Category Archives: Travel

Travel Hacks to Increase the Quality of Any Trip

We live in an exciting day and age where oceans have become ponds when it comes to travel. We can travel nearly anywhere on the globe in just hours, and this has given us the ability to substantially increase our potential as a race. However, travel can become tiring, and, especially for those frequently on the road, the thought of home can be a haunting memory no hotel room could ever replicate. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming vacation or have yet another business trip around the corner, there are three travel hacks you should consider that can increase the quality of any trip.

1. Sleep Like a King in Any Hotel

hotel-roomHotels go with the territory when it comes to travel, and the quality levels of these establishments vary. One thing they often have in common, however, is the fact that the mattress you’ll be using likely isn’t of the same quality as the one you enjoy at home.

Imagine the ability to make any bed feel just like home. You can do just that when you invest in mattress toppers. These devices are manufactured to accommodate a wide array of comfort levels, and you can find one with the extra cushion you need to ensure proper back support so you’re not out of commission on your holiday.

2. Don’t Compromise On Your Diet

fastfood-mealsThere are a number of reasons why you might gain a few pounds while on vacation. From the fact that you’ll likely increase your fast-food intake to a lack of proper hydration and more, this can cause a number of problems that ultimately decrease the overall quality of the trip including:

  • Lack of focus and energy
  • Increased risk of the development of illness
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep

In order to maximize the enjoyment of your trip, plan ahead and bring healthful snacks such as raisins and energy bars. You should also take the time to avoid the urge you’ll likely have to splurge on unhealthful meals by creating a strict food budget. You’re more likely to stick to it if you make it as detailed as possible. You could even consider putting all the food money you plan on using on a designated debit card to better ensure you don’t go over your predetermined limit.

3. Invest in Entertainment

travelmateNo matter where you’re headed, the fact remains that you’ll have to spend time in travel. Whether traveling alone or with the family, you will encounter moments of complete boredom. In order to better enjoy this time, consider investing in equipment to keep you entertained through every step of the trip. Just a few things you could consider buying include:

  • High-end headphones
  • Portable DVD player
  • E-book mobile device

Making the Most of Every Trip

According to the Air Transport Action Group, more than three billion passenger utilized the services of airlines all over the world in 2013 alone. No matter what your reason for travel, it must be acknowledged that the ability to travel the world with such freedom and ease is a unique blessing a very small percentage of human beings as a whole have experienced. In order to make the most of this exciting advantage, these three tips can help increase your overall comfort and allow you to truly take advantage of this unique ability to travel the world.

My Trip to Orange Beach Alabama w/ travel tips

At the furthest point south there is a little known vacation spot that few people know about outside of the southern states surrounding it. While on a business trip to Orange Beach in Alabama I discovered that the best beaches aren’t only in Florida. It didn’t take me long to find out that this was a really great place to kick back and relax.

The Alabama beach line isn’t very long. If you exclude Mobile the beach stretches from Fort Morgan to Florabama at the state line. That whole area in between is filled with some of the best seafood and luxury beachfront condominiums in the area. During my stay I found that Florida has been the name everybody thinks of when they think beach vacation or spring break. You might have heard of Panama City. It’s because of this that Florida cities have become more run down from the wear and tear that thousands of 18 year olds can inflict. I’m going to share a secret with you. Orange beach and Gulf Shores are basically right next door and are virtually unknown to the spring breakers. This stretch of beach is more family oriented, clean, and classy. If you have kids and just want to relax this is the place.

Normally I take about two trips a month building a future for my business. I have seen a lot of great places and every once in a while I can talk my wife into going along. I’m not sure why but I didn’t really have to talk her into this one. She started packing as soon as I said beach.

We arrived at our condo in Orange Beach on Saturday and it seemed pretty calm. We notice on the way down that there were tons of people going the same way that we were. We drove down through Pensacola and were caught up in a bottleneck for about fifteen miles. That last stretch took us about an hour because traffic was only moving about ten miles an hour.

Apparently condos are rented in weekly cycles from Saturday to Saturday. Everybody comes in at the same time and the weekends can be pretty insane. You can tell when the house people come in on the weekend. Lines at the restaurant lines double in size. If you want to avoid the big weekend crowds come during the week.

The Best Condo in Orange Beach

There are many different kinds of condos and what is best for you may not be the best for someone else. We stayed at The Turquoise Place for 3 nights and loved every minute of it. Some people want to stay in a place that is nice but won’t break the bank. Lei Lani is mostly owned by people just like you and me. They rent out their condos in week blocks for a decent price and the condos are really pretty nice. If you look around enough you will find something that is perfect for you and your budget. Here’s a helpful tip for you: look on VRBO.com and find a condo that looks good to you. Then google the name and condo number and read the reviews for that condo on other sites. You can get a ton of good info this way.

Best Place to Eat in Orange Beach

While we were in Orange Beach we heard about a place the locals like to go called Docs. We decided to go ahead and try it and boy were we glad we did. The food was superb. The only thing that we didn’t like so much was how worn out and dirty it looked. We went at 5:30 and that was a mistake.

Here’s a helpful hint for eating out when you’re at the beach: Be at the restaurant at 4 or 430 and you will get a table right away. Wait later than that and you will wait at least an hour.

For our second night at the beach we chose to eat at Cobalt which is right next to Perdido Pass. It has an awesome view and even better food. It was our favorite of the trip. Even though she had a terrible headache she still loved it. It was very special to her. On our third night we went to The Hangout and wished that we hadn’t. That was awful. The music was way too loud and there was just way too much going on. Oh and the parking was terrible too. The Hangout is definitely not recommended. Gulf shores has great places to eat as well. If you decide to take the short drive over to Gulf Shores I recommend stopping at The Oyster House. The food is fantastic!

Fun things to do in Orange Beach

This might sound childish but my wife and I took a dolphin cruise after dinner at the Cobalt. We chartered a boat that a fellow writer had recommended. He told us that they had taken their two year old son for a cruise. When they arrived for the cruise they found that they were the only ones. The owner, Captain Bart and his wife, took them out even though they were the only customers. Captain Bart knew he wasn’t going to make enough to even cover the gas cost but he took them anyway. He even let their son sit in the Captains seat and pretend he was driving. He slept like a baby that night, with a big ole smile on his face.

There are many things that you can do at the beach that we didn’t do. You can rent a boat or a pontoon boat that has water slides if you want. You can parasail if you have a death wish. I would like to do some deep sea fishing next time we go. We will be going back. There is much more to do but not enough time to cover everything. Go explore!

Driving

There are only three ways into the area. Through Pensacola, through Gulf Shores, or across the new toll bridge in Gulf Shores. The toll bridge is much faster, but will cost you a few bucks. That’s what I recommend doing.

Over all our entire trip was really good. I didn’t have enough time to write in as much detail as I would like, but I do plan on continuing later on. I have more tips that will make your stay more pleasant, and less of a pain in the neck please put it in the comments below.

5 Tips For Successful Business Travel

Being a business writer/reporter, my work regularly involves travelling to various commercial hubs around the globe to cover various happenings in the business/finance sector. Like many other authors and speakers, I get more than my share of planes and runways.

Here are my top five tips for a successful business trip to any corner of the world – youíll find that they are quite universal, because at the end of the day, it is travel after all.

Tip #1: Be germ proof

sink-400276_640Air planes can be a nexus for viruses and bacteria, but you can stop the germs dead in their tracks with just an ounce of protection. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer handy along with a Bacitracin tube. After you have sanitized your hands, dab a small amount of Bacitracin on your finger, using it to coat the inside of both nostrils. This is a physician recommended way to ward off germ invasions.

Tip #2: Eat sensibly

I’ve got three rules for eating at airports. First off, see where the airline staff e.g. pilots, attendants, etc. are dining and follow their lead. Secondly, opt for protein instead of carbs since they take longer for your body to digest and burn, and so will keep you full longer. Thirdly, always prefer bottled water over beverages such as soda and alcoholic drinks.

Tip #3: Stay linked

For people who travel quite a bit, and have to use their laptops along the way, Iíll recommend a USB wireless broadband modem. Having used it myself, I can vouch for its effectiveness. You wonít have to deal with the hassle of finding WiFi connectivity and user credentials at every stop. The wireless modem can run off any cell phone signal so you can use it anywhere while incurring only a monthly fee. It might be expensive as compared to regular WiFi hotspots, but it is definitely the more convenient option.

Tip #4: How to beat jet lag

plane-841441_640To combat the fatigue that comes from long distance travel across multiple time zones, youíll need to focus on three things, time, food and light:

  • Time: Make your body think that youíre in your destinationís time zone by setting your watch to its time as soon as you get on the plane. Try to catch some sleep if it will be night time at your destination.
  • Food: Consume less, if they offer you food, eat only half of what youíre served. It is a much better idea to eat a full meal at your destination.
  • Light: Even if youíre super fatigued when you land, donít snooze off until it gets dark. Watch a movie to stay awake. But if itís dark when you land, go to sleep even if you donít feel tired.

Tip #5: Enjoy as you go

But with all your business related travel, you may forget the sense of adventure and thrill normally associated with travelling. Iím a senior business author so Iím not bound by a company policy to get in, get the work done and get out ASAP; I avail this freedom to occasionally explore the places I visit – if the place Iím going is famous for its bike trails, Iíll stay a day or two extra and get myself recharged with some exercise and fresh air. This doubles as a vacation for me since my job doesnít leave much room for dedicated leisure trips around the globe! Even if you canít do this, try to find some time from your trip to explore the local sights and sounds so your mind is refreshed and ready for serious work.

Seeing Something Unique and Beautiful in Ordinary Things

Image Credit: bekcraved.com
Image Credit: bekcraved.com

I travel around the world to experience the many wonderful things that it has to offer. I go to famous tourist spots, and I also go to places that people think have nothing unique and wonderful to offer because they are just places full of tall buildings and all that ordinary urban feel that are common even in movies. People think that just because it is an ordinary city, there is nothing worth visiting in it.

Given how unpredictable things could be, people should know that there are still some things that you can enjoy even when you go visit the most common looking places.

Hence, when you go to a place where tourists don’t frequent, and you go in search for something unique and wonderful that the place has to offer, chances are even higher that you could find something unique, because it has not been commercialized or publicly spoken about. Simply put, sometimes, the most obscure or hidden places are the real pearls of destinations.

Appreciating the world is not just about appreciating nature and places and food. It also means seeing the beauty of the people. Even when a place is not famous, but the people are very wonderful and warm, then it should be a fun place to visit, still. They may not have pyramids or an ancient palace, but having warm people makes it as beautiful and tourist attractive as any other place could possibly be.

Simple pleasures in life are important for one to appreciate that there is so much more than what is publicly appreciated. Sometimes, people forget the people and things behind the big picture. Kind of like how we forget the producers and people behind a movie, because we only remember the actors. Kind of like how we forget the co-pilot of the pilot. Also just as much as we miss out on the importance of the drummer because we are too busy praising the vocalist.

Another example is on how we miss out on applauding and taking time to appreciate the benefits of the internet. We use it so commonly in our everyday lives that we tend to overlook just how big a help it has given us. It feels so natural and it feels like the internet has always been there that at times, we forget to take the time to see how far it has helped us.

We can only appreciate it when, for a moment or so, we suddenly lose internet connection. Realization of its importance only comes when we were deprived of it. Once the person sees the importance, that will be the only time that one does whatever means necessary in order to make sure that it disconnection never happens again.

Image Credit: goldfishkiss.com
Image Credit: goldfishkiss.com

I am not saying it’s wrong to forget to value the little things. I am not saying it is wrong to look at the big picture and appreciate what you see. My point is just that, if we take the time to provide even just a little time for the things that are not easily seen out front, we can find little treasures that offer even more than what the famous ones could offer.