Credit card and money safety when travelling


Credit cards are a good way to keep track of expenses abroad. They are generally safer than carrying around cash, but their potential spending power makes them a target for scammers and thieves. A few simple precautions can cut your risk and help you have a trouble-free holiday.

When your credit card goes missing or is stolen in your home country it’s a worrying time but you probably know what to do: report the theft straight away to the police then call your bank to cancel the card and order a new one. While you wait for the new card it is likely that you have access to an alternative source of money. But what if your card is lost or stolen on holiday or just before you travel?

Credit cards are a good way to keep track of expenses abroad. They are generally safer than carrying around cash, but their potential spending power makes them a target for scammers and thieves. A few simple precautions can cut your risk and help you have a trouble-free holiday.

I’ve always thought of my credit card as my life line to home. If all else fails I feel better with the knowledge that I could ‘charge’ my way out of a city or country. So like I am sure you do I treat this piece plastic with great care.
One of the most obvious methods I use to safe guard my credit card is limiting it’s use to those times when I absolutely need to use it. Otherwise, depending on the location I am traveling, I keep it tucked way in money belt where it is far less likely to get stolen. I don’t charge purchases to a business account sso I find more practical to simply use cash.

I also leave the thick heavy wallet at home. I don’t need to carry around every single bit of plastic I own. Instead I use a Jimi and carry the essentials. This approach has worked well for me. Lastly I safeguard my credit cards and wallet by keeping a small wad of cash in my pocket and at the ready at all times. I take out the cash to pay the receipt and not the wallet. It stays tucked away out of reach.


How To Store Your Photos While Traveling

Traveling

Last time I was on a trip I took five hundred and forty two photos over the course of two weeks. Some of the people writing this just looked at that number in total shock. The shutterbugs reading this just scoffed at how many shots I must have passed up to have such a low number. Avid travel photographers – or just travelers who like to snap some photos – know how fast these images can add up. Which might not seem like a big deal, but for the sake of organization, it can be a bit of a problem.

This is an issue myself and many people I know face every time they travel. Most of us will go to multiple places, one after another, and take a lot of pictures along the way. Trips can last a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or for some of my hardcore travel buddies, a couple of years. One of my friends just got back from a three year long trip around Southeast Asia. One of his biggest issues, he said, was keeping track of all of the photos he took along the way. Especially since he is a professional photographer, and had clients who would ultimately be buying those shots.

But don’t fret! Whether you are a going away for a couple of days in another town, or you are traveling across the globe for an extended journey, you can store your photos easily.

Backing Up Photos Online

Dropbox Backing Up Photos Online

This should be something everyone is doing. It just makes sense, not only for storage but for sharing. Cloud services are all over the place, as are basic photo upload sites. Flickr is always a popular one, as is the Amazon cloud drive. Anything you prefer would work, as long as it provides you with enough storage space to fit your needs, or the ability to expand it.

Some people swear by storage desktop services like Box and Dropbox, and I like them both for many things. But I tend not to use them as much for travel, or recommend them. Only because not everyone has access to a computer all the time, whereas many digital cameras or mobile devices now have internet access that lets you upload photos online without a dedicated PC or laptop.

SD Cards

Something my friend mentioned above did was use SD cards, and I mean a lot of them. What he would do was dedicate one card to each location, then load photos on that card every time he went back. So he would have photos from various dates on the same card, but still easily sorted thanks to it being from a single region.

This might not be something that is needed for everything, a nd ultimately you will want to find your own system. But at the very least, SD cards offer a space efficient and simple way to back large amounts of photos and video files in one place.

Hard Drive Storage

Hard Drive Storage

This is, to me, both a good and bad way to store photos. On one hand, you have a lot of space and the ability to move things over from your computer to another source at the drop of a hat. Plus, many people take their laptops with them when traveling. On the other, if your hard drive crashes you could lose everything.

I would say you can use a hard drive storage option, but you should have a secondary means of backing everything up. A hard drive plus cloud storage should do it.

Conclusion

You don’t have to limit yourself in how many photos you take just because you are worried about storing them. Digital photos have made it easy to take all the pictures you want, then store them safely for long periods of time. All it takes is a little planning, which should be simple enough; you will be carefully planning every other facet of your trip, after all.

Have some tips on how to store photos while traveling? Let us know in the comments.

Michelle Fach is the travel geek writing for Dobovo, the free travel tool that helps you find accommodation across Eastern Europe (including Kiev, Odessa and Lviv). You can follow us on Twitter as @Dobovo


Discover Iceland’s Landmarks With Reykjavik Excursions

While many people think of Iceland as a place frozen in snow and filled with chilly winds, this is far from the truth. Iceland is filled with many attractions that are exciting, fun, and refreshing. If you are looking for an extraordinary holiday that is far more than a city break, visit Reykjavik. Peaceful yet vibrant, Iceland’s capital city is unlike any other. The town offers a unique combination of leisure and adventure and is filled with attractions for all ages. Think of beautiful museums, art galleries, high-end restaurants, horse riding tours, refreshing thermal pools, and dazzling bars and nightclubs. Where else can you get such a unique combination of attractions? Reykjavik is a cosmopolitan town that caters to all types of travellers, from outdoor enthusiasts to indoor lovers. During your visit to this amazing town, go on one of the Reykjavik excursions and enjoy all the things the town has to offer.

Explore Iceland’s Art and Culture

If you are an art lover, go on a Reykjavik excursion and explore Iceland’s art and culture. Visit the National Museum of Iceland and discover the nation’s history from the ancient days up to date. Established in 1863, the museum houses a number of archaeological artefacts and conducts widespread research on its heritage collection. It has a large collection of old photos, prints, and pictures that are preserved in various forms. The Arbaejarsafn Museum, another popular museum, also depicts how life was in the ancient days. Founded in 1942, the open air museum will educate you about the Icelandic way of life. Reykjavik excursions also take you to Hallgrimur’s Church, Iceland’s largest church. Built in 1974, the church is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and also serves as an observation tower. During your excursion, you’ll visit Hofdi house, the house where Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan famously met in 1986 to discuss ending the cold war. The house is a hundred years old and flaunts a unique and intriguing architecture.

Get In Touch With Nature

If you love nature, you’ll love what Reykjavik has to offer. Whale watching is one of the popular activities in the capital city and many Reykjavik excursions allow you to get close to these gentle creatures. During the months of May to September, you can go on a guided tour and see the gentle giants in their natural habitat. There are tours offered from Reykjavik harbour to Faxafloi Bay where you can see the minke whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises. If you are a keen bird watcher, you’ll enjoy coming close to endangered species like puffins and arctic terns. Visit the Laugardalur Valley and see nature at its best. The valley is home to botanical gardens, a zoo, a sports field, and a stadium. A popular feature is the hot spring pool located outdoors which makes an excellent swimming spot any time of year.

Visit a Geothermal Spa

A visit to Reykjavik isn’t complete without a dive in a geothermal spa. The hot waters of the geothermal pools will revitalize your entire body. Some of the spas are naturally heated and offer a relaxing experience. Visit the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa and discover why it is one of Iceland’s best attractions. The spa also offers wonderful treatments and massages. Some other geothermal spas in Reykjavik include Sundhöllin, Árbæjarlaug, Vesturbæjarlaug, Nautholsvík and Laugardalslaug.

Whether you love the indoors or outdoors, Reykjavik excursions have a lot to offer. You’ll enjoy seeing the dramatic landmarks and discovering the town from a whole new perspective.

Travel writer and online author Kate Parker is a regular visitor to Iceland’s cool cool capital, Reykjavik. She has written this article about Rekyjavik excursions on behalf of Sterna Travel.


Your Guide To China Town, Manhattan

China Town, New York
If you want to get a taste for life in New York City then you might want to head to China Town, Manhattan. This part of the world is thought to have one of the biggest populations of Chinese immigrants in the western world.  If you have visited another China Town elsewhere in the Unites States or indeed anywhere else in the western world, China Town, Manhattan will seem huge in comparison.

With approximately 100,000 people living and working here, you can be sure this part of New York has a lot of culture, heritage and excitement taking place on a daily basis.

Food

A lot of visitors to New York come to China Town to sample the wonderful array of food that’s on offer. Here, you will find a wide variety of restaurants, fishmongers and greengrocers, which are well worth the visit. Even if all you want to do is take a look, please do, because it’s always good to learn about different cultures, especially one that goes back hundreds of thousands of years.

You will find some huge Chinese supermarkets here, and you can find a range of foods so large, you will not be disappointed. Visiting just one of these supermarkets is a must if you want to get an idea as to what the Chinese community eats. You will find a vast majority of the food sold here are not TV dinners, but good wholesome foods that take time to make. This ensures almost every dish is as fresh and as delicious as it can be.

With more than 200 restaurants in China Town, as well as providing the local community, and beyond with a vast range of freshly cooked food, they also employ many of the local residents too. Some of the best restaurants include Amazing 66, Jing Fong, New Green Bo and Joe’s Shanghai.

Culture

If you would like to learn a bit more about Chinese culture, you can always head to the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). Found at 215 Centre St., this museum houses a permanent exhibition that tells the exciting and turbulent history of Chinese people in the United States.  Re-opened in 2009, and with free admission on Thursdays, you can enjoy a wide range of exhibits, including a few relatively unknown facts about Bruce Lee, which is sure to please a lot of his fans and admirers. With some interactive exhibits and a calm atmosphere, a trip to the Museum of Chinese in America is definitely worth a visit.

Columbus Park

Columbus Park, which can be found between Bayard and Worth Streets, and between Mulberry Street and Hogan Place and Baxter Street will help to give you an understanding of the diversity of the Chinese community and the day to day life in the local area. Here, you can expect to see a lot of people either playing cards, practicing Tai Chi, and so much more. Why not get your fortune told and watch a game of football while you’re here. There’s something in Columbus Park for everyone, no matter where you’re from.

This article was written by Rachel Jones, a globe hopping adventurer that loves to experience new traditions, within existing cultures. Whenever Rachel is travelling to New York, she always uses Nycvacationrentalsonline.com and she recommends you do too.


10 Things To Consider Before You Book A Thai Holiday

So you want to travel to Thailand?

While people all over the world have different dreams and aspirations, for a number of years one of the more popular ideal destinations for the global nomad has been Thailand. One of the more culturally diverse and visually stunning countries in the entire world – and it doesn’t hurt that it is the gem of Southeast Asia and enjoys all of those warm Indian Ocean weather conditions – there are a handful of things you need to realize about going to Thailand before jump on an airplane.

Do a bit of research before you even consider making the trip

One of the worst things that can happen – and it’s happened to me more the times then I’d like to admit – is that I hear all of these incredible stories about someone’s trip to a faraway land and get wrapped up in the moment, never really considering whether or not I’m looking for the same kind of experience. And while this can be an incredible mental exercise, the fact of the matter is that it has brought me to countries and locations I will never return to.

Just because it seems like everyone else is jumping on the Thailand bandwagon – and my personal opinion is that it is one of the truly unique and ideal destinations on the globe – doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the same kind of awesome time. Make sure that you look into all of the different attractions, investigate different travel journals from a diverse group of people and then make an independent decision about whether or not you are going to want to see all that Thailand has to offer.

Thai Woman, Thai Flowers & Thai Culture

Many men love Thailand as it has a reputation for cheap raunchy nightlife and that is all they care about, they fail dismally to have any knowledge of what is really going on around them. There is so much different culture to soak up in Thailand, it is almost unbelievable for the typical westerner on their first visit. I spend most of my travels exploring the huge amount of botanical and flowering gardens in Thailand, they are also great for photographers. It is ideally suited for these due to its warm moist climate. Thailand has over 1200 species of orchids that are show cased in these amazing gardens, most of the venues are also free entry and subsidized by the Thai Royal Family.

Lockup accommodations before you touch down

There are a handful of sites and different travel gurus out there that promote this kind of fly by the seat of your pants world travel and though it can be tremendously exciting the fact of the matter is that it can also cause you unnecessary anxiety, unplanned expense and frustration. Thailand is filled with all kinds of world-class resorts and accommodation and you can lock them up before you even step foot on the islands with just a little bit of effort ahead of time.

If you are dead set on trying to wing it or are planning on staying for an extended amount of time and want to be able to have the flexibility to choose your home base of operations in any one of Thailand’s incredible cities and neighborhoods, then I would suggest setting up short term accommodation for about a week or so while you are out trying to find the ideal spot to plant your roots. You can rent a motorbike for the week for about $50 or less, depending on who you talk to, which will give you the mobility to check out all of the different cities, find the right accommodation and secure it and then move all of your stuff with ease. This is the real way to see Thailand, and something that will make for an incredible adventure you’ll never forget.

John Shoane lives with his family and is a Florist in Bangkok who teaches and designs flowers for Gogo Florist. His main passion in life is researching and breeding orchids which involves extensive travel through South East Asia. Follow John Shoane on Google+.


Tips on doing business in Asia

Before coming to Asia to live or do business it’s important to realise that there is a whole world of customs, skills, and rhythms you have to master. As the tired cliché goes – you aren’t in Kansas anymore.
In this age of scanning one of the most fascinating repository’s of this type of information comes from the authors of Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands. It’s called Getting Through Customs – Articles.

Here are a selection of Are customs you might find of interest:

  • “Many Chinese adhere to old beliefs such as astrology and geomancy. Even senior executives may wait until a “lucky” day to make a decision.”
  • “Red and gold are colors with favorable associations. They are good choices for your business card, but never write a person’s name in red.”
  • “Business cards (extremely important) are presented after the bow or handshake. Present your card with its Japanese side facing your colleague. Handle the cards you receive carefully – don’t put them in your pocket or write on them.”
  • “Many Asians who do shake hands actually perform a hand-clasp, with no pressure and very little pumping. To give emphasis to a handshake, it is permissible for each person to place their left hand over their clasped hands.”

It’s important to note that though the site does contain a wealth of interesting information most people you will work with abroad realise you will do things differently – they will give you a ton of slack. People involved in international business are all very flexible when it comes to these things.

Via 43 folders.


Charging your laptop at the airport

Here’s an excellent tip from magazine Girlawhirl, which suggests when traveling on the road to bring an adapter that can turn one outlet into four. It’s a common problem to see people huddled around the scant few outlets available but if you come prepared and ask politely, problem solved. I have a couple small two prong adaptors in my office which I take with me for this very purpose.

Recently after a horrible flight delay she was so low on laptop battery power that she just had to get plugged in. There were a few outlets in the terminal, all in use and with grown men in business suits sitting on the ground nearby. (Another thing that Girlawhirl always wonders about: why are there no plugs near the chairs?) She had to ask someone if they’d let her charge for an hour or so.

The man she approached was a lifesaver. Instead of just pulling his plug, he pulled a new plug out of his bag. He was traveling with an adapter that changed the single outlet into one that could accommodate four more devices.

Link


Latest In-Flight Entertainment Options

Almost every second of a long flight can be a hassle – all the way from purchasing your ticket to grabbing your luggage. Fortunately, those few hours that you’re in the air can be relatively stress-free, especially with so much innovation being injected into in-flight entertainment.

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back, relax, and watch a movie? Wouldn’t it be great to plug in your mobile device and surf the web? Below, we’ll talk more about the latest in-flight entertainment options available today.

Virgin America

They are world renowned for offering the best in-flight entertainment around. It shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise why they share ownership with a company that specializes in entertainment. Each of their aircrafts come installed with touch-screen systems, satellite television, and even a large collection of movies. And if that isn’t enough, the airline goes far out of their way to ensure that you’re offered enough food or drink to make your trip satisfying.

JetBlue

For the traveler looking for top-of-the-line entertainment, look no further than JetBlue. It was only a couple of years ago when they installed satellite radio, dedicated seat screens, and DIRECTV onto their aircrafts. Today, passengers can purchase over 30 channels of television and 100 channels of radio for $5.99. JetBlue’s more recent plan to date is to put Wi-Fi on all of their airplanes so that passengers can further enjoy domestic and international flights.

Singapore Airlines

Their award-winning entertainment is one worth mentioning, especially when they cater to so many people and nationalities. Singapore Airlines offers their passengers radio channels, television programs, movies, games, and a USB port that provides them with the ability to upload media and photos. Certain aircrafts even come installed with close to 100 movies and several hundred CDs, most of which are offered in a dozen languages.

Air Canada

Since 2004, Air Canada has been offering some of the best in-flight entertainment in North America. For music lovers, you’ll be able to enjoy over 100 CDs of audio music as well as satellite radio. Domestic flights provide passengers with more than 30 movie choices while international flights provide them with close to 80. There are close to 100 hours of television shows to watch, including CBC and HBO. From gate to gate, Air Canada offers amenities that can’t be overlooked.

In today’s day and age, in-flight entertainment is becoming more and more prominent. From movies to games and even free Wi-Fi, these amenities are making longer flights much more comfortable and enjoyable for frequent travelers.

What about tomorrow?  In the near future, on-board iPad rentals may be the latest feature.  With custom apps relating to the carrier and carefully selected games and movies.  As services like Wi-Fi matures, they will become free for use, but to download a show or a movie, it will cost you a fee per download.  Even tools that help you enjoy your entertainment will get an upgrade as well – like tray-tables with notices for tablets, usb ports for charging and media uploads.  So leave some room in your carryon for entertainment devices!

Noc enjoys in-flight entertainment while traveling and uses Travel Advantage Network for accommodations.


Tips For Surviving Long Flights

As someone who regularly has to travel 24 hours or more to return home I can say with some certainty that no matter what you do it’s going to feel a bit like torture. I find 12 hrs relatively fine but beyond that is certainly an exercise in endurance. There are some things you can do to help.

I always take a midnight flight and try to sleep most of the way through that part of the journey. The flight from Asia to the west coast is always the most enjoyable part of the trip. It’s getting across the NA continent that seems to elicit the most pain.

Some quick tips:
Get plenty of sleep during and before the flight. For long flights try to travel at night when you naturally feel like sleeping. Whether you feel it or not traveling is exhausting. Sleep will allow your body to rejuvenate and repair itself.

Drink plenty of fluids as you can get dehydrated quickly inside a plane. If I don’t drink I can see a noticeable difference in my skin. It’s drier and I feel like crap.

Do a bit of stretching and get up and walk around whenever you can. Avoid sitting with crossed legs. This is far more convenient if you are able to snag an aisle seat. I hate stepping over people all the time.

Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks during the flight as they will lead to dehydration and tiredness. I always like a cup of green tea before arrival. I also try to stick to warm drinks when I can – it’s a habit I picked up from living in Taiwan. I can’t remember the exact reason but give it a try.

Eat light meals during and before the flight to avoid an upset stomach. Since you are immobile during the flight it’s hard to allow proper digestion. Despite having experienced great onboard service, I always feel much worse after eating a big meal. Even the best food is relatively unappetizing. Eat light snacks, fruits and a fresh salad instead (airlines would have to work hard at getting fruit wrong).

Take your shoes off and wear loose socks. Your feet and ankles swell immensely on long haul flights – even with exercise. This will increase your comfort (it took a couple days to remove the ‘cuts’ from my socks after one particular flight) and reduce your chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

I don’t recommend bulking up with books, magazines, and every device you own. You won’t use them and they only add weight to your bag. A decent airline will provide you with enough entertainment to get you through 3-4 hrs of idle time so it’s not necessary.


A Couple Tips For Last Minute Travellers

I’m on my way out the door in a few hours for a brief trip to Hong Kong and I thought I might share a couple things I have encountered as I prepare.

1st tip: Don’t assume that that packing cube you have had tucked away in the closet for the past 6 months is going to smell fresh and clean. I have 5 packing cubes and all of them smell like vomit. That’s a smell that I don’t want on my clothes so I am doing some last minute cleaning and freshening of all my bags.

2nd tip: Thoroughly check all those hidden pockets in your luggage of choice. This can be fun if you find money or some memorabelia from your last trip. Not so fun is not checking and having a pocket knife, pills, or some unknown liquid be found by security. Clear out the pockets and remove another reason for security to make your life unpleasant. In checking this morning I found old receipts, melted candy, and a toy truck.

If you are traveling – have a fun and safe trip!