Category Archives: Travel Tips

First Time Cruise Tips – What To Bring

Actually what to pack and what to wear on your first time cruise are two separate articles but for the sake of keeping you from a state of overwhelm, we are going to categorize and organize everything you need to know in one article so you won’t need a vacation before you take your vacation!

first time cruise tips

First let’s talk about what to wear. Count. How many days will you be gone? Where are you going? Will you be mostly on the ship or will you be getting off in every port with scheduled excursions? Then know this. Please don’t over do it. How many times have you over packed in the past, just not needing a quarter of the things you dragged around? Not too long ago, one of the first things people thought of when they thought about a cruise was formal attire. Not anymore. You choose. If you want to “dress” for dinner even the term has lightened up considerably. Men who used to feel compelled to wear a tux, simply don’t have to. A suit and tie are fine. And women can easily wear something bordering on a cocktail dress but more relaxed, perhaps strapless soft linens or flowing cotton silks.

Hotel Fire Safety – Staying Safe While Lodging

hotel fire safety
Emergency Evacuation Plan

Almost without exception, each of us has traveled away from our homes and stayed in a hotel, motel, or a bed and breakfast establishment. Oftentimes we become “relaxed” while away as we fail to make ourselves aware of the dangers a fire presents especially in an unfamiliar environment. Let’s take a look at some of the hotel fire safety measures you should do to minimize your risks while away from home.

Even before embarking on a trip, fire fighting experts strongly suggest you research to find out if your hotel has a fire safety plan in place. Does the establishment have smoke detectors and a sprinkler system? In addition, you should pull together and pack a personal survival kit which includes a flashlight, a portable smoke detector, and a roll of wide duct tape. When traveling abroad you should learn the word for “fire” in the native language.

Hotel Soldier On Hotel Fire Safety

Promptly upon check in you should ask about the hotel’s evacuation plan, find out where the fire alarms are located, and check to see if there are smoke detectors and a sprinkler system in your room. If the establishment is deficient in any of these areas, strongly consider staying somewhere else.

Once you are in your room check the windows to make sure they open and close properly (if they are not the sealed type). Identify at least two ways out of the room, if available, and learn how to unlock your door in the dark. Keep your room key and flashlight by your bed and remember where they are at all times.

Stay Alert – Stay Alive

Should a fire start in your room, leave immediately and bring your room key with you. Close the door and sound the fire alarm. Quickly walk to safety and do not use the elevator. Once you are on the ground floor, leave the building immediately and follow other hotel fire safety measures as instructed by hotel staff.

Governmental Hotel Fire Safety Guidelines
Governmental Hotel Fire Safety Guidelines

If a fire begins elsewhere in the building take your key and a flashlight. Put the back of your hand against the door to see if it is hot and then check the hallway for smoke. If smoke has been detected, crawl low along the floor and exit by way of the first stairwell you see. Again, do not use the elevator.

If upon touching the door to your room you find it to be hot or if there’s a great amount of smoke in the hallway, the fire is nearby and you will need stay in your room. Call for help, fill the bathtub with water, and cram the bottom of the door with wet towels or a throw rug. Tape the edges of the door and, if possible, hang a sheet from a window to signal for help. If your windows are sealed, attempt to smash them open with a chair or other blunt instrument. Finally, wait for the fire professionals to come to you and never attempt to jump from your room’s window.

Hotel Fire Safety

hotel fire safety exit sign
Fire Exit Sign

Do these preventative measures seem extreme to you? They may seem that way if you are not a frequent traveler. Many of the fire codes we take for granted in the USA are much lower — if not at all existent — in certain other countries. Take the necessary precautions before your trip to ensure that your stay at an establishment is a safe one.

Booking Hotels Online – What You Need To Know

booking hotels online
Booking Hotels Online

Does it seem as if every time you look around on the internet for a hotel room, you find more web sites that say you can use it for booking hotels online less?

Though it may sound enticing, online hotel booking has its own set of challenges. An online discount hotel booking web site should provide the following basic things:

  • Offer real time hotel room booking
  • Allow date amendments and cancellations online
  • Rates should clearly indicate what currency is being quoted, whether the rate is per person or per room, and what is and what is not included in the rate, and, if taxes are not included, how much they will be
Best Hotel Booking Sites Compared
  • The location information of the hotel should be listed on the hotel description page. This can help identify the distance from the hotel to certain landmarks or the airport
  • All the information regarding the hotel (such as facilities and rates) should be located on each hotel’s web page, such as being pet friendly
  • Pictures of the hotel
  • Star quality rating, consumer ratings with consumer reviews
  • Does the online hotel booking site have a membership program that offers reward points and privileges

Booking hotels online checklist for before and after

If you follow this checklist, you’re less likely to have nasty surprises in store for you:

  • Have you seen the hotel on a map, and do you understand the exact location?
  • Do you know what the rate is, which currency it is quoted in, whether this rate is per person or per room, per night or per complete stay?
  • Do you understand the standard/quality of the hotel?
  • Does the rate include everything or are taxes, surcharges, gratuities, service fees, etc, extra? How much are such extra costs if they exist? Are there any other mandatory costs that you might have to pay?
  • Are there any extra inclusions such as breakfast, and, if so, is it a cooked or continental breakfast?
how to book hotel online
Easy Process For Booking Hotel Online
  • Do you understand what room type and bedding configuration you will be getting?
  • Is your reservation guaranteed? Will it be held for late arrival?
  • What is the change, cancellation and refund policy if you need to change or cancel your booking?
  • Did the credit card number you gave to the internet booking service merely guarantee your room, or did they charge a deposit (or even the full stay) at the time you made your booking to the credit card?
Online Hotel Booking
  • You may contact the hotel directly 24 hours after you’ve made your online booking, to confirm that the booking has appeared in their local computer system. You may also check with them to see if the booking is the same as you have made in terms of room type, room rate, dates, etc.
  • If you have any special needs or requirements or expectations, you should double check with the hotel directly that these special service requests have been received by them and are understood and will be provided.
  • Most importantly, if you prepaid any amounts to the internet website, confirm that you won’t be billed again by the hotel directly. Remember that most internet websites are completely independent of the hotels they service, and could be located anywhere in the world; once they get your money; there is no guarantee that they will pass it on to the hotel in time for your stay.
booking hotels online
Apple iPhone5s showing its screen with popular travel applications.

Pet Friendly Hotels: A New Trend in Hospitality

If you and your family have pets, leaving them at home during a vacation can be difficult. Putting your animals in a kennel can be expensive, but it can be difficult to find someone to pet sit from your home. Fortunately, there is a solution. Pet friendly hotels are becoming more and more popular in many cities.

Pet friendly hotels allow travelers to bring their animal friends with them instead of boarding them in a kennel or hiring a caretaker to stay with them during the trip. These places are dedicated to making animals feel comfortable while also giving owners the peace of mind knowing that their animals are safe and well nourished.

pet friendly hotels

Some luxury establishments even treat animals as miniature VIPs, catering to their every whim and pampering them. For example, they may have a special room service menu for animals, leave toys in all the rooms, and provide special doggy and kitty beds that will give animals a good night’s sleep. A hotel in Seattle even has animal psychiatrists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists on staff to truly pamper the pets that come to stay there.

Staying At Pet Friendly Hotels

An establishment in California has a “Yappy Hour” where dog owners can bring their dogs to a special area for a play session. These events are a great way for dogs to run around and tire themselves out while their owners socialize. Some places have even hired “Directors of Animal Relations” that plan special events and figure out new services and offerings that will make animals feel at home.

Some pet friendly hotels have also started to provide replacement animals for those travelers who were forced to leave their four-legged friends at home. For example, the Burnham in Chicago has started providing goldfish for guests, as does the SoHo Grand in New York. Some establishments have even started to provide cats or dogs to guests who would like the company of an animal during their stay. The goal is to make guests feel more at home and work towards alleviating the pain that comes with leaving a beloved animal friend at home.

These pet friendly hotels are able to accommodate devoted animal lovers by asking for a nonrefundable deposit from any guests that are bringing animals with them. This allows them to provide extra services and also repair any damage that animals may cause, such as chewing on furniture, scratching the carpets, or urinating inside the room.

Solo Travel Myths Exposed

Let’s bust some common solo travel myths, making the trip comfortable and happening for all the solo trippers out there.

solo travel

Solo Travel is Uneventful

Solo Travel gives a wonderful chance to relish your own company and get connected with your soul. You can spend time according to your wish without any time constraints. It can be taking a stroll, reading your favorite novel or tasting a new dish. It is a perfect opportunity to meet new people from diverse backdrops and even make new friends for the lifetime. There will be ample to new places to explore which can be enjoyed without anyone’s company. You will never have a dull moment in your whole trip. You will also get the chance to learn about new cultures.

tips for traveling by yourself

Traveling Solo Is Unsafe

This is solely said for solo female travelers as they are considered an easy target. Once the necessary precautions are taken, all your trips are bound to be safe. Research well about the place you are visiting before your trip. Find about the culture of the local folks and famous tourist scams in that area. Make sure you have emergency contacts, set on your mobile phones. Keep all your belongings in a secured location before setting out for sightseeing. If needed, buy a local SIM card and be in constant touch with your family and close friends. Last but not least, trust your basic instincts because anything can happen to anyone at any time. If you find anything or anyone suspicious, leave that place immediately.

Tips For The First Time Solo Traveler

Solo Travel is Costly

It is a most common myth that traveling solo is expensive. On the contrary, it is cheaper than group traveling as you can lay your own rules. With the fast-growing solo travel market, you can explore more places at minimal costs. You can opt for budget-friendly stays and dine at cheaper places. You can also book dormitories and tourist hostels to reduce your accommodation cost. Try local street foods, bargain and buy souvenirs and exotic local delicacies. The solo trip will definitely shape you as a person in terms of saving money and being practical. You will be become more matured and focused in your life after the trip.

50 quotes about traveling alone
50 Quotes About Traveling Alone – Click Above!

Language is an Obstacle

Language is never a barrier to enjoy an amazing vacation. If you are traveling to a place which does not speak your language, don’t worry. Consider it as the best chance to learn a new language. Try to learn few local words or phrases to get along with the locals. The locals respect trippers those who make an effort to learn their language. The locals generally help people from other areas visiting their homeland. There is nothing to worry if you do not know the local language. Make use of translator apps and guidebooks which are available online nowadays.

women who solo travel

You Can’t Tour Much

Have you ever experienced this situation where you never get to explore a place because of someone? Or have you missed the chance to try a tasty street food, because your companions wanted something different? Here solo traveling comes as a blessing in disguise. You have the privilege to pick where you want to go and what you like to do. There are no plans to keep up with or folks to please! You can visit any place and stay there as much as you like without any time frame. Do a simple vine testing or take up a cooking class and learn some new recipes which you can boast when you are back to home.

Traveling Alone Takes Too Much Planning

Surprisingly, it is very much easier to plan for a solo vacation than for a group travel. There will be not much planning involved as you make your own plans which can be altered anytime. You need not change your plans for someone else. Take extra time to take a walk or to watch a monument in peace. No one can force you to do anything which you don’t like to do. Easily you can even do nothing and take a peaceful nap in your room, watch your favorite shows or read your favorite romance novel. You are the master of your decisions take you take in a solo trip. You don’t need to stress more about itinerary planning on a solo vacation. Enjoy your trip at your own pace without any hindrance.

solo traveler

Solo Travel is for Single People

Most people think that solo vacationers don’t have any friends or close associate and that’s the reason for traveling alone. You don’t need a companion to explore new places or learn something new. It is good to spend some time for ourselves rather than spending it with others. Traveling solo is the best chance to explore yourselves and vent your hidden emotions. It is easier to make a plan and execute it if you are traveling alone. Moreover, you can save your budget with minimal expense from your side. So, don’t worry what others may think about you, just relax your trip. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy an awesome solo trip.

Solo Travel is not for Introvert

Many people have the perception that people who are brave, independent and extrovert can alone go for a solo trip. It is easier to meet new people, visit unknown places and tasting new things when you are traveling alone. It is not mandatory to be courageous to go on a solo trip. If you are planning an adventurous trip, do it when you are alone to enjoy it to the fullest. You do not need a timetable or somebody’s permission to enjoy the little things in your life. Don’t panic if you don’t know the local language. The locals are mostly friendly and will definitely help you with navigation. Don’t think about any barriers that affect your trip. In contrary, solo trips make you an extrovert person.


You have to Eat Alone

It is not necessary to be surrounded by people to have a nice brunch or dinner. You can relish your favorite eateries in absolute silence without any distractions. You will be too involved in the surroundings to notice that you are dining alone. Additionally, you don’t need to compromise your decisions to try something new because of someone else. Best of all, you can dine whenever you want whatever the time it may be. Instead of eating in a posh restaurant, try out street shops that serve authentic local foods at reasonable rates. You will definitely not regret the choice of eating alone after your solo trip.

There are so many options for solo traveling today – here are some great trips for single travelers. 30 fantastic resources for solo travelers

You Will Feel Homesick

Sure, sometimes we all feel homesick when we are away from our family and loved ones. But it doesn’t mean that you will not enjoy your trip because of this reason. It takes great effort to be comfortable in your own company. You can get along with other solo travelers which will take away your feeling of being lonely. Stay in a hostel or dormitory where you can meet people from different backgrounds. You can learn a few new things and explore more places. Involve yourselves in local communal activities like hiking tour, yoga, boat trip or some other activities that make your trip fruitful.

Now pack that suitcase and enjoy your solo vacation!

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