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3 Things About Traveling I Can Live Without April 14, 2008

Filed under: travel — lifestylescribe @ 1:54 am
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Going places is nice, but all good sides have a downside. We all know the drill: part of having a good time is having a downtime. So, without further ado, here are the 3 things about traveling I can live without.

1. Jet Lag – I’m sure everyone knows this. You step out of a plane, ten time zones away, it’s really bright out, but you feel like lying down and sleeping! Jet lag is caused by your body not being used to the day and night cycles in other time zones. Your body thinks the time is 11pm when it’s actually 1pm. Planes aren’t really the most comfy place to sleep in, which compounds the problem.

Not traveling by plane is a solution, but we can’t really do that. Experts have said that exposing yourself to light after you arrive can help fight sleepiness and lets your body become more used to the new time zone. Flying eastward also gives more jetlag, so take a western route if it’s possible. Taking melatonin tablets (with a prescription) to force yourself to sleep en route to wake up fresh is said to work for some people.

Many just tell you to sleep off the jet lag, and a day or two later you’re as good as new!

2. Delays – This happens in flights more than anything, but alsoflight delay happens in ships too. Your perfectly planned trip is ruined by a circumstance you can’t control, and you’re forced to cut the vacation short because you need to be at work on Monday. Pay attention to the arrival and departure boards in an airport. Call in advance to see if your flight or cruise trip is facing a problem. Book tickets months in advance, to ensure that you are on that seat. Make sure your luggage is readily inspected.

This also applies to road trips. Be well-prepared. Call whoever’s coming along to be sure they’ll be there. Double-check that you have everything to avoid last-minute flashes of “Oh, I forgot something!” Check if any roads are obstructed and if there are any detours. For that matter, plot out the best route. You’ll get there in no time!

3. Tourists – Okay, you’re a tourist yourself. What I’m talking about is the ‘tourist’, the type who snaps touristspictures of every single little thing, stopping the tour guide every few seconds to take said snapshot, or buy from a local stall, annoying the locals by asking all of them to pose or do something, or asking them to take their picture (and complain when the camera gets stolen). And let’s not forget the ones who keep complaining all the time.

You’re smarter than that. Don’t get in other people’s way, disturb only who you need to disturb. If you’re a group with a tour guide, just take note of the places you want to come back to later. Control your camera…and the eye-searing flash. Plus, most important of all, know when to stay quiet.

How about you? What do you hate most about traveling?

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Places in Asia to avoid the swarming crowds February 27, 2008

Travelling to Asia more often than not means running into a massive mobs and long queues. And for those who prefer to go on a solitary vacation, this continent may not be the most ideal setting to be into. But if you’re not a wealthy recluse like Marlon Brando who had a private island in Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, then what are you to do?There are actually accommodations in certain countries in Southeast Asia that arrange museum and gallery tours and provide private tasteful and classy performances by musicians and theatre performers. These activities will certainly divert you from the hustle and bustle of the masses and the scorching heat outside.

So, you really don’t have to buy your own island to enjoy the solitude. But, it’s also an option. A two to three-days stay at one of these hotels in Asia can give you the tranquillity you’ve been longing for.

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Amansara, Siem Reap, Cambodia

With the Angkor Wat as its next-door neighbour, it is the perfect place to stay to appreciate more than 6,000 priceless relics and statues reflecting the rich Cambodian culture. Less than 200 visitors and scholars are allowed to view and you can be one of the chosen few if you are a guest at the Amansara resort. The hotel also organizes private escorts as tour guides into the warehouse for the closest view of the sandstone inscriptions and sculptures from the 12th century ruins.

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New Majestic Hotel, Singapore

This hotel located at Singapore’s Chinatown can give you access to its first toy museum which cradles approximately 50,000 toys. The New Majestic Hotel recently launched a dining program featuring after-hours access to the five-story building filled with vintage toys. The tots can freely roam around the robots on the fifth floor while the adults can enjoy sumptuous dinner in the midst of action figures on the fourth floor. Toy aficionados can opt for renting a whole floor or the entire museum the whole night.

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Sofitel Metropole, Hanoi, Vietnam

This hotel provides exclusive viewing for it guests at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, a popular homegrown amusement. The Sofitel Metropole has activities that will let you learn ancient puppetry secrets. 14 puppeteers will assist you in picking and maneuvering a doll of your choice from the storage room.

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St. Regis, Shanghai, China

The butlers at this hotel in Shanghai will serve as your personal tour guide to museums and galleries such as the Shanghart or to Shanghai MOCA, the city’s first contemporary art and design museum. St. Regis guests are the few people who can gain access to Chinese Painting Academy which houses works of acclaimed and budding painters way before their official displays.

Consider these hotels your own little temporary realms away from the mob. If you’re into the arts, which is averagely considered as a solitary interest, then these accommodations in the lone parts of Southeast Asia would be a haven. Travelling has evolved from just having fun to learning something and gather your thoughts and indulging on new things you don’t experience from being buried daily at work.

 

What to pack when travelling with the kids January 31, 2008

Filed under: travel,travelling with the kids — lifestylescribe @ 11:33 am
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While traveling can be considered a solitary activity. It is also considered as a good way to spend time with the kids. But kids have special needs and having them at your backseat or beside you on the plane.

I remember when I went with my brother and his kids on a disneyland trip two years ago. It was chaos even while we were still at the house. The three kids were running from their room to room and were finding something I can’t remember now but I can recall how noisy it was. My brother, a single parent just had deep sighs and was able to manage to get the kids to the SUV and led the kids to the airport.

The scene at the plane was somewhat subtle. My two nephews and one niece were just able to whisper childish insults to each other. When we arrived at Florida, the tantrums suddenly disappear as they were told that Mickey was just a few minutes away.

So, what do I learned from that experience? I was able to come up with a list of the things we should pack when travelling with the kiddies.

1. Headphones

Putting something in your child’s ear can definitely make things quieter. With something to listen to while travelling, you can make sure they won’t move any muscle. But a word of caution, though. Don’t let the headphones for two long or let them max out the volume.

2. Light snacks

The way to a child’s heart is through their stomachs as well. Nibbling or eating along the way can divert their attention from playing around. But it is better to give them light snacks so as not to upset their tummies and make stopovers at public restrooms that are not that clean.

3. Favorite huggables

Bringing their sleeping companion will definitely ease their tendency to play around. Plus, it will contribute to a sound dozing off.

4. Medicines

Taking the necesary medicines will definitely aid you for unexpected health emergencies like dizziness, stomachaches, headaches, and other travel sickness.

5. Portable DVD player

Having something to view while traveling will surely keep their eyes fixed and their bodies properly seated. Don’t forget to bring the kiddie flicks.

Preparation is the key

Make a checklist before the trip. A checklist will let you decide on what are the necessary things you need to pack. Also, plan your departure time. A late afternoon departure will give you some peace since the kids will fall asleep when night time comes. My brother has learned from that Disneyland trip and the next trip six months after that went very smoothly to the point that he was able to sleep six hours on their first night out. He brought all these stuff and it worked more than expected.

Also, don’t forget to buckle the kids securely. A nagging-free trip is a happy thought but main goal is safety first.