Flying to a vacation destination can be either a great
experience or a frustrating one. With the recent increase in airport security,
airline travel can be a time-consuming and troublesome endeavor. Here is some
useful advice that will improve your comfort level during your journey through
Before you even get into the airport, try to avoid parking
your car there. Parking lots at airports will charge you a high fee per day you
leave your car in their possession. Either find a hotel nearby that does not
charge for parking or get a friend or family member to drop you off; this will
save you money and make your walk to the ticket line much shorter.
Travel light. Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on
and one personal item for free; your personal item has to be able to fit under
the seat in front of you. Most backpacks or purses fit and offer you the extra
space needed for things you cannot fit in your carry-on bag. This will
eliminate wasted time at baggage claim at your destination and make it easier
to transport your luggage to and from the airport or through customs when on an
international flight. Check-in luggage can also easily be lost which can leave
you without anything at your destination for the first day of your vacation.
Dress appropriately. Wear tighter fitting clothing and put
as many “accessories” (belts, iPods, wallets, sunglasses, etc.) in
your bags as you can. If you wear baggy clothes you have a higher chance of
security patting you down (searching for drugs, weapons etc.) thus delaying
your trip to the terminal. Having fewer items on you will help you avoid the
anxiety of rushing everything back into your pockets after passing through
security. Also, wear shoes …
Most Americans are confronted with a few numeric challenges
when traveling to South American countries, most of them related to money,
time, and distance. Here are some tips for making conversions on your Argentina
Brush up on your multiples of 4. In recent years, the exchange rate has floated around 4 Argentine Pesos to every 1 US Dollar. When figuring how much things cost in dollars, just divide by four. A whole pizza for example, would cost around 30 pesos, so between 7 and 8 USD. Four is a nice number, especially when dealing with 100s, and it makes the mental math involved in converting from pesos to dollars, or vice versa, a whole lot easier. A further note on prices: although the cost of living in Buenos Aires and other major Argentine destinations is relatively high, by American price standards you can get very good meals for prices cheaper than what you would pay in the U.S. For other purchases, such as cocktails, Americans will find that prices are pretty similar.
You’ll frequently find that hotels, restaurants, and other services use International Time and a 24-hour clock to indicate times for reservations, check in or check out times, etc. This does not present much of a problem from midnight to noon, but things can get a bit confusing after 1 p.m. – also known as 13:00 hours. Your 9 p.m. dinner reservation – Argentines eat late! – will be recorded as 21:00 hours. An easy way to translate is to subtract 12 from the international time. For example, if your tour is scheduled to start at 17:30 hours, subtract 12, and you get 3:30 p.m. Simple enough, no?
The metric system, in use throughout South America, presents an additional mental exercise if …
1. Be sure to arrive during daytime.
This is when bus stations, airports, and hotels will be at their most active. People looking to prey on tourists can do it with ease at night, and people who want to help can look threatening. Make sure your arrival time will get you where you’re going during daylight hours.
2. Store important things separately.
If you’re keeping your money in a money belt, keep your credit cards in another place, and your passport in another. If the worst happens, and something gets lost and stolen, you’ll be better equipped to help yourself if not everything is gone. Additionally, if you keep reaching for your money belt over and over, you’ll attract attention to yourself.
3. If you’re leaving the country, register your excursion with the Department of State.
You can do this by phone or online. Doing so will ensure the country’s embassy is aware that you’re in the country. If something happens, such as an accident, the embassy will be poised to search for you and assist you. Even if friends and family know exactly where you are, registering with the Department of State can only help.
4. Look for people to group up with.
Have you met friendly people at the bar or the pool? See if they want to join you when you go out to dinner. Would you like to explore the area’s sites? See if there’s a tour group you can join up with. There’s a lot of truth to the idea of safety in numbers, and surrounding yourself with others will help keep you protected.
5. Take minimal luggage.
It can be a struggle to lug a lot of bags around on your own, and if criminals see you struggling, they may use the opportunity to …
I am pretty sure that many of us have heard a horror story
or two about traveling with kids, especially the small ones. Traveling with
kids can be quite a challenge, as any parent would know. It’s really tough and
there are really some instances when the kids can get on our nerves when we’re
traveling. There’s the constant bombardment of questions such as “Mommy,
are we there yet?” or “Mommy, I’m so bored”. And then there’s
their constant urge to pee, to eat, to play, to cry and to throw tantrums. Oh
the horror. Fortunately, there are ways that you can do to reduce your stress
when traveling with the kids. Let me share to you some of them.
1. Make your kids feel comfortable on the idea of traveling.
Like for example, if you’re traveling by plane, talk to your kid days before your trip and help build up their anticipation for the trip. Tell them that flying is fun and exciting so that they wouldn’t freak out on the day itself. This is very important especially if it’s your child’s first time to fly.
2. Pack snacks. Kids tend to get grumpy when their hungry.
This is easy to manage when you’re traveling by car. You can just bring a bagful of snacks and place it inside the car. But when you’re traveling by plane, you can’t just bring a basketful of junk food inside the plane. As a tip, you can stash some snacks like Froot Loops cereals, or any cereal for that matter, on a small ziplock bag on your hand carry. This prevents your child from getting grumpy while waiting for the meals to be served.
3. Bring entertainment.
Kids also get grumpy when they’re bored. To avoid this, bring along a gaming console, …