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April 2016

The 4 Basic Essentials to Carry During an Outdoor Trip

Outdoor TripEvery time we venture out for an outdoor trip, we have a list of essentials to carry along with us that often comes to aid whenever there is an emergency or just for survival outdoors. Different people have different accessories or essentials that they feel would come to help and therefore one cannot often generalise and carry those specific things mentioned in the list and not take anything else that may come to use for them. Depending on the requirement of the trip whether it is an adventurous one with friends and family or with a group for simple sightseeing to an unknown land, the necessities differ.

While you look up the Internet, shuffle through the travel guide books or take help from the agents who make arrangements for your trip, all of them would come up with a few standard commodities that you can carry along while you to keep yourself safe and not get stranded midway. Here are a few that would come to use and to carry them wouldn’t take up much of space.

• Maps – This is something that you do not want to miss especially when you are moving to an unknown land. A map with all the necessary details on it would be your best friend when you would want to move about. It is something that is a great guide especially when there would be communication problems with the local people where they may not understand your language or vice-versa.

• First-aid kit – You may have a general illness for which you are under medication and thus it is essential for you to carry your medicines along whenever you move out. Apart from those, you should stock up on the necessary medicine for headaches, fever, bad stomach, pain killers, bandages, antiseptic creams, bandaid, cotton balls, needles, soap, etc. that may come to use anytime while on the trip. You should be left stranded looking out for medical help in the middle of nowhere.

• Food – Despite having facilities of restaurants or eateries at the places where you plan to visit, there may be times when you are stranded on the road or move out for an adventurous trip such as trekking. You wouldn’t get access to food there and therefore carry along dry and non-perishable food to munch on can save you from the horrific hunger pangs.

• Water – Water is an essential commodity that you may get access to almost any store that you come across when you are in a different city or country but there are times when you do not get access to it due to various reasons whatsoever. It isn’t necessary for you to carry bottles along with you in your baggage but stocking up once you reach your destination can save up for the times when it would be needed later.

10 Things to Prepare Before Taking a Long Trip

10 Things to Prepare Before Taking a Long Trip1. Make sure your household bills are up to date

This may sound obvious or even pedantic but you really need to think about something like this. Last year I went on a tour that was 3 weeks. It covered the last 2 weeks of one month and the first week of the next month. Once of my household bills from the first month hadn’t arrived before I left and was delivered whilst I was away. This meant I had no way of paying it for that month. When I got back I was greeted by final demands as this particular authority was known to be ruthless with non-payers.

2. Check your travel and medical Insurance

It is important when going on a long trip you have the correct travel and medical insurance. The last thing you want is to be stuck in another country and something happens you need to produce a credit card to save your life. This also relates to Number 5, if you haven’t told your bank you are going away and you don’t have proper cover you could be in serious trouble. Always travel with adequate travel and medical insurance. A lot of credit companies now offer travel insurance as standard.

3. Share your itinerary with someone

This is important if you are traveling alone. Your loved ones and friends need to know where you are, maybe not all the time, but at least where they can reach you. If something happens back home, you may need to return for an emergency, or there may be some important news they need to tell you. At least if they know your travel plans rather than exact details you will be easier to track down in an emergency situation.

4. Check the Visa and Passport requirements for your destinations or possible destinations

Don’t get to the airport and find they won’t even let you on the plane! This is the reality of what could happen if you don’t have the correct documents. Visa requirements are especially important to avoid unnecessary complications and delays at your destination. Make sure your passport is valid for at least the next 6 months, otherwise a lot of airlines won’t let you travel.

5. Tell your bank where you are going

Even if you are taking travelers checks or cash you should have a back up. The bank needs to know where you may be using your ATM or credit card. Due to cyber fraud nowadays a lot of banks will not allow you to use your cards abroad unless you tell them beforehand. It’s very easily done for most banks through their website. If you don’t tell them, you may end up having your ATM card swallowed by an overseas machine!

6. Organise your ID

What IDs will you need when you travel? Obviously your passport but what about the credit card you booked your flight with? some airlines insist on seeing it before travel. Other IDs could include a driving license if you plan on renting a car or motorbike while traveling. Don’t forget to print all your ticket information and hotel booking vouchers if you have pre-booked them.

7. Set up your phone

If you are planning on taking your phone abroad, beware of costly roaming charges. The best thing is to organize with your phone company beforehand, or better still, get a throwaway SIM card whilst you are there. Most countries have a SIM plan you can get at the larger international airports.

8. Learn a few phrases

Especially important if you are planning to travel a little off the beaten track. Not everywhere is fluent in English, even some larger cities in Asia and Africa you will find little English spoken. Learn a few choice phrases that will come in handy whilst you are there, it will save you a lot of time, money and hassle.

9. Have a Plan B

Expect the unexpected on your trip. If you planned to travel to a beach then suddenly find it closed, make sure you don’t arrive at midnight and you have nowhere to stay for the night. Give yourself some room for maneuver. I once got delayed on a flight and found myself in the middle of nowhere at 2am in the morning, the car rental I’d pre-booked had closed so I had no alternative but to find a hotel which wasn’t easy!. If you plan and prepare, try to think of what might happen, just in case.

10. Secure your home

Of course you are going to lock your doors and take the necessary precautions but what about the little things that could cause problems when you get back. Turn off the water and electricity is a good step if you are going away for a long period. Coming back to burst water pipes is not fun at all. I usually disconnect my car battery if I go on a trip longer than a few weeks, the last thing I need is a flat battery when I return.

How to Book Cheap Vacation Packages

cheap vacation packageSavvy travelers understand that a good vacation-planning involves many things like matching or comparing the packages available online and planning your travel in the off-season. So, we are sharing with you some of the lesser-known ways to slash the best travel packages that will allow you to save even more on your vacations. So, check out these ideas to seize the best deal on your next travel adventure.

Tips for booking an amazingly cheap vacation package

To save more on your vacations, use these tips that will guide you through the booking process.

Book in Advance or Last Minute

For finding the best vacation deals, try to book them in advance or you can also book last-minute trips. Best is to plan more than three months in advance or less than two weeks. Similarly, booking last-minute can also help you unlock some great deals.

Book in Groups

Vacation packages are priced per person for two people. If you are traveling on your own, you are likely to see a surcharge. Also, many packages charge less when there are more people involved in booking the package together (usually three or four people) and sharing one room.

Be Flexible with Destination

If you are completely open for any place, you will get the cheapest vacation package easily. It’s always good that you first choose the desired activity or any general destination that you are looking for, then search for vacation packages to meet this more general criteria. Also, when you’re more flexible with the place, you increase the chances of getting a better deal for any great place.

Be Flexible on Time

Travelers who are flexible with the time and dates are going to find better deals. The more flexible you are with how long you want to stay and even with the time of flights, the cheaper vacation package you will snag.

Be Easy with Your Amenities

It is always great to be easy-going with the amenities, you’re offered with. Most vacation packages include hotels and flights but some also include all-inclusive meals, admission passes or a rental car. So, you can always opt for not to include the flight tickets or can also find the rental car on your own.

Extend Your Dates if Required

A vacation package has certain dates or number of days already set. For example, a long weekend package can start from Friday to Monday. Don’t be restricted by the dates as many packages will allow you to extend the dates for several more dollars.

Spend the Money to Upgrade

Usually, if you are going with a cheaper option for the package, then you’ll be given an option to upgrade and then you can have more chances to get a good hotel in a better location.

 

The Benefits Of Using A Staff Holiday Planner

A Staff Holiday PlannerManaging staff leave can be hectic, especially if you are a large company and do not have a good system in place. A staff holiday planner can be an added advantage to any company no matter the number of employees it has. With it annual leaves and sick leaves are made easy to manage because it is even possible to set restrictions on important company days when you require all employees to be on duty. Whether you are an employer, line manager or administrator, a staff holiday planner comes in handy and offers lots of benefits.

1. A staff holiday planner saves time and costs

This is because it is easy to set up when all relevant employee information is made available. It is also very easy to scale in relation to the size of the company. It makes it possible to save employee related information like information on dependents and education history among others. With less paperwork, calculation, and searches for information or leave balances, you will definitely save time and money and enjoy more efficiency and productivity.

2. It offers simplicity and improves efficiency

A staff holiday planner increases the efficiency of the human resource team, staff and the management too. It gives them a simpler time keeping up with the leaves and holidays and this eliminates confusion and conflicting leaves that might impact the company negatively. The system also makes it easy for users to book time-offs when it is most appropriate for them and for the company as well. On one hand it is very easy for the staff to apply for leave requests and on the other hand equally easy for managers to see the pending requests and decide how to manage them better.

3. It makes it possible for resources to be planned accurately

This is because the staff holiday planner shows which employees are off on daily, weekly or even yearly calendars and a good system also makes it possible for reminders to be set for important events like anniversaries and birthdays so necessary plans are made in advance. Employees can be grouped in teams making it very easy to manage and distribute necessary resources. A good staff holiday planner can actually be used to plan resources weeks and months ahead with ease.

4. It wins employee trust

A good staff holiday planner can win you the trust of employees considering that it makes the leave approval very transparent and uses a defined path so no one feels like they are being left behind or like a particular group is being favored by the management. Human errors are also avoided when a good system is in place and this ensures that every employee is happy and content with the way their leave requests are handled.

5. It makes it easy to plan and organize overtime and shifts

The last thing you want to do as a company is to end up overworking some employees and allowing others to sleep on the job. With a staff holiday planner, you can easily manage shifts and overtime ensure that there is a smooth division of tasks between the employees.