Preparing to Travel With Your Pet

Pet owners, we all hate leaving our furry friends behind. It’s heartbreaking to send them off to doggy camp and it can be difficult to find a trusty neighbor or friend who will take care of them as much as you do while you are gone. Luckily there are several hotels and more pet cafes to accommodate your furry friend and flying with your pet can be done without too much of a hassle. To make sure your pet has a smooth journey just like us and to calm their nerves, there are several things you can do as a responsible pet owner to get them used to being in a car or on a plane.

Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

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1. Introduce them to a crate or kennel early on

If your pet has never been in a crate or kennel before, you need to crate train them to an extent so that they will feel comfortable being in one for a few hours. Some dogs can get fairly nervous about being in a crate so teaching them that it is a safe place will ease their nerves while they are on the flight. If you don’t know how, you can ask your veterinarian for recommendations for dog behaviorists or dog training classes to get you started.

2. Reassure and soothe your pet before the flight

Let your furry friend know that everything is going to be OK. Animals are fairly intuitive and can sense fear, excitement and other emotions. If you keep yourself calm right before the moment of separation and reassure them, then they won’t leave mirroring your anxiety or nervousness. Set an example for your pet since they most likely look to you as the leader to let them know that it’s going to be OK.

3. Take your pet for test drives

See how your pet does on long drives first before your trip. This will let them get used to being in a car for awhile and being on the road. Start with short trips and then increase the time so that they will get used to the movements, the new scenery and instead of being scared or frightened of the new surroundings, they’ll be more at ease and well behaved if they know what to expect.

4. Talk to your airline

Make sure you get all the necessary paperwork done in the correct amount of time if you are traveling overseas. Pets require vaccinations and certified check ups and paperwork from a veterinarian before you can take your pet with you to a new country. See what the airline’s policy is for small pets as some will let you take the animal into the cabin as long as it is within the size restrictions. Find out what steps you will need to take once you get to the airport so you aren’t stressing out about where to leave your pet, where to check in or how to get through security. If you know what to expect and stay calm, so will your pet.

5. Bring appropriate care items for your pet

If you know your pet gets nervous or finicky in the crate or during long traveling days, you should talk to your veterinarian about options to keep your pet calm. They might offer a slight sedative to keep the animal calm if they deem it necessary. Remember to bring snacks with you and water so that once you get off the flight or stop during the drive, you’ll refresh your pet and keep them happy. A hungry, thirsty or pet that’s been holding in their  pee for a long period of time is more prone to being hard to manage and accidents.

 

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Tips for Traveling with Friends

We all love hanging out with our friends and spending time with them but have you ever traveled with your friends before? It gives you great insight into what someone’s living habits are, their different way of thinking and perspective and also you learn more about how they are as a person. People handle situations differently. Some people are problem solvers, some are more passive, some are more active leaders and even though you can get along great with a friend, you might find your ways of looking at something or figuring something out may differ greatly.

Traveling is one of those things where when you do it with a friend or a significant other, you learn more and more about not only them but yourself and your own standards. Traveling with friends is great, who doesn’t want to be enjoying their exciting journey with someone who they’re close to? Conflict and different priorities sometime can get in the way of a fun trip to a not so fun trip.

Here are some tips to traveling with your friend so they stay your friend on the flight home!

Tips for Smooth Travels with Friends

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1. Discuss before hand 

You want to go to the local aquarium but your friend doesn’t. Or she wants to stay at a hostel and you don’t. Discuss before your trip about what you want to do during your trip. Have an idea of what sorts of activities you’re both interested in so you’re not fighting over them during your trip and wasting time. If you’re limited on time or going on a short trip, decide what activities are ones you both want to do the most and prioritize.

2. Compromise

Like number one, discuss what you want to do but compromise. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice one thing for another to make it a trip where both of you get to do what you want to do. Or perhaps if you’re OK with not doing them together, talk about that as well. If it’s something that you’ve been absolutely dying to do, consider joining a tour group so you will meet some new people to enjoy with. 

3. Meet new people on the road

Don’t isolate yourself! It’s easier to meet new people on the road when you’re traveling with friends since there are no feelings of jealousy as opposed to traveling as a couple. It makes it more fun to meet other people on the road if you’re with a close friend. Just don’t be insensitive and run off with your new friends and leave your other one behind!

4. Look out for one another

Security is in numbers. Especially for women, make sure that you stick together on nights out at the bar or club and don’t lose track of each other. Always look out for your friends, you’d want them to do the same for you right? Text and call each other to let each other know so you’re not spending your night running around looking for your pals.

5. Take each other’s advice

If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re not sure about something, voice it to your friends. Let them know you’re not comfortable participating in an activity or going somewhere. Don’t let peer pressure take you in, you don’t have to go way out of your comfort zone to “be cool” If they are your real friends, they will respect you and figure something out with you so that everyone is happy.

Have any more tips? Share them in the comments below!

 

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Packing for a Beach Vacation

Congratulations! You finally finished your last deadline at work and now your long awaited vacation has arrived at last! You’ve been planning the ultimate beach getaway for the past three months, researching into the best beach to go, best resort to stay at and the best activities to do. Between reading travel tips on Lonely Planet, Frommers and of course, other travel blogs, you feel like you’re completely ready for your trip and are ready to soak up some rays.

Then the night before as you’re packing, you realized that you probably should have looked up some packing tips for a beach vacation. Sure it sounds easy, all you need is a towel and swimsuit right?

Well, not exactly. If only it was as easy as that! Your clothes are thrown out everywhere in your room because you can’t decide what to bring. Shoes? Forget about it! All these what if I need this? thoughts race through your mind.

To make your beach getaway as memorable as possible with the least amount of mishaps, there’s some essentials you need to bring besides your sunglasses.

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Tips for packing for a beach vacation

1. Choose your luggage wisely

First you need to pick the correct luggage. This will set the foundation for the rest of the things you bring and prevent you from overpacking. If your trip is only a few days and is domestic, a carry on will suffice so you don’t need to pay for a check in.

The key to picking the right case is find a lightweight luggage. No matter how long your trip is whether it is for 2 weeks or a weekend, it’ll be easier for you to carry your luggage if it is lighter.

Find a carry one that is of high quality, there’s nothing more frustrating than to be rolling your luggage in the airport just to have the handle fly off (yes that has happened to me before!).  So invest your money in a high quality carry on that will last you a long time. Look for one that’s light, has sufficient pockets and if you can, try rolling it to see how it feels.

Need help finding a suitcase? Check Luggage Direct. They have quality reviews and a ton of products for you to browse.

2. Bring clothes that can be dressed up or down

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Even though you’ll probably be spending most of your time laying on a towel, you’ll also want to experience the nightlife of where you are. To minimize your packing list, bring clothes that can be dressed up or down.

Women, bring sundresses that you can wear during the day for a cover up and then bring some matching accessories to dress it up at night. Pick sandals that can suitable for going out and for lounging by the pool during the day.

Towels take up a ton of room so what’s the solution? A sarong. For women, a sarong is a lifesaver and a must have for a beach vacation. You can use it as a towel, a cover up, a dress or a skirt. It’s a cute multi-functional piece that you have to have in your suitcase!

3. Bring sun protection accessories

For your beach vacation, you obviously chose somewhere warm and sunny, probably close to the equator. Although the sun’s rays are good for your body to bring you Vitamin D and those hormones that make you feel happy, be aware that it is also harmful to your body if you have too much.

Go ahead and sunbathe but make sure you bring sunscreen for your face and body (at least SPF 30 if you are sensitive or burn easily), chapstick with SPF, sunglasses with UV protection, after sun aloe vera gel (will work miracles if you get burned) and if you plan on going surfing, get a rash guard with SPF in it.

Remember that you can’t bring more than 3.4 ounces of liquids which include sunscreen and the gel.

4. Bring more than one bathing suit

Yes I’m advocating packing MORE! If you’re planning on going to the beach or in the water everyday, it’ll be helpful to bring at least two bathing suits so you will also have one dry and ready to wear. Trust me, when you’re hitting the waves everyday you want to have  a suit that’s nice and fresh.

5. Leave a little room 

One of the best things about a beach vacation is that you can pack light. Shorts and tank tops don’t take up too much room compared to sweatshirts and jackets so you can leave a little bit room in your luggage for souvenirs. You’ll probably hit gift shops or souvenir stores that you might find the perfect gifts to bring back home and luckily your suitcase still has some room.

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Remember less is more! You’ll find that traveling light feels so good and you’ll realize that you didn’t need all that extra stuff.

 

 

 

 

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How to Figure Out a Travel Budget

Most people take vacations using their paid time off from work and aren’t usually taking vacations once every three months. For the smart savvy traveler, you are able to make a budget so you don’t end up spending much more on a vacation than you could have. It takes a great deal of work and research but there are a few tricks and tips to help you plan a budget according to the type of vacation you want. Of course there’s nothing wrong with splurging now and then but let’s face it, not many people can afford to spend $4,000 a night at the Four Seasons!

Tips to Figure Out Your Travel Budget

1. Research your destination. 

Are you traveling internationally? Research and read about the country you’re going to and what people say in terms of prices. Many countries in Asia or Central/Latin America are considerably cheaper than North America including food, hotels and tours. Try not to get caught in the tourist trap as prices will be higher no matter where you are. Read forums and other travel blogs to see their price breakdowns and get a good idea of how much you’ll need in terms of spending money.

2. Decide what kind of lodging you want

Hostels are most definitely the cheapest type of lodging but you might not want to be sharing a room with 6 other strangers. Look for local hotels and inns and avoid the all inclusive big resorts if you want to be looking for budget accommodation. You might have to give up a little bit of luxury but if you’re going to be out and about all day, all you really need is a nice bed to sleep and perhaps a pool.

3. How much is your airline ticket?

Where you go might depend largely on how much your airplane ticket will cost to get there. Flying to Asia is guaranteed over $1000 from the United States but it could balance out since it is cheap to travel in Asian countries. Sign up for fare alerts to be notified of low airline prices and start looking early. If you set a clear cut amount for how much you want to spend on your total trip, see how much you have leftover after the airplane ticket. This will help you decide the rest.

4. What kind of activities do you want to do?

Tours are generally more expensive whether it is a guided tour, food tour, or just activity tours. If you’re going sightseeing, look up some very high rated guide books and go on a walking tour by yourself. Many cities offer free walking tours which you can look for at Free City Tour website. If you want to do some activity tours, pick a few you really want to do, compare prices and if necessary, narrow it down.

5. Solo or group travel?

Are you traveling alone? Or with somebody? This will also greatly influence how much you spend on your trip. If you go with someone luckily you can split costs like taxis and hotels but depending on who you are traveling with, you might have to compromise some of your own things as well. Try to find someone who has similar interests and a similar budget as you so you won’t have to spend more if you are traveling with someone who only stays in luxury places.

Have any more tips for budget travel? Share them in the comments below!

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