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The Down-Low on Keeping Safe on a Winter Vacation

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The travel industry is huge, with millions and millions of people go abroad each year. While summer does tend to be the season of choice for more people to go away, there are still plenty of people that embrace a winter vacation in the cold and the snow. But due to the weather conditions and risk for things like skiing and snowboarding, it is important that you are looking after yourself and your loved ones when you go away on a winter vacation. Accidents can and do happen. So here are some of the best ways to protect yourself. Do you have a winter vacation planned?

Protect Your Health

Medical care can be expensive when you’re abroad. Even if you’re just in another part of the country, it can add up to more than you were hoping for. Cost aside, it can be difficult if there is a language barrier, as well as of questionable quality in less developed countries. So if you can avoid going to a hospital, then all the better. So to start with check if there are any recommended vaccinations for the country that you’re visiting. Take any medication that you have if you need to take them. Eat well and keep hydrated when you’re away too.

Get Travel Insurance

You should also get insurance for travel in winter (well, at all times really). A travel insurance premium can be higher if you’re going to participate in winter sports, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are more risks in winter, due to the extreme nature of the sports and the risky conditions with ice and snow. So you may also end up in an accident that isn’t your fault. If something like that does happen, then speaking to a firm like Derrick Law Firm could be worth your time. You shouldn’t be out of pocket or health, for something that wasn’t your fault.

Protect Your Valuables

One of the simplest ways to protect your valuables is to simply not take them with you on your trip. It can be easier said than done, but do think carefully about what you are taking with you and if you really need to. If you are going to have things like expensive jewelry or cameras, then it is better to have them with you in hand luggage, rather than checked in baggage, for instance. Use a safe if your accommodation has one to ensure they are kept safe when you’re out and about. You don’t want to run the risk of losing your valuables as it can be tricky (and expensive to arrange) when you’re abroad.

Protect Your Money

It can depend on where you go, but people will know that you are tourists. And to locals, what do they expect tourists to have? Cash, and plenty of it. So to make yourself less of a target, don’t carry around cash. It can make paying for things simpler, and it doesn’t mean getting a wad of cash out when you’re buying something small. Instead, get traveler’s checks from your bank before you go, or get a credit card that enables use abroad. They usually don’t charge when it is a specific travel credit card.

Check the News

Before you travel, it can be a really good idea to check the news and any other travel advice from embassies or the government. In this day and age, anywhere can quickly become a place that you don’t want to be. So to avoid any potentially dangerous or difficult situations, just keep yourself out of the situation in the first place. Natural disasters and civil unrest can happen at any time too. So be vigilant and keep yourself in safe places, with a list of emergency numbers to call.

Do you have a winter vacation planned? I think the only other thing to suggest is to hire your winter sports equipment if that is what you are wanting to do. Though it costs you money, it does stop the chance of damage to your already expensive equipment. So unless it can go in the hand luggage, then hiring might be the best option when you get there. Just plan it in advance to figure out the costs.

Hopefully, though, these tips can help you as you travel to keep yourself safe, those around you safe, as well as your belongings and valuable things. Are there any other tips that you would add to the list here? Have fun on vacation!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Smart Traveling: Managing Your Money on the Go

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budget travel grand canyon

A partial landscape view of the Grand Canyon during sunrise. Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Smart travelers are people who are clever when it comes to managing their money, even when they’re on the go. They are people that are able to budget and save, even when faced with all the worldly temptations that they come across while on their travels. Plus, they are people who are able to stretch their spending across the whole duration of their time away from home, no matter how long that may be. 

Ask yourself this; are you smart with your finances when you’re traveling? If you don’t think that you are, then make sure to check out the helpful advice on the matter of being a smart traveler below. 

Keep tabs on your bank account

When you travel, you escape the pressures of your life back home. You escape the pressures of working and studying, as well as those surrounding the balancing of your professional and personal life. When you travel, it’s just you, whoever you may be traveling with and the open road before you.

It’s okay to escape the pressures of your life, but it’s not okay to escape the particular pressure that is your bank account. No matter how far you go, you need to regularly check your bank so that you can keep tabs on how healthy it is looking. How can you be sure that you weren’t being charged double the amount you should have been for drinks on that night out you had? The only way to be sure is to log onto your internet banking portal on a safe, secure device and network to check your account as soon as you can. Or, you can sign up to text alerts that will bring the information you require regarding your spending to you, rather than you having to go to it. Such alerts will warn you when suspicious spending has taken place, too, so they’re well worth signing up for. 

Keep up with your bills back home

Again, you may be escaping certain pressures back home when you head off on your travels, but there are just some that you can’t run away from. One such pressure may be the need for you to pay bills.

Having a life set up back home is going to mean that you are going to need to keep up with all of your important monthly payments. Be it payments on your home, on your car or even on something as simple as your phone; you need to make sure that they are going out of your bank each month. You need to make sure they are going out if you don’t want to miss a due date, trigger fees and then ultimately hurt your credit score. To keep up with your outgoings, you need to embrace continuous payment authority, otherwise known as autopay. As suggested in its name, autopay automates regular payments, meaning you don’t need to take time out of your travels to send the money you owe over to whoever is seeking to collect it.

Traveling is an expensive game, there’s no denying that. If you want to be stretching your adventure as far as it can go, then you need to be finding ways to cut into the amounts that you spend while you’re on the go. To do this, you’re going to have to seek financial rewards whenever and wherever you can.

First, this means finding yourself a reward credit card, the best of which can be found at Bonsai Finance, as this will gift you the chance to spend more money at any one given time. The Chase Sapphire card, especially, is one that you should be looking at as it works alongside travel partners, such as big airline and hotel companies, to provide money back on required traveling expenses. Second, you should be seeking to make as much use as you can out of airline miles, otherwise known as frequent flyer miles. When you do, you accumulate a free-spending fund with every mile you travel, meaning you could end up getting yourself a free plane ticket after traveling a certain distance.

The best way to manage your money, whether you’re on your travels or not, is to set budgets for yourself. Budgets that you not only set but, for the most part, adhere to. By doing so, you stop yourself from spending all those little, seemingly innocuous amounts of money, and by doing that you save yourself a boatload in the long run.

When it comes to budgeting throughout your traveling experience, you should first find ways to save on all the things that are necessary for you to maintain a good standard of living. For instance, this should mean you not only make full use of the free breakfast being offered at your hostel by heading down to it but by stocking up for your day while you’re there. If your hostel offers you the chance to make sandwiches, don’t be afraid to make extra for your day ahead! Doing so will see you get the nutrition you need to travel to the best of your ability, without having to spend big on having meals out.

Something else that you should do is load up on entertaining material before you are suckered into buying magazines at the airport. By bringing your own entertainment, which could mean packing your laptop with movies or bringing a device full of reading material, you stop yourself from having to spend money on things that will, sooner rather than later, have you wondering where all of your money has gone.

You should never let fears about your finances stop you from traveling. If you want to head out and the see the world, give in to your desire to itch your wanderlust scratch and do it! When you do do it, just don’t get silly with your finances. Make sure you are keeping up with your bank and your payments, make sure you are finding financial rewards wherever you can and make sure you are always budgeting.

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Top 5 USA cities to enjoy this summer

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The United States is a country full of contrasts, with diverse and interesting cities.

The United States is very coarse. It has a lot of natural wonders, populous cities and interesting corners. There are so many that it is impossible to highlight them all. Although, depending on the time of year, it is preferable to visit some cities than others, depending on your own interests and the experience you want to fulfil.

Together with the eDreams experts (about eDreams), we have prepared a list of the 5 most highly recommended cities if you travel to USA this summer. Would you like to know them all?

  1. New York

We can’t start the ranking any other way, as New York is perfect to enjoy the whole year round. A cosmopolitan city where millions of people coexist, both citizens and tourists. Its exit to the sea and the districts located in the surrounding islands make of it a place full of character. It is perfect to visit skyscrapers, especially if you approach Manhattan, a shopping and business center par excellence. Places like the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State or the space once occupied by the Twin Towers, one of the most traumatic episodes of modern history, where today, you can visit a memorial honouring the attack victims.

Walking through Central Park is one of the most beautiful memories to enjoy there. And if you want to take some time out by the beach, New York has one in every single district. Coney Island in Brooklyn offers a view from the sensational promenade. Although Long Beach is also a good choice, with miles of white sand, you should know that they charge an entry fee.

  1. Miami

Of all the destinations you can visit in the United States, Miami may be the most familiar. Latin culture lives on every corner, offering visitors fascinating beaches, a varied cuisine and all kinds of shows and entertainment. And If you like beach tourism, seafood and fish dishes, water sports and spanish-speaking world areas, don’t forget to visit it.

  1. Las Vegas

Sin City is located in the middle of the desert, like an oasis rising up purely for the purpose of fun. Casinos, amusement parks and entertainment from morning to night is what you can expect in this city. There are also restaurants run by famous chefs, such as the popular TV chef Gordon Ramsay.

Although it is well known for the addictive gaming atmosphere filling the whole city, truth is that in Las Vegas there are spaces for everyone. Do not be afraid to travel with your family, because it has a huge leisure offer for all ages and interests.

  1. Orlando

Talking about family entertainment, Orlando is one of the top cities to travel with children in summertime. Completely understandable If you are planning to visit Walt Disney World, which have turned the area into a pilgrimage center for those wanting to live the magic of fairy tales and get to know their favorite characters. Although Orlando is not just Disney. There, you can also visit the Sea World Aquatic Zoo and the Universal Studios theme park. In less than an hour traveling you can visit Cape Canaveral, a living history of the space race, and the Cocoa Beach coast, which has become to be named the beach of Orlando.

  1. Los Angeles

The second largest city in the USA, only just surpassed by New York, it has everything you need to enjoy yourself. Beach and mountains, skyscrapers and cinema studios. In fact, this is where the vast majority of Hollywood stars reside, and travel guides make sure to remind you in all the recommended tours. Seeing the Hollywood sign crowning the mountain is something you can do from any city corner. Although the ideal plan is to get close to Hollywood Boulevard, where you can find the best viewpoint. You can also enjoy legendary walks, such as walking along Santa Monica Pier or bathing in Malibu beach.

Plenty to discover

These 5 cities are ideal if you want to travel to the United States this summer. Each of them offer a totally different view of the country. Therefore, USA is a territory full of contrasts, so you can travel there again and again without ever repeating the same experience.

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Barcelona, the top-3 ‘MICE’ tourism destination of the world

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Barcelona MICE TOurism

Corporative tourism —also known as ‘MICE’ tourism mobilized around 18,000 million euros in 2016 in Spain. According to the Spanish Convention Bureau, the number of events, conventions and meetings in Spain has increased by 16%, while the MICE sector worldwide will grow by more than 5% in the next years. The country ranks 13th worldwide in a market led by China and the US, but Barcelona and Madrid are in the Top 10 of the favorite European cities to organize congresses and events.

What is MICE tourism?

The acronym MICE stands for meetings, incentives, conferencing & exhibitions. It is a niche area of tourism that is focused around the planning and booking of groups for large events, conferences or seminar. A top class MICE event organised to showcase your products, build new client relationships, host a company event or to reward your employees for their hard work is an investment and usually it’s one to remember.

The players in the MICE field include corporate meeting planners, meetings and convention departments of hotels, conference centers or cruise ships, food and beverage managers, logistics firms, private tour operators and transfer companies, incentive houses, professional trade organizations, tourism boards, tourism trade associations, and travel-selling professionals. Destinations often market themselves as MICE locations and bid for events through their convention and visitor bureaus. They might be able to offer subsidies to attract large events because of the increased revenue the visitors provide through their economic impact on the host location.

Barcelona, ​​the best city in Spain to celebrate events and conferences

The good position of Barcelona as a destination of congresses and meetings is increasingly more evident and, recently, the Catalan capital has been placed in third position in the prestigious world ranking drawn up by the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) to establish which are the most relevant cities and states in MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), and it is placed ahead of other very important destinations in the sector such as Vienna or London. The Catalan city was hot on the heels of the first two in the ranking —Berlin and Paris — and acts as a pole of attraction to boost the organisation of events all over Catalonia.

The offering to organize events and congresses in the city is wide thanks to the presence of companies such as Eventos Barcelona, an event management agency in Barcelona specializing in artistic and technical production of events for companies, meetings, incentive travels, conventions or gala dinners.

During 2017, Barcelona hosted 2,134 congresses and conventions —10.5% more than in 2016. More than 675,000 delegates participated in these events, and their economic impact in the city is estimated at 1,850€. Throughout 2017, Barcelona obtained the best results since it entered in the MICE tourism industry, increasing its benefits 21% more than the previous year, as reported by the Turisme de Barcelona consortium. The last six months were a little weaker due to the effects of the attack of August 17th and the independence mobilizations of October 1st, but thanks to the entrance of the summer season the city has returned againt to the highest level.

‘Bleisure’and gastronomy, the key to success in MICE tourism

‘Bleisure’ is the buzzword in corporate tourism. Its name mixes the B of business with the word pleasure —that is, combining business trips with pleasure tourism. Therefore, many events are organized in local destinations and non-conventional spaces. The salons and conventional spaces lose importance against of unusual spaces, which are also more profitable because visitors can enjoy a wider leisure offer (such as spas, cursos de coctelería, showcookings) and team building activities, combining both work and fun in an entertaining and relevant way.

Nowadays, congresses and events want to offer a more friendly, funnier face than the pompous and rigid meetings of yesteryear. The idea is to personalize the experience of a congress with the emotional connection of each assistant thanks to the flexible and dynamic spaces. This emotional connection is achieved by taking care of the details, which is valued above all in the younger generations. Interactive and collaborative activities, non-traditional speakers and sessions with a spirit of commitment rather than instructive are the booming formats.

Gastronomy is another distinguishing factor for MICE events’ success. The youngest attendants to these events –mostly workers under 40 appreciate that the culinary proposals of the events include healthy alternatives, fresh food, fruits and foods that provide energy, instead of unnecessary huge meals full of empty calories. Also, mixing the gastronomic experiences and technology is very helpful. Incorporating innovative cuisine techniques and exotic foods with creative, very ‘instagramable’ preparations, are all a synonym of success. Once again, new technologies provide another guideline on how to succeed in these events.

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