A Tourist in a New City

So you’ve just arrived in a new city. Everything looks strange and new. You’re tired and overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar sights. Don’t worry; panicking won’t get you anywhere. Just remember that this is a whole new adventure and there are a lot of things in store for you.

What’s next in your agenda?

Relax. Prior to arrival, you may have entertained thoughts of ‘Are we there yet?’, making you all excited and giddy, or maybe anxious and weary. Calm down. Getting frightened won’t make your mind function properly. It won’t make you enjoy the sights that you exerted a lot of effort to see. Take deep breaths and loosen up.

Take a break. Sometimes this is forgotten even by frequent travelers. Rest first to recover the energy the trip took, and to prepare yourself for the days ahead. If it’s too early for you to check in to your hotel, then what you can do is to look for a cafe first, order coffee, plop down in a comfy seat and have serene thoughts. Anything you could do to rejuvenate yourself even just for a while.

Grab a map — look for one, or check maps installed on your smartphone. It’s best to have a map or at least a city layout. Google maps may require Internet connection, but a good old-fashioned map will still work if you don’t have access at the moment. It will be a saner trip if you have a map to teach you where the places are.

Know your hotel route. Be familiar on the routes available for getting to your hotel. It also won’t hurt to check your reservation prior to arrival just to make sure that you indeed have one. See which buildings and sights are close by to maximize your stay. Stroll around the neighborhood to feel more settled in an unfamiliar location.

Check out upcoming events. Talk to the hotel’s concierge service or receptionist, and find out if there are any events coming up – that is, if the reason you went there is not because of an event or occasion. It’s a bad feeling when you realized you missed out on something fun. It’s also best to check events in advance so that you can buy tickets or make reservations in case it’s necessary.

Have cash with you. You’re not sure yet where the closest ATMs are — or if there’s actually one. No matter where you are, even on your hometown, you won’t get too far with an empty wallet. Not only you should have paper bills, you should have coins as well.

Get a transit pass. Buying tickets from time to time is not only time-consuming but also energy-draining. In Hong Kong, you can buy a tourist pass that allows you to have unlimited trips in the train for the whole day. Other countries also have that option that you can utilize. Get a multi-day pass so you can make the most out of your travel.

Being a tourist in a new city doesn’t have to be scary and stressful. Once you get used to the surroundings, traveling would be fun and exciting. All you’ll be concerned about is where to get those postcards to send to people back home.

Essentials of Traveling: Choosing Great Aircraft Seats

Essentials of Traveling Choosing Great Aircraft Seats

Traveling by plane can be scary and exciting. The ride is scary especially for people who are yet to experience their first plane ride. The ride is exciting as it’s a means of getting to places foreign and new.

People struggle to choose the ‘perfect’ aircraft seat. Others don’t mind the hustle, they just go for the seat assigned to them. There are some passengers though whose position of the seat matters.

Types of Seats on a Row

Seat types offer advantages over others. It just depends on your preference.

Aisle Seats – These types of seats are the choice of the ‘road warriors’. These seats make it easy for the passenger to get off and out the plane. Aisle seats may not be preferred during long flights, though, because you always hear people walk by, you’re hit by an elbow, and your seatmates climb over you. Aisle seats are also chosen by those passengers who frequently take trips to the toilet so that they won’t knock anyone over when they pass by.

ŸWindow Seats – The window seat is preferred by those who want to sleep during the flight. If you’re a passenger who prefers to stay awake, you will also love the window seat as it allows you to check out the view and rest your head against it. If you don’t mind the cool walls and the slightly less floor space, then the window seats are your best bet.

ŸMiddle Seats – These seats are least preferred by travelers. The only chance a person might like the middle seat is if he knows the person sitting on the window and/or the aisle seat — in short, if he knows the person sitting beside him. Surveys indicate that only one percent would choose the middle seat compared to the other two types. They might consider the middle seat, however, to lessen turbulence effects.

Other Seat Types

ŸBulkhead Seats – These are located in each section’s first row. It doesn’t have any seats reclining to you. Its legroom is different from other plane seats. These seats usually have room for infant bassinets, so they’re usually meant for families with small kids. You can go on a flight sitting in one, but be prepared for the possibility of sitting beside screaming children.

ŸExit row seats – These are found beside the emergency exit rows, have bigger legroom compared to standard seats, and give you easier access to the aisles. The armrests can’t be lifted, though. If you’re the one seated in here, you should be prepared to help attendants when there’s an emergency. Certain airlines charge extra for these seats, since there’s a ‘demand’ for them at times.

There is no ‘perfect’ seat; it all depends on your preference. Maybe you’re a traveler who wants a window seat, or an aisle seat. You might be different and prefer a middle seat, who knows. All that matters is that you’re in a comfortable seat that will take you to your next destination.

Why Traveling is Good for You

Happy couple

They say that wines are good for your health, dark chocolates and apples, too. But why is traveling good for you?

It gives you flexibility

It gives you flexibility, not in terms of your body being bent in various angles, but flexibility which refers to your mind. You may have prepared fail-safe plans and foolproof methods, but in reality, traveling always has a sense of unpredictability.

You have to be open-minded enough to accept that sudden changes can happen. Flights can be delayed. Hotels might end up fully-booked. Waiting in line could be longer than you expected. Flexibility, however, will give you the attitude to accept changes even in short notice.

It makes you see things in their proper perspective

Traveling opens your eyes to issues concerning other people. Prior to traveling, you may think your problems are the worst there is. Going to other places will expose you to other concerns, and you’ll realize that your problems are not as daunting as they really are. By doing so, your depression will be decreased, and your outlook will be better towards life.

In traveling, you’ll meet people from other cultures; you’ll realize that your view of the world is not the same as how other people sees it.

It makes you try out and learn new things

Traveling is a learning experience. When you travel, you are exposed to new kinds of cuisines. You feel cautious in trying out foreign and exotic foods, but your curiosity betrays you anyway. Insects, crunchy plants, seaweeds, raw food, what have you — you try them out which adds to the experience. It makes you more courageous.

You’ll learn geography. You’ll also be given a chance to taste local delicacies that you’ve never tried before. You’ll even reach a mountain top. You’ll realize there are skills you never knew you have.

It rejuvenates and energizes you

Usually, you won’t have time to have physical activity, not unless you allot time to go to the gym or get engaged in sports. When you travel, however, you have to prepare and be ready for a lot of walking and running, sometimes hiking, mountain climbing and camping.

It may sound like insignificant activities, but it can do wonders to both your mind and body. It makes you happy, and it makes you energized. It makes you look forward to other similar ventures. Vacation also reduces stress, in a major way. Travel is actually linked to lower risks of heart disease. Won’t those be enough reason to love traveling?

It builds relationships – maybe to yourself, or to other people

Traveling is known to bring people together. A couple’s relationship is guaranteed to grow stronger if they went to new places together. On the other hand, if you travel alone, you might meet someone new that will become a part of your life eventually, who knows.

After a trip, a family may come up stronger. Friends will have more memories together. A couple will know each other better. A solo traveler will end up being wiser.

Won’t those reasons be enough to pack your bags and just go?

Why Travel Alone?

The Famous Bromo

 If someone asks you why you choose to travel alone, ask them, ‘Why not?’. Traveling is not meant for couples, groups or families alone — single people can also partake in the enjoyment of traveling.

Going back to the original question, why do people prefer to travel alone? Various reasons pop up on the list:

You’ll get to meet new people.

This works better if you’re an extrovert – it will be more effortless for you to find new friends. If you’re alone, it will be simpler for other people to approach you, and you’ll be chatting with another lonely stranger before you know it.

Your time, money and energy are all yours.

You don’t have to attend to someone if you travel alone. You can buy anything you wish, and you don’t have to wait on anybody else. Will spending money on souvenirs count, though?

You have more space to yourself.

Checking-in on hotels will be easier. You don’t have to share a room. You’re great company, anyway. Perhaps it’s about time that you realize it. Imagine yourself lounging, sitting on a beach at sunset wherein you don’t have to make conversation with anyone else. You’re alone with your thoughts, or maybe just a good book. You’ll realize then that life is indeed grand.

You can use this as a time for meditation and for some ‘me-time’.

When was the last time you had a moment for yourself? A solo trip may prove to be a life-changing experience. It’s powerful and invigorating; it may be the key to a fresher you. It will also empower you and make you a better person. Smarter, too.

You can do what you want to do.

Have you ever experienced delaying an activity you wanted to do for so long because your companion is not available? This time, it will be easier for you to prepare – you don’t have to wait on anyone but yourself. Want to spend the day drinking? Partying? Go ahead. You don’t have to answer to anyone, anyway.

You’ll be missed by your significant other.

This applies only to those in a relationship, by the way. It’s not advisable to spend every vacation alone and not with your partner, but once in a while, it’s good to be away from each other. Not only you’ll be able to develop individual interests, but going home after being separated even just for a short while will make you miss each other, and will make you appreciate each other’s presence more. Who knows, maybe you’ll take your partner along the next time you go.

You don’t have to consult or rely on other people with regard to major decisions.

It’s easier to plan if you’re alone. A trip can be coordinated easier since you only have to consider your schedule and no one else’s. A group trip can be arranged if it’s planned in advance, but what if it’s an impromptu trip? It will be easier to organize.

Indeed, it’s nice to travel if you have someone to share the memories with. Yet a solo trip can be rewarding too. Try it, and see the effects it will have on you.

Traveling? Cross these Foods Out of Your List

Mushroom Swiss Burger @ Chili's

It’s sure fun and exciting to prepare for travel, especially if it’s a vacation that you’ve long planned for. You got your clothes packed, toiletries ready, and documents stored. Everything’s set – you’re just waiting for the flight.

You suddenly got hungry. Poor you. Something can be done, though: you can still munch on some snacks prior to leaving. The thing is, can you just eat anything available inside the cupboard?

What you eat prior to boarding your vehicle can perhaps affect the whole trip. Here are some friendly reminders about foods you better avoid before traveling.

Alcohol

Some frequent fliers, especially those with fear of flying, are fond of drinking alcohol prior to their flight. Medical professionals however disagree with this practice because it triggers dehydration – something that you wouldn’t want to encounter during travel.

Alcohol may relax you during the flight, but when the trip’s over, you’ll end up If you really swear by drinking alcohol while travelling, consume plenty of water to counteract the alcohol’s effect.

Fries, Burger and Carbonated Drinks – in Short, a Happy Meal

Foods with saturated fats and sodium are undoubtedly delicious, especially if you’re facing the temptation known as Mickey D’s Happy Meal. However, those foods are not recommended before traveling as those foods are hard to digest.

Yes, it can make you full, but it can cause gastric problems, and even make you fatter. Soft drinks can even cause mouth odor, which is undoubtedly unpleasant.

Gas-sy Foods

Don’t ever eat foods that cause intestinal expansion; riding a plane can promote further bloating. Examples of these even include healthy foods: cabbage, onions, baked beans, and noodles.

Gas troubles are troublesome on land; what more if you’re on motion? Case in point: an American Airlines plane in 2006 had to make an emergency landing because of a flatulent passenger. A passenger once struck matches to hide a certain smell, causing a plane to come down. So aren’t you convinced yet?

Sugar-Free Candy …and Yes, it Includes Gum

You may have heard that gum is good for flights because it eases the discomfort brought by turbulence. Gum however, together with sugar-free candy, may contain artificial sweeteners and synthetic sugars that aren’t processed by the body well. These foods may possibly have a laxative effect …this you would want to avoid while on travel.

Candies and gum usually contain warnings about these effects on their packaging; check those out before munching on them prior to travel.

Garlic

Garlic tastes good – garlic bread, anyone? – but it stays on your breath, and as well as in your body odor. Once you take in garlic, its sulfuric compounds go into your lungs and bloodstream. You end up exhaling the smell even after brushing your teeth, and it seeps out of your pores.

If you can, skip the garlic before leaving. Once you get to your destination, then you can munch on the garlic as much as you can.

Just for a Few Hours, Anyway

Don’t worry; you’re not deprived to eat the stuff for good. You just have to stay away from them while you’re on your way – it would benefit not only you, but the people you’re travelling with as well.