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!

Tips To Help You Rest Easy In Hotel Rooms

Traveling, whether the distances are long or short, may take a significant toll on travelers both emotionally and physically. And because of this, one of first joyful experiences of your trip might be the moment you are able to rest peacefully in your hotel room. Right? Not necessarily. Many travelers find it difficult to immediately achieve their desired level of rest and relaxation in a new environment. Here are a few tips that may help:  

Do Not Disturb
It would be most helpful to hang the Do Not Disturb tag provided by the hotel to as soon as your luggage is resting comfortably on your hotel room floor. Doing such will increase the chances of you being left alone by housekeeping and other hotel staff members.

Keep in mind, you will have to remove the Do not Disturb tag at some points during your stay. If housekeeping is unable to get into the room after sometime they will alert the front desk – just to make sure you are okay.  

Ever heard of an isolated room?
Call ahead and request to be placed in a room that is located away from potential noises and distractions such elevators, vending machines, ice machines, etc. These types of rooms are typically located at the end of a dead-end hallway.

It’s almost impossible to get your choice of room when booking through travel websites like Travelocity or Expedia – it would be best to book your room directly through the hotel’s website.

Get some air!
Most of the time the HVAC is off when you first enter the room. Do yourself a favor and turn it on. Matter of fact, don’t just turn it on be sure that it is not on “auto” mode to avoid the constant switching from off to on throughout the your day/night.

Ear plugs 
This may seem like a no brainer tip but every so often travelers neglect to utilize ear plugs to help them relax and/or sleep. Ear plugs are inexpensive, comfortable, and will help to block out any additional noises.

Give these tips a try and see if they work for you. Safe travels!

Solo Travel Tips

 

It’s back! That time of year where we all seem to get bitten by the “travel bug”. While group travel is fun, it isn’t always economically feasible for everyone. Hence why more people are opting to travel alone. If you are about to embark on a solo journey, here are a few things you need to know:

 

Preparation is key

As the saying goes, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Yes, the goal of travelling is to have a good time, but you also need to be ready and have a plan in plan in place in case things happen to go wrong. The three most common issues travelers face are illness, lost/stolen money, and cellphone roaming charges.

 

Getting sick

There are many reasons why you might fall ill while travelling but more often than not it will be food poisoning. The best way to avoid this is by researching the the places to eat first and reaching out to tour guides for tips on the best places to get your grub on.

 

If you’re truly worried about food poisoning while abroad, you can ask your physician to provide you with a prescription that can help to prevent or combat food-influenced illnesses.

 

Lost/stolen cash

This is quite possibly one of the worst things that can happen while traveling, especially if you are traveling solo! The best thing you can do in this situation is have your banking information memorized or written down in a safe place at the very least.

 

Cellphone charges

Remember, Wi-fi is your friend! Data charges can add up pretty quickly so, it would be best to ensure you can find a wi-fi connection. You should also download apps before you leave for your trip that will allow you to communicate with family and friends while abroad. The top apps for travel communication are:

 

  • Skype
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook messenger

 

Lastly, remember to have fun! Regardless of of what happens during your trip you have to find the positive in every situation and allow yourself to have a good time.

 

Safe travels my friends!

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

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.  

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE NORTH CAROLINA’S OUTER BANKS

The Summer season is almost coming to an end but that doesn’t mean you’re traveling and adventure has to to come to an end as well. If you’re in search of a getaway that is near the beach but still has plenty to offer on land, you should consider heading to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Below you can find some fun locations that offer plenty to do on the outer banks:

WRIGHT BROTHERS NATIONAL MEMORIAL

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills, NC and celebrates the milestone achievements of the first powered, sustained, extraordinary flight. This location is home to a small museum where interactive exhibits referencing the Wright brothers and replica glider planes are open to visitors.

Visitors can also climb Big Kill Devil Hill where a plaque resides that marks the location where the Wright brothers first plane landed.

CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse  is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and is located in the town of Buxton. There are more than a dozen lighthouses located in North Carolina but the seemingly most historic one  happens to be the seaside guardian at Cape Hatteras.

Anyone who would like to visit the seaside guardian need only sign up for a tour. Once a month, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse offers full moon tours for $8.

JOCKEY’S RIDGE STATE PARK

Jockey’s Ridge State Park  offers impressive views and sledding on the sand dunes. These dunes are perfect for sledding as the sand dunes around the Outer Banks reach their highest point at Jockey’s Ridge.

If you’d like to enjoy a carefree sled on your boogie board or a flat piece of cardboard, head on over to Nags Head and take a ride!

 

TIPS FOR WOMEN TRAVELING SOLO

woman travel

Recently, there has been an increase in solo female travelers. Women are daring to go where they have never been before and they are doing it alone. As invigorating and adventurous as this may be, we must keep in mind that safety is a number one concern.

While any solo traveller, regardless of gender, may face dangerous situations, women who are traveling alone are more likely to be affected than men.  The popular website, BuzzFeed, took the time to ask a few women about what they do to feel safe while abroad. Below you can find a few of the tips they gathered.

Travel Tips:

Crowdsourcing
When using sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Hostelz, it’s important that you research and find reviews as well as pictures posted by people who have actually stayed in the hotel and have spent time in the area.

Itinerary
Someone back home, whether it be a parent, spouse, or a friend should have a copy of your itinerary. This way,  someone who know you will have an idea of your whereabouts  during your trip.

DropBox Documents
How many times have you heard stories of someone losing their ID, passport, ticket numbers, phone, etc.? Losing any item of identification can be dangerous especially if you are traveling internationally. Scanning or taking a photograph of your important documents and placing them in locked site like Dropbox or something similar will help you in the long run.

U.S. Department of State
Register with the U.S. Department of State’s and download their app, Smart Traveler. Doing so will keep you informed when you about the country you’re in as well as your homeland.

International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
Registering with the International Associations for Medical Assistance  (IAMAT)will assist you with locating medical clinics approved by doctors who speak English.

International phone plan
Depending on how long you will be traveling internationally, you may or may not want to invest in an international phone plan. If you choose not to purchase a full plan, you can also buy a few phone cards for your trip.

Travel insurance.
The cost of Travel insurance varies. However, it would be wise to purchase some, especially if you’re traveling alone. Your insurance will cover most of or all of any unexpected costs. This includes medical and dental emergencies, as well as reimbursement for lost baggage, trip cancellations, or delays, rental car damage, and much more.

Stash Your Cash
It’s always a good idea to keep a few dollars and a credit or debit card on you at all times. You should also keep some stashed in your purse/bag and in your hotel room. A few unsuspecting places to keep your money are the bottom of a tampon, pad box, or empty shampoo bottles,

Charger, charger, charger
Your phone will probably be the item you use the most on your trip. It is important to remember to pack your charger, and extra battery if possible.

SnapCab?
Snap a quick photo of the cab before you hop in. This is not only for your safety but it will also help you track the car down if you happen to leave something in it. Once you get in (or begin walking to your destination) the cab say something like, “alright, I’ll be there soon” or “in 10-15 minutes”. This will make the driver or those around you believe you are meeting up with someone.

Fake it til’ you make it.
It is recommended by U.S. State Department that single women traveling in the Middle East should wear a wedding ring. Try to research the location you are visiting and see what is customary for solo female travelers to do there.

hotel1

Hotel Tips:

Keep your keys
Hotels always provide you with 2 keys. Keep one key on you (on your pants or coat pocket) and the other in your bag.

Do not disturb
Whether you are in the room or not, leave the “do not disturb” sign on the door and leave your tv on. Thieves will not want to risk breaking into your room if they think someone is inside. If you happen to order room service, do not fully open the door. And should someone ask if you are alone, say the other person stepped out for a minute and will be “right back”.

 

For more tips and information on being a solo female traveler, visit BuzzFeed.com

 

March Travel Destinations

march travel

Am I the only one constantly confused by all the department store advertisements for spring attire or swimsuits? I mean, it is still very much winter outside. The temperature keeps dropping while fierce wind and blizzards are on the horizon. So, what use would I have for a shorts or a swimsuit during the first week of March? A recent article posted on lonelyplanet.com revealed six answers to that very question. Below you will find a few of the destination suggestions that will help you to no longer second guess why you’ll need a those tank tops and sunglasses.

Southern Cape, South Africa

March is in fact one of the most active months in Cape Town. There are a variety of sporting and cultural events to keep residents and tourist busy. The beginning of the month presents various cycling races, ending with the “world’s largest timed cycling event”, the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The tour hosts nearly 30,000 participants and will be held on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour will be followed by a performing arts musical festival, Infecting the City. The festival will run throughout much of the Cape Town’s theatres, fountains, and museums. The final day of Infecting the City will end with the lively Cape Town Carnival on March 12, 2016.

New Zealand

If you’re as big on trying new foods as you are on traveling then make sure you head to New Zealand for the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival 25 years ago a local resident of Hokitika was overwhelmed with request in regards to her home-brewed gorse flower wine. In an effort to suppress the requests, she chose to hold a celebration of all the local foods of Hokitika. Travelers nowadays will not only be able to sample gorse flower wine, they can also try deep-fried beetles, whitebait patties, marinated tuna, and much more!

The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival takes place on March 12, 2016. Travelers must keep in mind that this wildly popular event does not allow entry to after the maximum of 10,000 people is reached.

Nara, Japan

One of Japan’s oldest Buddhist festivals, the Omizutori festival, is hosted in Nara during the month of march. Each night monks parade on the verandah of Nigatsu-dō holding torches and spraying embers on the crowd below. The deed is meant to “purify and bring luck” to visitors. Travelers will have more than enough time to catch embers of luck and purification as the event lasts from March 1st to March 14th.