5 Things You Should Do in London

London is known for its travel and tourism. Whether you are visiting London for the first time or you are visiting for the first time, there is plenty to do!
Avoid traffic

London is also well-known for being a busy city, riddle with traffic. The city itself is composed of narrow maze-like Roman streets and can experience a significantly high amount of traffic.

Most people would use taxi’s or a car service to travel from to get around an unfamiliar location. However, with the extremely high traffic congestion that occurs in London, traveling by taxi may be time consuming and pricey. You can avoid spending the majority of your vacation stuck in traffic by using London’s underground transportation system or even walking.

Go shopping
What fun is a trip if you don’t take the time to do a little shopping? London has plenty of shopping areas that can accommodate any budget. Some of the best shopping areas include:

  • Oxford Street
  • Bond Street
  • Knightsbridge
  • Westfield

London is also home to many markets where you pick up antiques, flowers, and vintage gems. Check out:

  • Brick Lane
  • Portobello Road
  • Columbia Road

Sports
Go out and attend a live sporting event. Home to the most professional football teams in the world, London has a variety of sporting events for you to enjoy! If you’re not into football, you can also visit Cricket Lord’s Cricket Ground or a Rugby game at Twickenham.

Eat
Due to it’s cultural diversity, London is often referred to as “the world in one city”. The diversity of the city is quite often reflected in its food, and with over 6,000 restaurants, you are sure to find a delicious meal.  

Enjoy your trip
London is not a small city and it is impossible to see and experience all it has to offer during your vacation. That’s okay! Enjoy as much of the city, as you can without exhausting yourself. After all, you can always plan a return visit.

Flight Survival Tips

The holiday travel season is among us and many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the best ways to reach our destinations. Depending on where you are traveling to and time constraints,  it may be easier for you to plan a flight rather than take a road trip. While flying may seem better than driving long-distance, it can still be uncomfortable. Here are some holiday flight survival tips:

Reduce discomfort

Plane seating can be terribly tight and cause an extreme amount of discomfort. Try to minimize your discomfort by:

  • Drinking  plenty of water to keep your body hydrated
  • Standing up and walking around the cabin once every hour or so. This will be particularly helpful if you are on a long flight.  *Be mindful of the seat belt sign.
  • Do some light stretching in your seat
  • Use a neck pillow

Ask for an upgrade

Airlines often offer upgrades upon check-in and sometimes at the departure gate. Take the initiative to ask your airline agent if they do not offer you an upgrade.  It doesn’t hurt to ask and many times will be able to get a good deal on a seat upgrade.

Wear comfortable clothes

Dress sensibly! It is always possible for your flight to get delayed or canceled. Be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind spending several hour or maybe even entire day in.

Entertainment

Don’t forget to pack reading material and your headphones to block out any unnecessary noise distractions. Many airlines offer free on flight movies, tv shows, and on-screen games for passengers. This can help with any anxiety or discomfort you may feel and help to pass the time

Visiting Hawaii Like a Local

When one thinks of Hawaii, several pictures come to mind: stunning natural landscapes, pristine beaches, festive luaus, and hanging ten while surfing a wave! While planning a trip to the Aloha State is easy and straightforward with the help of Internet resources, visiting Hawaii and experiencing the islands from a more local point of view requires insider perspective.

Embrace the Aloha Spirit
To enjoy your trip to Hawaii and experience it from a local point of view means embracing a more laidback approach. Here, everything moves at a much slower pace. People enjoy living in the moment, which is easy to do when one is surrounded by so much natural beauty. Taking in the sun, the surf, and life’s simple pleasures can be easily achieved by forgoing your dependence on your technological devices, namely, your smartphone. Taking a break from your devices, leaving your watch in the hotel, are all simple steps in connecting with the present moment and will have you feeling like a local in no time.

Explore local eateries
Stepping outside of the comfort of one’s resort to experience local cuisine can be daunting. However, Hawaiians are genuinely happy to offer suggestions of yummy local eateries that should be visited during your time on the islands. From the freshest seafood to casual diners serving up juicy burgers, Hawaii has a wide assortment of delicious food choices. Treat yourself and your appetite to exciting meals that thrill visitors and locals alike.

Hone your hula skills
Most Hawaiian resorts and hotels throw luaus, a traditional party or feast originally celebrated by the Islands native peoples. These events feature many local foods such as roasted whole pig on a spick, poi (a root vegetable native to the islands and characteristic of Hawaiian and Polynesian cuisine), salmon, and beer to name a few.

Being open-minded and sampling the various local dishes pays respect to the local culture as well as expands one’s palette. Entertainment is also an important element of a luau. You can expect to enjoy live music, flame throwing, hula dancing, and storytelling. When given the opportunity to join hula dancers for a performance, do not shy away from being involved in this ancient tradition. Hula is seen as an art form, a physical and creative expression of beauty, power, and cultural significance.

When attending a traditional luau, it is essential to be respectful of the ancient traditions. Simply experiencing such a quintessential Hawaiian event will surely have you feeling like a local.

The Most Essential Traveling Gadgets

Traveling can be a hassle. Ultimately, your trip will be easier if you pay attention to details. So, here are some handy travel gadgets to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience.

Smartphone
A smartphone gives you access to maps, GPS, communication, flight information, hotel and restaurant reviews, a flashlight, a camera or basically anything you could need during your trip. A smartphone will also let you use apps like Uber and Lyft, to guarantee you’re never stranded at the airport or bus station.

Waterproof Case
Unfortunately, your phone (or tablet) is fragile. You’re going to need a solid case to protect it from drops or spills. Luckily, there are many heavy-duty phone and tablet cases on the market. These cases are shock-proof, weather-proof and liquid-proof.

Wall Adapter
If you’re traveling out of the country, you’re going to need a wall adapter. It’s best to do research before you leave so you know what to expect. A simple adapter ensures you can plug your electronics in all across the world.

Portable Charging Brick
In a similar vein, you won’t be able to get an Uber if your phone battery dies. If there are no outlets available at all, it’s good to have a backup. Charging bricks are often very cheap and can fit nicely in the smallest carry-on bag or purse. These bricks come with one or two USB ports and can bring a device up to full power. For fastest charging, it’s best to put your device in airplane mode.

Global Translator
Translator apps and devices are making great strides. If you’re not confident in the language of the country where you’re staying, it’s best to have at least one method of translation handy. Basic phrases like “please” and “thank you” are good to know, but “Where is the hospital?” can be a lot more important.

Portable Notebook Lock
So, you’ve brought your Notebook with you to do some work while traveling. Unfortunately, these sleek laptops are stolen often. A portable Notebook lock works similar to a bicycle lock. Simply plug one end into the computer, and wrap the cable around a nearby table-leg or post. A combination lock makes it almost impossible to unlatch.

Noise-Canceling Earbuds
Children can be loud sometimes. Adults can be even louder. Take some noise-canceling earbuds with you to ensure your sanity. Podcasts and music can kill boredom on long trips. At night, you can use them to tune out a snoring roommate or noisy neighbor in your hotel.

Great Affordable Boston Hotels

Have you ever visited Boston, Massachusetts? If not, it is definitely rich in culture and a fascinating place to visit. If you find that you must travel to Boston, you should do the research and read this article beforehand, to make sure you are equipped with the necessary information to make your stay pleasant.

Hotels
Any time you visit a city, you should be sure that you are comfortable and enjoying your stay. Where you spend your time in a hotel, can really impact the quality of your vacation, business related or personal trip in Boston.

Boston has no shortage of ample hotels that are varied in price to accommodate your needs while you are in the charming city. If you like hotels with workout facilities, amenities, a pool and laundry room, Boston has that specially for you. If you do not need amenities but care for continental breakfast and want to make sure you have a nice, comfortable stay, Boston has the perfect hotel to suit your needs. Be sure not to settle when it comes to how you want to spend your time while you are spending time in such a historical city.

If you would like to learn about hotel reviews in Boston:

  • Double Tree Boston $220/Nightly Rated: Five Stars
  • The Langham, Boston $176/Nightly Rated: Five Stars
  • Hyatt Regency, Boston $357/Nightly Rated: Five Stars

If you want to learn more about reviews or travel information in Boston, please visit this website and get the information you need to make sure you have a wonderful stay!

Travel Spotlight: Lake Compounce

Many travellers are unaware but the northwestern corner of Connecticut is filled with fun-filled family attractions! One in particular is the classic amusement park, Lake Compounce. Located in Bristol, Connecticut, Lake Compounce, just so happens to be the oldest amusement park in America.

 

History of Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce was opened by Gad Norton in the year 1846. Norton had was known for conducting electricity experiments to entertain the public on the lake. Since then, the park has seen a $40 million renovation and now provides more than 50 rides and attractions.

 

Attractions

Lake Compounce is the home to the Boulder Dash, the “World’s #1 Wooden Rollercoaster”. The Boulder Dash has a 115-foot drop and goes at a speed of 65 miles per hour.

Thunder N’ Lighting provides guests with a two-armed, 4-G experience.

Zoomer’s Gas N’ Go gives guests a ride in a mini-corvette and travels back to the 1950’s.

Attractions for younger riders can be found in Garfield’s Circus World.  These rides include Caterpillar Train, Drop Zone and Flying Elephants.Younger guests can even experience a similar, smaller version of Lake Compounce’s Wildcat Coaster, called the Wildkitten.

Water Attractions

Lake Compounce is also home to Splash Harbor. This water park features:

Over 15 water attractions (including tube rides, a wave pool, and water slides)

60-foot New England Lighthouse

800-foot Lazy River

Perks!

This may or may not be a perk according to individual dietary restrictions, but Lake Compounce does offer unlimited free soda to guests all day, everyday.

Lake Compounce is located at

822 Lake Avenue

Bristol, Connecticut 06010

860/583-3300

Women’s Travel Fest Schedule

The Women’s Travel Fest in New Orleans is quickly approaching and in case you are considering going but are unsure what the event has to offer, I have included a schedule for you below.

Women’s Travel Fest Schedule 2017
Date: Friday, March 3
Time: 6:00p – 9:00p
Location: House of Blues Foundation Room
Event Type: Networking
This pre-party gathering will allow attendees to get to meet and know each other.

Date: Saturday, March 4
Time: 10:00a – 6:00p
Location: Jazz Market
Event Type: Festival Main Day
During this day, guests will be able to enjoy the offerings of various vendors, keynote speakers, network, and find out more about travelling.

This day includes a welcome from the Women’s Travel Fest founder, Kelly Lewis, keynote speakers including Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie, Courtney Scott, Nneya Richards, and much more.

Keynote topics of the day include:

  • Travel Hacking 101: How to Travel for Free -Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie
  • Our Biggest Travel Mistakes (and What We Learned From them) -Megan Elieen McDonough/Courtney Scott
  • What I learned From Every Country In the World – Cassie de Pecol
  • Play With the World: Your Dreams Matter with Shannon Kaiser – Shannon Kaiser
  • How I Built a Business in Travel – Mickela Mallozzi/Deidre Mathis/Gillian Morris/Daria Rebenok
  • Travel + Your Love Life – Mickela Mallozzi/Nneya Richards

The main day of the festival will close with a networking after party!

Date: Sunday, March 5
Time: 9:00a – 2:00p
Location: Jazz Market
Event Type: Festival Closing Day  

The day will begin with another warm welcome by founder, Kelly Lewis, followed by more exciting and informative keynote speakers including Pauline Frommer, Alyssa Ramos, Sarah Dodd, and much more!

Keynote topics of the day include:

  • See More, Spend Less: Planning Your Next Vacation With Pauline – Pauline Frommer
  • Traveling as an American Woman Today – Kelly Lewis/Nneya Richards
  • How to Be a Snapchat Influencer – Cailin O’ Neil
  • Travel Writing: Getting an Editor’s Attention – Marcia DeSanctis/Lavina Spalding
  • How to Be A One-Woman Camera Crew-Juliana Broste
  • How to Kill it on Instagram – Alyssa Ramos
  • Our Favorite Travel Gear- Courtney Scott
  • From 1 to 1 Million: A  Q&A with Scott Eddy- Scott Eddy

To see more information about the keynote speakers, topics, sponsors, and exhibitions, visit womenstravelfest.com.

2017 Women’s Travel Fest

Yes, it’s about that time! The Women’s Travel Fest is among us and you need to be there!

What is the Women’s Travel Fest?

In 2011, Women’s Travel Fest Founder, Kelly Lewis, was on location in Thailand for a press trip along with colleague, Jerri Stephenson of Do It While You’re Young. At the time, Lewis was connecting with a publication known as Go! Girl Guides, which continuously publishes travel guidebooks specifically for women.
At that time both women came together and contemplated why a festival of such caliber had not been created before. However, it wasn’t until 2013, when Kelly Lewis had successfully completed a cross-country book tour, when the idea for a Women’s Festival began to come together.

During her time on tour, Lewis began to build a network with women of all ages -ranging from as young as 12 to the age of 82, who shared a common interest of travel safety. After the tour was completed, Kelly Lewis move to New York City and connected with Masha Vapnitchnaia and Mickela Mallozzi. The three women came together and decided it was time for women to have their travel questions, concerns, and hopes addressed on a larger scale. Thus, Women’s Travel Fest was born.

Why Women’s Travel Fest?

Women’s Travel Fest offer a global sisterhood for women with a love of traveling and who wish to network with other women who share the same passion and celebratory nature for adventure.  

 

Tips for Planning Your Holiday Road Trip

That special time of year has come again: time to pack your bags and embark on a holiday road trip. Planning a road trip is no easy task. It would be ideal to just hop on a plane and go but as we all know, plane tickets become increasingly expensive around the holiday season. However, as inexpensive as it may be, going on a road trip is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help lighten your road trip load.

A proper budget is quite possibly the most essential part of your planning your road trip. Without a well thought out budget, you might find yourself in precarious situations that could have otherwise been avoided. The top three things your budget must include are gas, food, and lodging.

Gas

It is important that you make sure you begin your road trip with a full gas tank. Look around and make sure you are getting your gas for the best price possible.

Depending on how far away your destination is from your starting point, you will inevitably need to stop to refill your tank. Be sure not to underestimate the price of gas in other areas. You will find that some places will have higher gas prices than others, so budget accordingly.

Food

Many travelers will tell you that one of the best parts of a road trip is the opportunity to try new delicious foods. Just make sure you don’t blow your budget on food alone.

Try your best to pack as many snacks and as much food (you can also use a small or medium size cooler) as you can. Popular foods that many travelers pack for road trips include, but are not limited to:

  • Breakfats or protein bars
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Lunch meats
  • Sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly or lunch meats and cheese with mustard)
  • Trail mix and/or nuts

Lodging

It is expected you will have already secured a place to stay once you reach your destination. However, depending on the distance between your starting point and destination, you may find that you are too tired to execute your journey without stopping to rest.

Research hotels or motels that that fit your budget and that are easily accessed during your drive. Take advantage of sites like Expedia and Airbnb – sites that can help you find the best place to rest within your means.  

Personal Finance: Buying Your First Car

Whenever an individual is looking to buy a car for the first time, they will need to make sure that they get a fair price for the car they wish to purchase. During the car buying process, individuals will need to negotiate the price of a new car with the dealership. While this may seem intimidating, consumers who follow a few steps will help ensure that they get the best deal possible.

In order to negotiate with car dealerships in terms of price, it will be important to show them the price according to the manufacturer and tell them about the financing you have in place. It will also be vital that you tell them the exact features that you want as well as telling them about prices offered by other dealerships. Following these steps will help you get the ideal price of the car you want to buy and avoid getting ripped off.

The first thing you will want to do when negotiating a car price is to reveal the price of the new car according to the manufacturer. Each vehicle has a number of models that are offered at a specific price. It will be in your best interest to get this information and then tell the dealership that this is the amount you are willing to pay. For example, if a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle is offered at $35,000 according to the manufacturer and the local dealership offers it of $40,000, then you will want to offer $35,000. If they refuse, then move on to another dealer who will be more accommodating.

Another thing you will want to do when negotiating the price of a car is tell the dealership about the financing you have in place. If you have a loan check from a bank or credit union that is of market value for a particular vehicle, then this will help you convince the dealership to sell the car to you. Since a dealership is looking to make a sale, you will have considerable amount of bargaining power if you have the full amount for a vehicle on hand once you arrive at the dealership.

When looking to buy a new car and negotiate the price, you will benefit by telling the salesman about the features you want or don’t want. In many cases, dealerships offer vehicles at high prices due to the features added on. However, you may not want these extra features and will need to request a vehicle that doesn’t include them. Therefore, you will need to tell them you want the particular make and model of your specifications so that you can save money.

The last step in the car price negotiation process is to reveal prices of the vehicle you want offered by other dealerships. There may be times when dealerships may offer prices that are lower than what another dealership offers. As a result, you will want to tell the dealership that you are visiting that other dealers in the area are offering the same vehicle for $3000 less. Therefore, you will be in good position to get the car you want at a fair and reasonable price.