumn colors and lower water levels.

Use the National Park Service’s website to check the current conditions of Zion National Park. It keeps you updated on weather, river, trail and road conditions, as well as any park closures.

  • Decide what you want to see and do.

Once you know the season’s conditions, you can better plan what Zion National Park adventures you’re going to cross off your bucket list this visit. There’s a profusion of things to see and do, so don’t plan on seeing and doing everything this trip, but the following is a summary of the top Zion National Park attractions and activities.

  • The Narrows: If you like water, tight spaces and adventure, you’ll love this slot canyon journey. Its canyon walls stretch up to 2,000 feet high, while some of the slot spaces are only a few feet wide. You can either hike the full, 10-mile round trip distance through the Virgin River or just hike it for an hour and still have a fun experience.
  • Angels Landing: This hike isn’t for first-time hikers. It’s a vigorous, 5.4-mile climb upward that will test your feet, your heart and your fear of heights. Our advice, definitely hike this one in the morning.
  • Canyon Overlook Trail: Families and less-experienced hikers love this trail because it’s only 1 mile and provides a breathtaking view of the area, especially at sunset.
  • Emerald Pools Trail: The cool thing about the Emerald Pools Trail is that it gives you options. There are three natural pools you can hike to, and whether you do one or all three, you’ll be led to rushing waterfalls and picturesque scenery without putting forth much effort to see it.
  • Observation Point: According to some, Observation Point offers the best view of Zion National Park of all its lookout spots. Bring your camera for this one.

There are plenty of other attractions to see and activities to take part in, such as horseback riding, Jeep tours and canyoneering. It’s up to you to decide what you prefer to experience in the time you have.

  • Pack your bag of essentials.

You’re not ready for a day exploring Zion National Park unless you’ve packed a backpack of essentials to prepare you for whatever the day might bring. To keep you safe, hydrated, energized and free of burns and insect bites, be sure to include the following in your hiking bag:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and/or brimmed hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Travel size first-aid kit
  • Snacks (i.e. power bar, trail mix, etc.)
  • At least 1 gallon of water

You also want to make sure you have the right clothing and shoes for hiking Zion’s trails. If you’re hiking the Narrows, bring a wet suit. For all other hikes, wear sturdy hiking boots and clothes that fit the season and different temperatures you could experience throughout the day.

Never Cut Safety When Looking to Save Money on Travel

If you love to get out and travel in your recreational vehicle, consider yourself part of a large group.

With that being the case, you never want to cut safety in looking to save money on your travel excursions. While it may be tempting to make a cut here or there, such moves can put you and others at risk.

The same holds true if you decide to permanently live in your RV.

With your RV, you don’t have to spend money on hotels and other such needs unless you want to.

Another of the nice things with living in a RV is that you can pick up and go whenever you choose. As such, you want your RV to be as organized and spotless as possible.

A messy RV inside and out can lead to potential safety issues, placing you and others in danger.

So, will you make sure you never sidestep safety when wanting to save money on your travels?

Be Driven to Own and Operate a Safe RV

So that you and those around you can be as safe as possible in your RV, remember the following:

1. Avoiding fire hazards – When living out of your RV, it can be easy to accumulate various items. As such, there is always the potential for fire hazards. Avoid having papers and other flammable items near wiring and cooking areas. Also be sure you carry a fire extinguisher with you should a fire break out in or outside your vehicle.

2. Knowing what is around you – Unlike a car or even smaller SUV, it can be difficult in an RV seeing all that is around you. That said having the right resources on hand can lessen the chances of an accident. Adding an RV backup camera makes perfect sense. The device allows you to see both vehicles and people behind you and to the side. In doing so, you are much less likely to strike a vehicle, other individual, even a standing object. By combining technology and safety, you win.

3. Keeping your RV up to speed on maintenance – Even if not traveling in your RV soon, don’t slack on maintenance needs. Always make sure all fluid levels kept up, tires have the right pressure, and the brakes are good to go. It can be easy to cut back on regular maintenance needs, especially if money is a factor.

Your Driving Habits Matter Too

As important as it is to not cut safety in owning and traveling with your RV, your driving habits matter too.

Among your most important areas of focus:

1. Reckless driving – With the size and power of an RV, it can be a true force of nature. That said never engage in any forms of reckless driving. This is especially the case when it comes to road rage. If someone cuts you off, tailgates or does other reckless habits, don’t engage them. There are plenty of other drivers of RV’s, cars and trucks out on the roads. Do your best to share the road in a safe manner.

2. Dozing off – Dozing off behind the wheel can come with deadly consequences. That said do your best to be bright-eyed when driving. If you have another adult driver or two in the RV, let them share in the driving. In the event you are driving alone, be sure to pull off to a safe side of the road if you need to catch a power nap. The best break place is a rest stop along the highway.

Traveling in an RV is a great way to see the country. If you call your RV home that is even better.

Always remember to drive home safety when living in and driving your RV.

While saving money on travel is great, there is no price you can put on your life and the lives of others.

The hidden charges of car rental sites

When соllесtіng уоur rеntаl саr there аrе a fеw things уоu need tо take іntо ассоunt before drіvіng аwау tо еnѕurе that уоu’rе nоt gоіng to get аnу nasty ѕurрrіѕеѕ lаtеr. Firstly dоn’t fоrgеt to gіvе thе саr a gооd lооk аrоund for signs оf any оbvіоuѕ dаmаgе. Be ѕurе to do a thоrоugh rеаd of the ѕmаll рrіnt аnd аѕk рlеntу of questions whеn іt comes to саr hire. Often a ѕееmіnglу low dаіlу rate саn become a mоnѕtеr whеn it’s tіmе to рау аnd all thе hіddеn fееѕ are саlсulаtеd. If уоu fіnd аnу fаultѕ thаt аrе not аlrеаdу hіghlіghtеd оn the rental рареrwоrk, rероrt thеm bасk tо the rental company, рrеfеrаblу bеfоrе drіvіng away. Bellow are some of the hidden charges of car rental sites.

Refueling: If the саr nееdѕ to bе rеturnеd wіth a full tаnk of petrol give yourself thе tіmе to gеt thаt dоnе аѕ rеfuеlіng аt the car hire company pumps wіll be mоrе expensive.

Clеаnlіnеѕѕ: Exасtlу whаt соnѕtіtutеѕ a clean саr? Gеt a gооd understanding and a lіѕt іf роѕѕіblе. Alѕо check out thе саr bеfоrе you lеаvе with a соmраnу еmрlоуее tо іdеntіfу аnу рrоblеmѕ with сlеаnlіnеѕѕ so уоu don’t get ѕluggеd wіth сlеаnіng fееѕ uроn return fоr someone else’s mess.

Smoking: Ask about ѕmоkіng іnѕіdе thе саr. Even if it іѕ fіttеd wіth аѕhtrауѕ уоu may not bе реrmіttеd tо hаvе сіgаrеttеѕ іn the vеhісlе. Smоkіng lеаvеѕ bеhіnd a ѕtrоng оdоur and араrt frоm аn еxtrа charge fоr ѕmоkіng you wіll рrоbаblу also fасе a large сlеаnіng bіll.

Unѕеаlеd rоаdѕ: Gеt clear dіrесtіоnѕ оn where уоu can drіvе thе vehicles аnd where уоu аrе not реrmіttеd tо tаkе іt. Mаnу unѕеаlеd rоаdѕ are not allowable. If уоu hаvе a breakdown or accident on оnе of thеѕе types оf roads уоu wіll bе сhаrgеd аnd роѕѕіblу thе іnѕurаnсе vоіdеd.

Drіvеr age: Undеr 25 years оld will likely аttrасt аn еxtrа fее, аnd thаt mау be even hіghеr іf undеr 21.

Sаlеѕ tаx: Thіѕ wіll vаrу frоm рlасе to рlасе but wіll likely nоt bе аvоіdеd as it іѕ a government сhаrgе. Be sure to аѕk аbоut thе rаtе of ѕаlеѕ tax tо avoid it bесоmіng a hіddеn cost bесаuѕе you wеrеn’t аwаrе of it.

Inѕurаnсе: Insurance wіll always have several areas tо соnѕіdеr. You wіll need tо fіnd оut what еxtrа insurance thе соmраnу оffеrѕ. Dоеѕ the insurance соvеr аnу dаmаgе оссurrіng frоm striking thе roof оf саr/vаn? Arе the tyres аnd wіndѕсrееn соvеrеd bу іnѕurаnсе? Whаt аrе the еxсеѕѕ car charges? The еxсеѕѕ is thе amount you agree to рау up tо іf dаmаgе occurs. Thеrе wіll likely bе an орtіоnаl сhаrgе реr dау tо lоwеr or remove thе еxсеѕѕ аnd thіѕ wіll vary widely. In order to avoid the high charges related to Car Hire Excess Insurance, we recommend that you purchase this coverage directrly from an independaqnt insurance provider like and not from the rental company itself.

Extrа Kіlоmеtrеѕ: Sоmе vehicles may hаvе unlimited kіlоmеtеrѕ included іn thе оvеrаll соѕtіng. Be ѕurе tо find оut bеfоrе сhооѕіng уоur vеhісlе. If уоu еxсееd a dаіlу kіlоmеtrе lіmіt thе extra саn аdd uр аѕ a hidden оr mіѕсаlсulаtеd соѕt.

Aіrроrt Pick Uр: Bесаuѕе аіrроrtѕ charge thе car hіrе соmраnу fоr thе рrіvіlеgе оf having the convenience of lосаtіоn, thаt charge will be passed on tо you. Thе оnlу wау tо avoid it іѕ tо lооk аt the options for рісkіng up уоur hіrе vehicle in a place оthеr than the airport. If уоu саn get аrоund thе inconvenience оf travelling tо рісk uр your саr thеn уоu may bе saving yourself a tіdу ѕum оf money.

Bаbу Cаr Sеаtѕ: Bаbу car ѕеаtѕ wіll рrоbаblу аttrасt аn extra dаіlу hire fee. Thіѕ wіll аррlу tо mаnу things уоu might need so bе ѕurе tо аѕk іf you nееd еxtrаѕ like a bаbу саr ѕеаt or rооf rасkѕ.

Eаrlу/Lаtе Rеturn Pеnаltіеѕ: You’ll probably bе hіt wіth late rеturn fees in mоѕt саѕеѕ so dо trу аnd gіvе yourself еxtrа time to gеt уоur fuеl аnd gеt thе car bасk. It mау аlѕо ѕееm ѕtrаngе but rеturnіng a саr early is nоt аlwауѕ a gооd wау to save money. If you hаvе bееn gіvеn a ѕресіаl рrісе fоr a сеrtаіn аmоunt of days hіrе аnd уоu rеturn еаrlу, that arrangement will lіkеlу bе voided аnd the cost may revert tо the rеgulаr rates.

Addіtіоnаl Drіvеrѕ: Nеvеr аѕѕumе thаt оnсе you hіrе thе саr anyone wіth a lісеnсе can drіvе іt. It іѕ uѕuаllу оnlу thе реrѕоn who signs thе agreement thаt саn drіvе the vеhісlе. Sоmе mау аllоw a spouse іf prearranged аnd mаnу wіll аllоw еxtrа drivers fоr аn extra соѕt.

Post Rental Chаrgеѕ: Pаrkіng Fine аdmіnіѕtrаtіоn fее. Juѕt whеn уоu thоught уоu wеrе safe аnd the саr rental реrіоd іѕ over аnd уоu’vе paid up whаt уоu оwе, thеrе mау ѕtіll bе ѕоmе еxtrа соѕtѕ аftеrwаrdѕ. Thеѕе can arise frоm thіngѕ like раrkіng fines ѕо bе ѕurе tо bе clear оn how muсh this іѕ.

Collecting thе Rеntаl Cаr: When соllесtіng уоur rеntаl саr there аrе a fеw things уоu need tо take іntо ассоunt before drіvіng аwау tо еnѕurе that уоu’rе nоt gоіng to get аnу nasty ѕurрrіѕеѕ lаtеr. Firstly dоn’t fоrgеt to gіvе thе саr a gооd lооk аrоund for signs оf any оbvіоuѕ dаmаgе thаt’ѕ not on the рареrwоrk. Thіѕ іѕ a notorious ѕсаm of thе lеѕѕ reputable саr hіrе fіrmѕ so check.

Different Ways You Can Travel to Other Countries for Free

Wanderlust is not an easy thing to satisfy. If you’ve been aching to explore new worlds, learn new languages, experience new cultures, and mingle with different kinds of people, budget limitations will be your main enemy. That is if you don’t know your way around free travel.

Yes, you can actually travel to other countries for free. Most of these opportunities will require a little bit of volunteer work for you, but it sure beats spending thousands on travel tickets and accommodation. To help you appease your wanderlust, we’ve rounded up some of the different ways you can travel to other countries and explore the world for free.

Participating in the Young Investigator Travel Award Program

If you have a knack for scientific exploration, and discreet investigations, you may participate in the Young Investigator Travel Awards headed by American Pain Society (APS). APS offers travel provisions and allowance to individuals with a background in research training (medicine, biostatistics, basic science, clinical science, and psychology. This is open to every individual who’s currently undergoing training in the degrees and fields mentioned.

Work at US Summer Camps

Children who want to enjoy all kinds of fun, summer activities flock to hundreds of Summer camps in America during the hottest season of the year. If you want to travel across America and live out your life-long cross country travelling dream, this opportunity is the perfect option for you. You’ll get to facilitate enjoyable outdoor activities with fun-loving kids and be one with nature. You’ll also get the chance to meet people and children of all walks of life, get paid, and enjoy free accommodation and food, on top of free travel expenses.

Write about Travel or Start a Travel Blog

Whether you’re guest writing for a prominent newspaper, or documenting your own travel experiences in an online journal or blog, you may want to start building a solid following to get press trip invitations from hotels, restaurants, and airlines. Some of these press trips even offer extra tickets to share with some of your closest friends and loved ones. The same applies to models and social media influencers. Still, don’t believe in the power of a solid following? Now, you do.

Teach English

If you think being an English teacher is difficult, you couldn’t be more wrong. All it needs to become a certified English teacher in any country other than the US is a completed TESOL or TEFL certification. With this requirement accomplished, you can easily travel to so many countries for free, with allowances, salary, and food, accommodation, and even insurance benefits. It’s important to note, however, that the amount you’re going to receive as payment for your services depends on the country you’re working in.


With the rise of so many working opportunities, we will be looking at much more ways to explore the world for free. If you harbour an adventurous spirit and you want to take every free opportunity that comes your way, you may want to try out some of these fun and free chances to travel, meet new people and explore cultures while you’re at it.

You Have to See Giant’s Causeway to Believe It

Perhaps you have a travel bucket list filled with destinations around the world which you plan to visit (hopefully sooner than later). Lists like these tend to contain big-ticket attractions and locales: the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, etc. Once you start to dig a little deeper into the hidden wonders all around the world, you’re going to want to update your list. Long travel lists may seem daunting, but with so many exciting spots to look forward, that’s a good problem to have.

One such place that we recommend wholeheartedly is Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. We recommend looking at some pictures to truly understand what the Causeway is, but we’ll try to explain it here as well.

Most people don’t know that Northern Ireland has a colorful volcanic history. Many epochs ago, a volcano released lava across the surface of the ground 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Bushmills. The lava slowly cooled, but not all depths of the lava cooled at the same rate. So, as one layer dried, a deeper layer remained molten. As these deeper layers cooled, they shrunk, causing the higher levels to crack and pull apart. These fractures weren’t random – they formed unique pentagonal columns that fit together like a puzzle, creating a walkable surface that boggles the mind.

The Giant’s Causeway is a geometrical natural wonder unlike anything you’ll see in the rest of the world. A guided bus tour is available from Belfast from Allen’s Tours. This tour will explain the historical and geological points of interest that made and make the Giant’s Causeway such a fascinating locale. You’ll learn about how these ancient structures existed through some of humanity’s most important events and periods.

But a visit to Giant’s Causeway isn’t all about looking and learning; it’s also a very hands-on experience. You can do much more than watch from the sidelines. Once you depart your tour bus, you’ll be able to walk along the unique floor, take pictures, and even climb some of the higher basalt columns that tower overlooking the water they border.

In this way, the Giant’s Causeway is a perfect day trip for individuals, couples, and families. All ages will find something engaging about this trip. Anyone with eyes will find the gorgeous and austere structures impressive. Those with a mind for history, both human and natural, will find many points of interest in the guided tour. Those who like a physical challenge will enjoy walking, climbing, and exploring the massive area covered by the Giant’s Causeway. The budget-conscious in your party will be pleased at the price and payoff of this journey.

Once you’re done at Giant’s Causeway, great food and attractions lie in nearby villages. You’ll have a lot to talk about and remember from your day trip, so take a break, have a bite, and a cold drink at one of the charming villages. Make sure to take plenty of pictures, because you’ll want to impress upon your friends who didn’t have the privilege of joining you the excitement of your trip to Giant’s Causeway.

How to Travel in New York City

New York City is a truly marvelous place in that it’s managed to get practically everything you could possibly need or want into a very small space. The island of Manhattan is just 13 miles long! However, you’re not going to want to spend the whole time in just one place. When it comes to traveling here, you have several options.


Walking and biking are probably two of the best ways to get around because everything is set so close together. Plus, the whole city is on a grid system, so you basically just have to follow the numbers up or down as you head in the cardinal directions. You don’t have to worry about parking or how much a cab will cost, you don’t have to map out each subway stop so that you’re not stuck waiting around. Plus, you burn calories along the way! However, both types of transport can be fairly dangerous with all the cross-traffic, so you may want to be especially on your guard regardless of where you are. But if you think you can hack it, all you should do is get those feet moving and you’ll be a traveling man (or woman!)


Driving in New York City can be a challenge, but if you picture yourself in a video game it might get a little easier. All those obstacles in front of you just give you extra points for getting past them safely. It’s all part of New York defensive driving, and it takes a person who’s skilled in street smarts to do it. No matter how good you are at operating a vehicle though, some pedestrians, bikers, and fellow drivers can seem like they have a death wish! Don’t cause an accident just because they’re distracted (or angry, stressed, etc.) by taking a defensive driving course. Not only can these classes help in the case of a ticket, but it can also save you money on your auto insurance. You may find yourself saving 10% for the next three years. Talk about adding a little bit of incentive to the drive!

Public Transportation

The subway system is New York City is legendary…if a little complicated. The same with the many, many public busses that supplement the subway, and make it possible for people to get to work, school, and back home again. It takes a little while to navigate your way through it all, and all the different lines, time tables and schedules can confuse even the more oriented person. However, if you’re planning to spend any amount of time in the city, it’s often worth it just to learn it. Just maybe don’t expect a lot of support from the people of New York City if you have questions or concerns. It’s not that they want you to get lost, it’s more that they have other stuff going on that happens to be more important to them. Don’t take it personally.


Cabs are no doubt more expensive, but they’re also convenient. There are many benefits of driving for the TLC. Plus, they can end up giving you a delightful story if your driver happens to be on the talkative side. With all the many stories and conversations that are happening all around the city, this is your time to be in on the action. The enclosed space and the shared destination gives you something to talk about. Plus, when it starts raining or you realize your boots weren’t quite made for walking, this can be what saves you from a truly miserable situation.

My Zante Experience With Tidal Zante

After going to Zante on a girls holiday back in 2015, I decided I wanted to work out there for a season with Summer Takeover last year.  This was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, a week in Zante is never going to be long enough to explore everything the island has to offer.  Making the Greek paradise my home for a few sunny months was a completely new experience, I made so many new friends and learned loads of things about myself along the way!

I headed out in May with the intention of staying for a month – in the end I missed my return flight and stayed until August because I was having such a good time.  I couldn’t bear the thought of going home, I was enjoying spending my days tanning and my nights getting loose behind the bar, before heading to a club and then onto an after-hours workers party.  It was like being in a movie, I was living like it was the weekend every day.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful – many hungover days were spent exploring beaches or heading out to Shipwreck Cove.  You really feel like you connect to the island, it’s magical.

One element of my time in Zante that really stands out were the Tidal ZanteEvents boat parties, I couldn’t even count up how many I attended but I loved every one of them!  I’ve never been on a boat party like it, there were special effects like smoke cannons and and firework displays, and different live DJs every week.  There are only a limited number of tickets per event, and these sell out well in advance, we actually ended up getting season passes after the first one as we knew we’d be back!  I like to think we got our money’s-worth from these – I’m pretty sure we did as we absolutely hammered the one hour free bar once we were aboard.

Amazing boat parties aside, there are loads of other things that make Zante so special.  With so many clubs to choose from, we never knew where the night was going to take us.  Firm favourites were Zeros, Rescue Club and Paradise Cocktail bar – but the bit everyone looked forward to most has to be the workers after parties at CherryBay.  For daytime debauchery we loved getting dressed up for Pure Beach Club, it had all the vibes of Ibiza for a fraction of the price!

I’ll be heading back out to Zante this summer, I’m already counting down the weeks.  I’m thinking of trying my hand at ticket selling or PR work this time around as the commission is so good, but I’ll miss my tipsy shifts behind the bar…

10 Tips on How to Travel Cheaper, Greener, and Safer

Whether you’re a solo traveller wanting to explore the world or a family just trying to enjoy the holiday season, knowing how to travel cheap, green and safe is important. There are plenty of travel tips and tricks you can master to make your trips that much more enjoyable, but these next 10 top tips will help you get started right away.


Royalty free photo

Book Early

Always try to book your hotels and flights early whenever possible. You can find great deals on hotels and flights when you plan your trip early. If you’re thinking about taking the entire family to Tenerife, for instance, you can find deals from Adeje Gran Hotel and other great properties in the area.

Research the Area

Find out more about the things you can do at the destination. You should also learn more about local customs and safety tips before your trip. The information will help you prepare for any situation you might have to deal with along the way.

Pack the Right Carry-On Gear

A small torch, an umbrella, a multi-tool and a first aid kit could be just what you need to save the day. Depending on when and where you’re traveling, you may need to pack these items into your daypack for extra convenience.

Stay Connected

There are plenty of Wi-Fi rentals and local SIM card deals available online. It’s always best to make sure you can connect to the internet easily at your destination. Don’t rely on hotel Wi-Fi and always have a backup internet connection for when you need to check something online.

Smartphone and Batteries

Your smartphone is now officially the best traveling buddy to have. You can book hotels, search information and do virtually everything on a smartphone. Make sure you can charge your phone easily and that you carry spare batteries – or a power pack – just to be extra safe.

Have Backup Cards and Emergency Cash

These two things, a backup credit card (or a couple of them) and emergency cash, should be packed separately. You need to be able to resort to these emergency items should – God forbid – your daypack get stolen during the trip.

Have Travel Insurance

I know paying a fee for several trips without making any claim seems like a waste of money, but you should never stop buying travel insurance, especially when you’re traveling abroad. You never know when the insurance coverage might save you.

Check Your Documents

Make sure you have at least 6 months before your passport expires if you’re traveling overseas. You should also make sure you have a valid visa – or can get one upon arrival – and that you make copies of all your travel documents. Remember that separate bag you use to store the emergency cards and cash? Pack copies of your travel documents there too.

In Case of an Emergency…

It is also important to add your emergency contact information to your luggage tags and other personal items. Don’t forget to check how you can deal with emergencies on your trip too; for instance, you should know what to do if you lose your passport, such as where the embassy is located and what other things you need to prepare.

Prepare for Some Fun

Last but not least, always prepare yourself for some fun. That’s what holidays are all about. You may need to prepare some time before the actual departure, just to anticipate traffic and other possible issues. Leaving in a stressful condition is not how you want to start your trip.

3 Ways to Make Business Travel More Efficient and Fun

Business traveling can be a boon or a bummer, depending on how you handle it. This is especially true if you frequently travel internationally. Sure, you can stumble around jetlagged, asking strangers for directions in a language they don’t speak. Or you can hit the new time zone rested and ready, enjoying the sights when you’re not on the job. International business travel is an opportunity, if nothing else. It’s an opportunity to see the world on someone else’s dime, and getting paid to do it. Here are three ways to go from zero to hero in the world of frequent international business travel.

Know Your Sleep Limits and Prepare for Them. It’s important not to be too tired when you’re traveling. This will keep you from being effective in the board room, and from having fun on the boardwalk. One way to prepare is to sleep as little as possible on the flight. As long as you don’t have to hit the ground running, you want to feel tired when you get to your hotel room, and you want it to be late evening or night if at all possible. Ask your doctor for something to help you sleep to fend off jetlag, and have it ready when you arrive in the new country. Head straight to your hotel – do not pass go, do not collect $200. Make the room as dark as possible, turn on the fan for some ambient noise so you won’t be disturbed, set your alarm for a sensible time in the morning, and konk out as hard as you can. One great night of sleep following self-induced travel exhaustion is one of the best ways to get the jump on jetlag. Your best personal method may be somewhat different, but this is a tactic that’s useful to many.

Prepare for Communication. Traveling abroad, you’ll want to communicate with the folks back home, both family and coworkers. The Business Calling Enjoyprepaid plan is one of the best, and Enjoyprepaid works in many nations all over the world. Beyond this, it’s important to understand the communication technology conventions of the nation you are visiting. Is WiFi available in most public spaces, or is it limited to internet cafes where you pay by the hour? Can you expect to use your phone or should you make other plans? How much will data rates cost you, and is it possible to buy a chip that’s specific to the part of the world you’re living in so you can use your phone without incurring massive costs? Spend awhile reading about others’ experiences traveling in the new country and avoid the worst.

Know What Does and Doesn’t Work. It’s important to read experiences of other travelers from your country, to the country you’ll be staying in. This will clue you into the best eats and night spots, while avoiding getting bummed out by stomach bugs and predatory tourist hawks.

International business travel is as good as your methods. If you don’t know how to prepare, it can be a real drag. If you know how to handle yourself abroad, nothing’s going to get you down. Have a blast!