Ethical Travel Tips for the Summer Season

Ethical Travel Tips for the Summer Season

Ethical travel tips for summer

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to head off to new and exciting locations for new experiences, but it’s also important to put on your ethical hat and research the region so you support the area in the right way and don’t step on any toes. In this article we dive into the best ethical practices for heading off to a tourist destination this summer. 

Respect local culture 

When you head off on vacation there is a certain feeling of freedom and abandonment. You cast off the responsibilities of your life for a short period and jet off with the intention to have a fun time and to make new and lasting memories. But this can pose some issues in certain places. 

You might think it’s okay to snap some picture of an orthodox Christian Church in Moscow or Wear your shoes in the Buddhist temple in Japan, but these actions will seriously offend the people there – as will rude or lewd behaviour. 

Wherever you choose to travel, research the area and the customs first and take steps so you and your group don’t offend anyone accidently. There may be a stereotypical tourist from your part of the world but you don’t have to conform to it. 

Enjoy local culture 

Broadly, there are two types of travelers. There is the kind that love to live the tourist lifestyle, they love to sit by the pool and sip cocktails or spend their money in the local nightclubs. Then there are others who love to engage with the local culture. 

Both types of tourist are fine but if you want to travel ethically you need to be away from the impact you have on the local areas and people living there. If you’re a regular beach goer, for instance, remember to take all your waste away. Culture vultures should always respect the places they visit. 

Often local people both like and loath tourism. Tourism brings in money and supports the local economy, but it also harms the local environment and creates urban centers crowded with strangers. Remember you are visiting a place where people live. 

Bargain respectfully 

Some places you travel to, especially places in Asia, will have markets where you can Bargain with local sellers. This is a fun part of the tourist experience and you can get authentic items at reduced prices, but you need to remember to bargain ethically. 

If you go to a market chances are the sellers will expect you to Bargain with them since most people do. Because of this their prices will be a little higher than normal and they will expect you to haggle them down. If you want to be ethical about it you will go for the fairest prices for the item, not the cheapest. 

Remember that people in these countries operate on different economic scales. Your money is probably worth more than there is, which makes a difference when bargaining. The good news is you should be able to settle on a price that benefits you both. 

Spend locally 

When you travel to a new city or country it’s easy to shop in familiar department stores and restaurants with brand names you recognize. The advantage of globalization is that you have a familiar standard wherever you go. The trouble is that spending here doesn’t benefit the local economy. 

When you eat in big brand restaurants that you know from home the money goes to a multinational corporation instead of the local area you are visiting. This means that your tourist money doesn’t have the effect it should and doesn’t support the local community. 

There are further benefits to choosing local places to eat and shop in. You not only get to meet the friendly locals but you get to try new foods that you might not have heard of before. Isn’t that what you travel for anyway? 

Support ethical businesses 

These days there is a big movement towards ethical lifestyle practices and businesses. You will see this more and more when you travel as well. Many hotels and hostels now have carbon reduction badges to show customers that they adhere to the best practices to reduce the effects of climate change. 

If you want to be an ethical traveler this summer you need to research the most ethical places to stay at your destination. If you are staying at a large hotel find one that supports ethical practices like reducing carbon and support for local communities. 

Another way you can support businesses ethically is by choosing the local hostels and hotels to stay in, learn more about La Posada. When you stay in a local b and b for instance, you know that your money goes to the right place and supports the local economy. 

Respect dress codes 

As with respecting local customs and practices, it’s also important to respect the local dress codes, especially when you go to visit religious sites in countries like Japan, Thailand, Russia, and Cambodia. This applies to the clothes you wear and how your cover-up. 

In some orthodox countries you might not be allowed to show your midriff or any tattoos, other countries might require you to take off shoes or wear clothes that cover your legs and arms. It will be extremely rude and possibly illegal in some places if you don’t adhere to these rules. 

To be an ethical tourist you need to research the culture of the wraps you are traveling to and find out about the dress codes. You can try to buy suitable clothing for your trip before you travel or wait until you arrive at the destination where the right clothing is available. 

Engage with culture 

Too many tourists travel without engaging with the local culture and language. This is not only rude but it leaves you with a less rewarding experience of the place you want to explore and discover. It’s a better ethical practice to engage with the local culture. 

You probably won’t be able to learn much of the language before you go and since you will only spend a week or two in a place you probably won’t need to learn it either, but taking a phrasebook with you and having a go shows the locals that you respect their country and culture. 

This practice comes with many benefits. Firstly you get to try out your language skills in a real-world setting which is a rewarding and progressive experience, but you also get to engage with the local people which is fun, friendly, and surprising. 

Leave no trace 

Whether you are staying at a luxury resort like La Posada, camping, hiking, or traveling through, you must show respect and leave no trace that you were ever there. Too many tourists are responsible for leaving waste around that looks unsightly and damages the environment. 

Tourist waste is one of the reasons local people don’t like tourism despite the money it generates. Tourist waste tarnished the beauty of a unique destination and shows disrespect to the local area and people. But a leave no trace attitude is a good thing to have. 

With a leave no trace attitude you will always be aware of the waste you will generate on a trip to the beach or the countryside. Always thinking about what you will do with your waste is a good starting point when planning your tourist excursion. 

Be a nice person 

When you head off on your vacation you tend to let your inhibitions go which can result in negativity sometimes. You might find yourself judging or criticizing a new place because it’s different from what you expected or because you find yourself in an unusual sort of mood. 

This is something to be aware of when traveling to new places, you don’t have to abandon your critical faculties altogether but if you have something negative to communicate try to do it discreetly so you don’t offend any of the locals. There’s nothing worse than loud and obnoxious foreign tourists. 

Also, remember to treat the people you meet with kindness and respect. Whether it is the teller at your hotel or the local tuk-tuk driver, remember they are not on holiday like you and are working hard for their families and local communities. 

Reduce carbon footprint

The planet is getting warmer every year, the ice caps in the North and South are melting and our sea levels are rising. This effect is set to displace millions of people and precipitate unusual and catastrophic changes to global weather patterns. It’s easy to forget this is happening when you jet off on your holiday. 

Awareness of these climatic changes doesn’t mean you have to abandon your plans to go on vacation abroad but it’s worth keeping in mind at every opportunity. You might think that one person can’t make any difference and small changes to individual attitudes can have a collective impact. 

If you fly, consider taking the train instead or offset your carbon by investing in a charity or switching to a vegan diet. When you arrive at your destination why not cycle around instead of taking cabs, this way you get to see more of the local area as well.

How to get the most from the 4d toto results Singapore pool today

How to get the most from the 4d toto results Singapore pool today

4d toto pools such as 4dinsingapore are quite valuable for anyone who wants to win consistently. However, like every other tech platform out there, utility is driven by your prowess in use. The better one is at using the platform, the better the chances of winning in 4d toto. Luckily, getting to learn how to use such a platform is not rocket science. A few simple tricks can help you make the most of 4d Singapore pools in a very short time. To make the process easier for you here is how to get the most from the 4d toto results Singapore pool today.

  1. Make use of pool tutorials

Every Singapore 4d toto pool has a tutorial on how to use it.  The tutorials and usually in both text and video. Make sure to go through them closely and learn all the pool loops you want to use. The tutorial may be long and boring, but do not overlook any part of it. You will be surprised at how powerful a supposedly simple tool like a 4d toto results pool can be. Besides, the tutorials can help you figure out new hacks that can help you make the most of the platform at any given time. This can push up your win rate and make playing 4d toto even more fun.

  1.   Make use of YouTube tutorials

You are probably not a big fan of pool tutorials.  Most people are not a fan of them anyway, as they tend to be long and tedious. Luckily, they are not the only source of information. The internet, and especially YouTube, can be a huge source of information on this issue. For instance, when it comes to 4dinsingapore, there are tons of YouTube videos on using it when playing toto. Make use of this information and enhance your chances of making the most of 4d toto. The best thing about YouTube is that you have variety. You have the option to choose a YouTuber that best fits your style, and learn as much as you can.

  1.   Take advantage of free trials

Like most online platforms, Singapore 4d toto pools have a free trial. Make use of the free trial and determine if the platform you intend to use is the best one. The beauty of a free trial is that you can use multiple platforms at a go. Try many of them out and go for one that has the best odds of winning. For instance, if you use the 4dinsingapore free trial, you will realize that it is quite a solid platform. Once you master how to use it, you can make quite a good amount of playing 4d toto.

  1.   Have a friend help you out

If you know a friend who knows how to use 4d toto pools, have them help you out. Watch them navigate the pool until you master how to use the pool too.  The best thing about engaging a friend is that you have the option to ask questions. This allows you to master the pool even faster.

How to get the most from the 4d toto results Singapore pool today

If you use any of the above techniques, using a Singapore 4d toto pool becomes very easy. Not only will you improve your odds of winning, playing will be fun too.

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Preparing For The Travel Of A Lifetime

Preparing For The Travel Of A Lifetime

If you are thinking about going on some kind of long trip abroad, there are a lot of things that you generally need to do in order to really get ready for it. No matter how much or how little you might have traveled in the past, being prepared is going to be a vital part of the process, and the longer you are going away for, the more there is to prepare in general. In this post, we are going to take a look at a number of the most important things that you need to prepare before you go on the trip of a lifetime. You might be surprised at how many of these there are, and how important they really are.

Start Early

One of the major rules of thumb that are worth considering is that you need to start as early as you possibly can. The earlier you start, the more likely it is that you are going to be able to get everything planned right, so this is really something to bear in mind. If you are struggling to get started, perhaps because you are not quite sure where to begin, then you should simply start with the first thing that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter where you start as long as you do so, and the sooner you do it, the more likely it is that you are going to really be able to prepare for the trip as well as possible.

Drawing Up An Itinerary

You need to make sure that you have some kind of itinerary at the end of your planning, so that you know what you are going to do and when. This can either be rough or it can be very detailed indeed – either are fine, it’s just about making sure that you do it in a way which is comfortable for you, as some people prefer one way and other people prefer the other way. In any case, be sure to draw up your itinerary in whatever level of detail you want before you go away, and to ensure that you are continually adding to it and updating it as your plans evolve – which they will inevitably do. This is the sensible way to approach making plans for travel, as you can be sure that things are liable to change from time to time, no matter what.

Prep The Home & Family

As much as thinking about what you are going to do on the trip and all that this entails, you also need to make sure that you are prepping the home and the family too, including both those who are going with you and those who might be staying at home. If you have elderly relatives who are staying at home, for instance, make sure that they are being looked after, whether that means calling in other people for help or making use of a senior meals program to ensure they are fed. This is going to be hugely important before you go away.

Likewise, you should ensure that the home is going to be ready to be left for a while. This is less important if someone is staying there, but if they are not you should make sure that the home is ready. That means keeping it safe and secure, perhaps using a timer to make it look as if someone is home at certain hours of the day to deter burglary and break ins. This is essential if you are going to ensure you are not worrying the whole time while you are travelling.

Finances

Of course, a trip of a lifetime is not going to be a cheap endeavor, and you need to make sure that you are planning for the financial side of things too. How you do that all depends on what your personal situation is, but you can be sure that it is vital to plan out how much it is going to cost, with a reasonable upper limit assumption on that. That way, you are much less likely to get yourself into trouble, and you should find that you are able to afford the whole trip without having to worry too much.

If you can keep on top of all of these things, you are going to find that the trip of a lifetime is much easier to plan and to make come true. There are few things more rewarding than travel, so this is really important to think about.

Become An Expat Expert: Your Guide To Moving Abroad

Become An Expat Expert: Your Guide To Moving Abroad

It’s certainly an exciting thing when you have decided to move abroad. No matter what country you might be coming from, or where you intend to end up, there is so much to look forward to, and if nothing else it is likely going to constitute one of the most exciting periods of your life to date. But it is also potentially fraught with stresses and difficulties, and it’s certainly wise to be as well-prepared as possible before you set off. Take a look at the following tips on how to move abroad.

Know Your Requirements

Wherever you plan to move, there are always going to be requirements when it comes to the paperwork. You need to check what the visa situation is going to be, first and foremost, and also make sure that you are aware of any restrictions regarding where you are moving from and where you are moving to. Be sure to look into all this far in advance, as that way you are going to be able to get it right, and not land yourself in any trouble further down the line.

Transporting Your Family

If you are moving solo, in many ways a lot of the process is going to be much easier. But if you are moving with your entire family, there are many things that you might need to look into if you are going to make sure you get it right. For one thing, there is the added cost of transporting your entire family, so make sure you count that in your moving budget. Then there is the issue of pets – if you need to have your cat transported safely, for instance, you will likely need the help of professionals who specialise in that area. You can view quotes on that online and go from there.

Planning To Settle In

After you have moved, you are going to have to find a way to properly settle in, and that in itself can be a very difficult thing to get right. There is going to be so much that you have to consider, and it might at first be challenging to know what to look into. The best move you can make is to plan it all out first in as much detail as possible, which will of course require plenty of research on your part before you actually move. As long as you know about how to set up the utilities, how to pay rent and so on, you are going to find it so much easier once you are out there.

Finding Your Way In The Culture

At first you might experience some degree of culture shock, depending on the nature of the transition and where you are going from and to. You just need to bear in mind that it is always going to take a while to find your way in the culture, but you will get there eventually, and in a way it is one of the most exciting parts of the journey. So get ready and try to enjoy the ride.

Best Family Christmas Vacations

Best Family Christmas Vacations

Our family has a whole set of Christmas traditions, one of them is opening presents at our home on Christmas morning.  Even tho my kids are grown with families of their own those that live in town and those that came home for the holidays still open presents at my house.  Those unable to come home for Christmas open presents with those that are  here thanks to the magic of technology.

Every now and then we decide to do something different, we travel.  We usually leave Christmas evening.  This allows us to open presents together Christmas morning and also take advantage of the cheaper airfare that’s available for traveling on the holiday.  Air fares are very expensive just before and just after the holiday, but drastically drop on the holiday itself as no one wants to travel that day.  It’s always a pleasure to travel on Christmas and New Year’s day, flights are pretty empty and flight attendants more pleasant.

There are many great places to spend the holidays with kids.  Many places have fantastic Christmas displays and host many seasonal events.  Here are a few places you might want to visit during Winter Break, some may even be close enough to drive to thus eliminating costly airfare and the crowds at the airports.

1.

Hershey Park, Hershey, Pennsylvania – Billed as “The Sweetest Place on Earth”, Hershey Park is a popular theme park year round it’s even more fun during the holidays.  Lots of holiday events going on including dining with Santa, Sweet Lights a drive-thru spectacular, Christmas Candy Lane, ice skating, Gingerbread Tea, Dinner Theater Shows, and more.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

2.  Visit Santa’s Workshop, where else but in North Pole, NY.  Just minutes fro Lake Placid, New York families have visited the Workshop since 1949.  Experience the magic of an old-fashioned Christmas in this fairytale setting.  Meet Santa and his reindeer, tour the village and shops, ride Christmas themed rides, and more.

 

 

3.  Santa Claus, Indiana – “America’s Christmas Hometown” has lots of events this season including meals with Santa, Chestnut Roasting, Children’s Craft Time, and more.  Click here to see their event schedule this year.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

4.  Experience a Traditional Christmas on the Cape at Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod.  2014 marks the Inn’s 100th. Anniversary.  They are hosting many seasonal events including Elsa & Friends Enchanted Wonderland for Frozen fans, Gingerbread House Workshops, and their annual Sno BBQ on December 26.  Click here for their event schedule.  [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

Woodloch Resort Holiday Weekend

5.  Enjoy an Old-Fashioned Christmas at one of Pennsylvania’s all-inclusive resorts in the Pocono Mountains.  Olde-Fashioned Holiday at Woodloch Resort and Old-Fashioned Christmas at Mohonk Mountain House  offer many seasonal activities including caroling, holiday scavenger hunts, visits with Santa and more.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

6.  Christmas in Cambria, California.  During the holidays the stretch of California’s highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles turns into a lighted village filled with story-book charm.  Stroll the town and visit many galleries and shops to shop for unique one of a kind items.  Enjoy your Holidays in The Pines.  Click here for events in the area.

 

7.  ICE! the award-winning icy attraction and Christmas celebrations at 4 Gaylord Resorts:  National Harbor, Maryland; Kissimmee, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Grapevine, Texas.
During this season  resorts guest will enjoy lights, Christmas trees, snow tubing, character meals, and more.

 

8.  Set sail for the holidays on Disney Cruiseline’s Very MerryTime Cruises.  Disney cruises are always fun, even more so with these holiday enhancements onboard:
Other holiday enhancements include:

  • Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night, with candy-cane limbo, dancing and games
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony, where kids can help light the tree and kick off the holiday festivities
  • Santa Claus meet-and-greet, an exciting opportunity to take family pictures and see Santa and his elves
  • Meet-and-Greets with some favorite Disney Characters, dressed in their holiday attire
  • Teen-only and tween-only holiday parties—private celebrations where teens and tweens can hang out with new friends
  • Holiday storytelling, with new and old tales about holidays at sea and around the world
  • Themed activities and crafts for kids—decorate stockings, make holiday cards, go on a holiday scavenger hunt and more
  • A life-sized gingerbread house made completely with edible ingredients—and the opportunity to make your own gingerbread house*

Plus, on December 24 and 25, enjoy additional holiday experiences:

  • Cookies on Christmas Eve
  • Special holiday towel animals
  • Special holiday surprise
  • Holiday caroling with the kids and crew
  • Religious Services

9.  Hop aboard the Polar Express for a fun filled evening ride to visit Santa and friends.  For more info and to find a Polar Express near you click here!

10.  Head over to the Big Apple!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit New York City.  Ring in the Holidays at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Enjoy the Tree at Rockefeller Center, events, and activities New York City has to offer this holiday season.  For NYC events and activities click here!

Holiday Travel with Kids

Holiday Travel with Kids

The holidays are fast approaching, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also the most stressful and expensive time of the year, specially when it comes to air travel.  Those of us who choose to travel for the holidays can look forward to high fares, crowded airports, packed planes, and weather delays.  There’s not much we can do about these things, but here’s a few tips that may help you plan your holiday get away and take a bit of strain off your budget and nerves.

1.  When deciding where to go for the holidays consider a destination you can drive to.   Air fare for a family of 4 will be more expensive than the gas you will use to and from your destination, plus you don’t have to worry about airport security, luggage fees, and crowded planes.

Consider this:  Driving from Tucson to Los Angeles takes about 6 hours;  round trip air fare for the hour long flight for Thanksgiving weekend  is pricing at $400 per person meaning $1600 for a family of 4 plus the cost of airport transfers or long term parking.

If you decide to fly you will have to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave.  Depending on how far you live from the airport this means you will be heading for the airport at least 3 hours before your flight.  So you will already be “traveling” for at least 3 hours before your one hour flight ever leaves the gate. If you were driving you’d be halfway to Los Angeles before the flight even departs Tucson!  And you would have saves more than $1000 which you could use towards hotel, dining, and entertainment or whatever else you want.

2.  If you do need to fly book your flights as early as possible.  Hotels too if you need them.  Prices are based on availability, they go up as flights and hotels fill up,  so getting in before they do is a good idea.  If you’re worried about price drops check out this site called Yapta.com it will track the price you paid for airfare and will alert you if it drops and you are entitled to a refund.

If you can be flexible about your dates or choose dates wisely.  It’s cheaper to fly on the holiday than the day before.  There are also a short window of cheaper airfare and hotel rates, it’s  called the “dead week”  the week just after Thanksgiving and New Year.

Try to book an early morning flight or a red-eye.  Airports are less busy in the early hours, traffic builds up as the day goes on.  It’s easier to navigate a less crowded airport and there will be shorter lines at check-in and security.

Book non-stop flights if possible.  This avoids long layovers and decreases the chance that you may be delayed due to weather.

3.  When you buy your tickets online make sure you choose your seats if possible.  Some airlines like Southwest have no seat assignments but do charge a premium fee that allows you to board before the other passengers.  It may be worth paying the fee during holiday travel to ensure you and your kids will be seated together.  On other airlines if you can not find seats that are together just take the seats that are closest together, if possible get aisle or window seats, they’re easier to trade.   When you arrive at the gate inform the gate agent you and your kids aren’t seated together, they may be able to find you seats that are.  If all else fails you may be able to trade your seats with other passengers once everyone has boarded, this is when having aisle and window seats come in handy.  It’s easier to find folks trade to an aisle or window seat, no one ever wants to trade for a middle.

Last summer’s flight to Rome we had 4 seats in a row and 2 directly in front

4.  Pack lightly, avoid baggage fees by fitting your things in a carry-on bag.  Also saves time and aggravation when you don’t have to drop off checked luggage and jostle with the crowds at baggage claim.  Do check the baggage policies of airlines before you purchase tickets, some are now charging for carry-on bags as well.
Check this TSA website to know what you can and can not carry on and how to get thru security line faster.

5.  If you will be bringing presents consider shipping them to your destination instead of checking bags in.  Better yet take advantage of free shipping many online retailers offer during the holidays and have the gifts sent directly to your friends and family.

6.  Check-in online 24 hours before your flight.  This gives you a boarding pass which you can print or store on your mobile device, you can avoid check-in lines at the airport and head straight for security checkpoints.  If you are checking in luggage you will have to drop them off at the baggage drop-off and get a luggage tag.

7.  Arrive at the airport early.  Allow yourself plenty of time to get thru all the lines and get to your gate.  Getting seats close together at the gate is easier when it’s less crowded.  You can stake a claim to your seats and settle in to wait for your flight to board.

8.  Bring your own food.  Yes there are many stores and restaurants by the gates but they too can have long lines and you may not have time to buy food.  Pack non-perishable snacks and bring an EMPTY water bottle that can be filled once you get thru security.  Also packing your own food saves money, airport food is costly.  Airlines do sell meals and snacks in flight, but the choices are slim and the prices steep.

9.  If you are traveling with an infant or toddler board last if you can.  Other members of your party can board ahead to arrange carry-on bags into overhead bins, you and baby can hang out at the gate and board the plane at the end.  It’s easier to keep young kids entertained at the gate than trying to keep them confined in an airplane seat for 45 minutes or more.

10.  Keep kids entertained during the flight with books, toys, and mobile devices that you’ve packed in your carry-on.  Also bring headphones so they can watch in-flight entertainment if it’s available.

 

11.  Put your smart phone to work, there are many apps that will keep track of your itinerary, help you navigate airports, locate restaurants, and more.  Download them before you leave home.

12.  If you run into delays and cancellations know your travel rights.  Barring bad weather or any natural disasters travelers do have rights.  Bookmark these sites on your smart phone just in case.
Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration.

13.  Consider purchasing a pass to an airport lounge if you have a long lay-over.  They are much more comfortable than sitting at the gate.  They usually have sofas, tvs, work stations, wi-fi, and many serve snacks and drinks.

Alaska Airline’s Boardroom at the Sea-Tac Airport

14.  Consider buying travel insurance.  I know it’s an extra expense but during the holiday travel season it may come in handy.  Travel insurance may reimburse you for airline fees, hotel stays, lost luggage, and other things should you run into problems during your trip.


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