Archive | January 2016

How to Deal With Street Harassment Abroad

download (32)If you are a female, you will eventually have to deal with street harassment. Unfortunately, it can be found all over the world, no matter where you are. That’s not to say that such harassment does not take place at home, it certainly does. But, at least in your own culture you are more familiar with the rules about how to respond. You know what authorities can be sought for help. But, this is usually not the case in a foreign country. Know how to deal with street harassment abroad and make your next trip more comfortable.

Street harassment is any unwanted attention from a stranger in a public place. It can include staring, following, picture-taking, commenting, hooting, whistling or yelling. It is referred to as cat-calling. Many women feel like they must have done something to bring on this behaviour, so they feel embarrassed, scared, frustrated, ashamed or even guilt and replay the incident over and over in their head, trying to find out the missing action that could have caused the harassment.

Why Does Street Harassment Happen?

Street harassment is clearly a matter of power. It very rarely happens to those has power in a society. Some men harass them to try to prevent their equality and force them to retreat to their homes, as women strive to gain equal rights worldwide. When you are in a foreign country, there is an added layer of fear and confusion. You and the locals have cultural differences that mean there are different norms, clothing, race and different ways of showing affection in public, so people who have never experienced street harassment at home may go through it for the first time in a foreign country.

How to deal with street harassment abroad:

Prepare Yourself

There are certain countries that are known for more solicitous attitudes towards women walking alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel to those. Prepare yourself, do some research ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

Try to ignore:

The best way for minimising harassment is to simply ignore it. Men who catcall are looking for a reaction and by reacting you are giving them more attention and incentive to continue their behaviour.

Stay safe:

Your number one priority must be your safety. If you think you can’t handle the situation any more, try to escape from it. Do whatever you can do to get out of the situation and stay safe.

Feel safe:

Our body has a physical reaction, like pumping our heart faster and generating adrenaline, when we detect a threat. Take a moment to relax and calm down. Drink a glass of water or try deep breathing to lower your heart rate.

Trust your gut feeling:

Only you can feel the difference between a simple annoyance and an actual threat. Listen to your gut feelings and do what you feel right to do in the situation either to run away from the situation or ask a police officer or local woman for help.

Try not to be discouraged:

It is important to recognise that street harassment is an issue all over the world and almost every woman has experienced it. As women are an easy target, it is not only you to whom they are looking like that or passing comments but, every other woman. Just because you are becoming a victim of street harassment, you can’t sit at home all the time. So, be brave and face the situation. I know it is not easy, but it is not that difficult too.

Power isn’t about dominating the weak, it is about helping or protecting them. If you think women are weak, be a man; try to protect them instead of harassing them. The man who does things like that is a real coward because a true man knows that women deserve to be respected and treated equally.

 

How To Have A Budget-Friendly And Enjoyable Spain Vacation

download (31)Prepare Your Checklist

Are you planning for a Spain vacation? Spain is a fabulous country to explore for a holiday. You can never have enough splendid vacation destinations in Spain. How do you plan for your Spain vacation?

First thing you can do is search online for destination websites. Check out websites about “vacation in Spain”. Take note of what fantastic places to visit there are in Spain. What vacation packages in Spain are available? You can contact the site about it or your local travel agency.

There are many vacation packages for Spain to choose from. You can choose according to what will suit your budget and preferences. In your checklist, note how many days you’re going for a vacation in Spain. Most tourists go on a 1 or 2 weeks holiday there. That time frame would typically suffice for a fantastic vacation that’ll have you exploring all that Spain has to offer. Next item to check is what hotel you’re going to stay in. You have many options for comfortable hotels to stay in, along with bed and breakfast and other lodging options. Then check what airline you’re going to choose for your flight.

Call your preferred travel agent to make arrangements for you for your Spain vacation. The travel agent should be able to arrange the most suitable Spain vacation package for you.

Beautiful Places To Visit In Spain

What beautiful places can you visit in Spain? If it’s the bustling cities of Spain that you want to enjoy, try visiting Barcelona, Madrid, Seville or Bilbao. You’ll surely have a good time exploring these fun and energetic places. Otherwise, if you want to have fun under the sun, try going on a Mediterranean cruise that berths in the different ports of Spain. Another favorite vacation destination is La Manga. It is located in the middle of Costa Blanca and Costa Almeria. La Manga has 3 extravagant golf courses where you can play golf according to your pleasure. Here, you’ll also find a stunning 5-star hotel. The architecturally fabulous hotel overlooks the magnificent golf course, and it is indeed a spectacular view. The Montecastillo Hotel is an absolutely amazing treat. It offers an extraordinary mix of 5-star luxury and world-class golf. You’ll enjoy a feel of the mixed cultural heritage in Southern Spain when you take a trip to La Manga where the architecture is stunning, integrated with a perfect landscape.

Plan For Your Vacation Well

You’re off to have a wonderful time having a vacation in Spain if you plan for it well. It also matters what season you’re going on a holiday there. Take time to read and be well-informed about Spain and the places you’ll visit for your vacation. Carefully ask the travel agent about your concerns. You can choose from different types of Spain vacation packages.

Have a good time and avoid glitches and inconveniences when travelling in Spain. Have everything in check and make sure everything is in place. Contact a qualified travel agent to assist you so you can relish a budget friendly and the most enjoyable Spain vacation.

 

The Top 5 Crucial European Trips to Take WELL Before You Die

download (30)You may as well admit it. You’ve always wanted to travel in Europe, whether or not you’ve already done so. And even if you’ve traveled there many times, you yearn to go back—-again and again. For as long as there’s been an America, Americans have been drawn back to Europe.

Whether this yearning to return is because many of our ancestors came from Europe… Or because Europe has such a deep, rich and long-ranging history, much of it still there to wander around in… Or because it has amazing food and wine, to be experienced at charming restaurants, sitting at tables canopied by colorful umbrellas, and surrounded by flowers… Or because it has brought together awe-inspiring art and music and culture, and made it readily accessible for all to experience… Or because it is traversed by marvelous networks of transportation – trains and boats, trams and gondolas – making it possible to go virtually anywhere at any time from anywhere else, and to enjoy the going as much as the arriving… For all these reasons, the urge to “cross the pond” is strong. And the possibilities once you get there are extensive. Travel to Europe provides experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

The temptation, given the immense number of possibilities, is to make a whirlwind tour, jumping from country to country and place to place. Or, even worse, to hand over the reins of your trip and sign up for a group trip, either at whirlwind speed, or at a more modest pace, but in either case letting someone else be the decider about where you will go, what you will see, when and how. Avoid these styles of travel. Instead plan to travel independently, but with a well-designed plan, using a Great Trip guidebook to know exactly how to plan, arrange, prepare for and make your trip.

At a bare minimum, give yourself these five crucial, rejuvenating independent trips abroad, one each year.

Crucial Trip #1: Fabled France–Loire Châteaux, Mont St Michel, the Normandy Coast & Paris, City of Lights

On this unforgettable trip, you will fly into Paris and journey immediately by train to the charming medieval village of Amboise in the Eastern Loire Valley, your first home base, and your jumping off point for visiting five Châteaux, including the final home of Leonardo da Vinci. From there, you will travel, again by train, to Mont St. Michel, where you will stay out on the Mont like the monks of old, with the water surrounding you at high tide, then receding entirely at low tide — racing in and out at the speed of a galloping horse.

Next, you will take another train to the small town of Bayeux, your home-base for exploring the tales and memories of the conquests and liberations that have taken place from and to this precipitous coastline… from William the Conqueror in the 11th century to the Allied troops in the 20th. Then on to Paris for four glorious days (and nights!) on the left bank, where you will travel the Seine by Batobus (“Boat Bus”) to visit the art and architecture, cathedrals and gardens, markets and cafés.

Crucial Trip #2: Luminous Northern Italy–Cinque Terre, Florence, Hill Towns of Tuscany & Venice

After flying into Florence, you will travel by train to the coast for four days in Monterosso, clinging to the rocks along the Ligurian Sea, one of five gloriously lovely towns of Cinque Terre. Here you will take up lodging near the water, and travel about among the villages by boat.

Then on to Florence, where you will take up residence on the left bank of the Arno River, near the Ponte Vecchio and learn “your neighborhood” for the next eight days. Prepare to be awed. There is nothing you have experienced so far in your life like standing before the Duomo for the first time, or gazing in wonder at Michelangelo’s David.

While in Florence, you will have time to devote to art and cathedrals, sculpture and science, as well as markets and shops, outdoor dining and evening music on the squares… and gelato. From Florence, you will venture out on day trips to Cortona and San Gimignano, captivating hill towns of Tuscany that date back to the Etruscans.

Then on by train to Venice for three days, and exiting the train station to the cacophony of vaporetti and water taxis queued up to transport you along the canals to the stop closest to your hotel. This entirely unique city is another incomparable destination that will etch itself in your memory forever.

Crucial Trip #3: Stunning Vistas–Swiss & Italian Lakes & Alps

In anticipation of traveling to the Alps, and their lakes, picture the breathtaking scenes from Sound of Music. After flying into Geneva, you will board one of the impeccable trains of the Swiss rail system and travel to Lausanne on the far side of Lake Geneva, home to the International Olympic Committee, where you will be staying for three days. The funicular next to the train station will carry you up to the old town or down to the lakefront, where you will be staying while you explore the charms of this Swiss town. From Lausanne you will venture out by boat on day trips to the nearby town of Montreux, known for its Jazz Festival, and the legendary Castle of Chillon.

After Lausanne you will take a train to Lucerne, another storybook lakeside town, and your home for the next two days. Here you will be able to walk across the lake using a flower-bedecked covered bridge dating back to the 14th century, and walk the stone streets of old town, with brightly colored timber-framed buildings and little squares with fountains at their centers.

From Lucerne, you will be back on the train, changing to a different gauge train for the climb up to rustic Zermatt for two days, at the foot of the Matterhorn. Here you will be transported about town by small electric vehicles, or by foot, and carried high up into the mountains using a far-ranging network of gondolas. One of these gondolas will take you up over the Alps and into Italy for lunch with a stunning view.

From Zermatt you will travel via the famed Glacier Express to St. Moritz for three days, a beautiful and hospitable showplace that has its own lovely lake, with its own towering Alps in the background, and all the “ooh and aah” views that go with them. Continuing from St. Moritz by train, you will take the Bernina Express through the breathtaking Bernina Pass, traveling south across the Alps, then shifting from high Alpine scenery to palm trees. Next it will be on to Varenna, Italy where you will delight in five matchless days living along the breathtaking shores of Lake Como, traveling about by boat from one lake-side village to another. This is another entirely exceptional haven that you will love immediately and want to return to again.

Crucial Trip #4: Incomparable Capitals–London, Paris & Amsterdam

On this trip, you will divide your time, with five days each in three of the most extraordinary cities in the world, London, Paris and Amsterdam, each entirely distinct from the others. In London you will stay in a flat or hotel near Covent Garden, and learn “your neighborhood.” This will put you within a short walk of the Theater District (and the discount ticket booth at Leicester Square). So you will be able to take in two (or, better yet, three) superb London theater performances, with at least one of them performed at the rebuilt Globe Theater that harkens back to bawdiness of Shakespeare’s days.

At Covent Garden, you will delight in the ongoing troops of open-air performers–mimes and musicians, acrobats and jugglers–as well as the shops and stalls with every conceivable offering of craft and art, adornment and style. There will be time to explore the priceless collections of art in the museums, some of it created by British artists, but much of it appropriated from countries and cultures around the world. You will stand in awe before the magnificent Cathedrals of Westminster and St. Paul’s, then sit inside to soak in the peace, and possibly take in an organ performance. And you will travel the Thames, taking the London River Bus south to Greenwich, then north to Hampton Court Palace.

From London, you will travel by Eurostar to Paris, where you will immerse yourself for five days in the delights and senses, art and architecture, gardens and music of this remarkable city. Last you will move on to Amsterdam for five days, a feast of canals and canal houses, art and history, museums and music, outdoor cafés and markets. From Amsterdam, you will venture out to small neighboring towns with familiar names like Delft and Gouda. Your time in Amsterdam will fly by in a mirage of sights and sounds, stories and experiences, and priceless encounters with the affable Dutch.

Crucial Trip #5: The Dazzling South of France–Cote d’Azur, Provence & the French Alps

After landing in Paris, you will hop aboard the TGV (“Train a Grande Vitesse”—“train of great speed”), where you will doze away your jetlag in comfort while you traverse France at 200 mph in a little over three hours. But then, when the sparkling azure waters of the Mediterranean first burst into sight, you will snap into focus, and your train will slow to hug the coastline on its way to Nice for three nights. After Nice, you will move on by train to spend three nights in the enchanting small coastal town of Cassis, with its immaculate white stone market square, and its boat rides out to see the Calanques-towering limestone cliffs, rising straight up out of the Mediterranean Sea to heights approaching 2,000 feet.

Leaving Cassis, you will make your way back along the coast to Provence for three nights in the walled city of Avignon. Once the second city of the Popes, Avignon has its own “Pope’s Palace” and Cathedral, as well as its bridge of childhood song, pedestrian streets, and vast open squares, surrounded by cafés and restaurants and lined with trees.

Then you will travel north until you reach the French Alps, where you will spend three nights in lovely Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924 (elevation 3,320 – 15,780 feet). From high up in Chamonix, you will descend to Annecy for three nights, sometimes called the “Venice of the Alps” for its two canals and the Thiou river flowing through the old city. In this enticing town beside a stunning glacial lake, with its glorious backdrop of mountains, you will walk the narrow cobbled streets of Old Town and travel by boat or by bicycle to other small towns bordering the lake.

And So, Where to Begin

Where will you begin? When? Could you manage to take them independently? Should you? Can you afford to go? Can you afford not to?

Taking these questions in order… Where will you begin? Start with Trip #1: Fabled France. When? Plan to take this trip next year at the latest. Then take another trip each year from that point on (or, at the very least, one every two years).

Could you take these trips independently? And should you? Yes, you most definitely could manage to take them independently, and, yes, you should. Use a Great Trip to France guidebook to know exactly how to plan, arrange, prepare for and make each trip. Each book in the Great Trips series carries you fully through every stage and detail of the trip, from planning and preparing, to making arrangements and booking planes, trains and drivers, to budgets and packing, to arrival and orientation, to day-by-day guidance of what to do and when and how to do it, and how to have the full experience. You will have everything you need to make your own great trip, yet you will keep your freedom too.

Yes, you can afford to take the first of these trips, through some combination of saving and priority shifting. If taking the entire 15-day version of the trip is beyond reach, timewise and otherwise, then find a way to take half the trip in 8 days and save the other half for later.

And, no, you cannot “afford not to.” These are the trips of a lifetime that will become part of you and will change forever how you see life and the world. By making these trips, you will bring home stories and treasures, as well as changes in how you live your life from day to day.

Take it from a pair of habitual travelers… From Tremezzo on Lake Como, we brought home from market day the tablecloth we now use when we eat lunch in the little Italian Trattoria we have set up on our front porch. Many days we enjoy sea bass in a lemon butter sauce, with fresh spinach lightly sautéed in olive oil, just the way we liked it when we were sitting at a lake-side restaurant in Bellagio. We take time out from our busy work days to sit outside talking and laughing together, looking out across our front gardens, in the contented style we brought home with us from Italy and from France. And we turn on music first thing every morning, another habit change we adopted from our travels.

Once your perspectives and views have been broadened by travel, your eyes will be opened, and there will be no going back… nor would you want to. “As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do” (Zachary Scott).

Brainstorming Ideas for Packing Travel Bags for A Personal and Professional Tour

download (29)Traveling is a hobby for some while others do it because of their job requirements or business needs. Some people love to go for family vacation once or twice in a year. Whatever might be the purpose of traveling, one thing is for sure that you will need and that is to do the whole packing properly to take along all the things you want to be cosy in your expedition as well as save incurring extra expenses on it. However, for this you need to plan in advance and decide which are the things that are indispensable for you are and what kind of luggage you require? You need to keep in mind the nature and mode of your vacation, for instance, is it a family holiday or business trip and are you going to travel in flight or drive your own car all the way. All such things matter a lot. Here are some brainstorming travel packing ideas that will make things easier for you and other travel enthusiasts.

Arrange your suitcase properly by using labels

Use labels on your suitcase cautiously with baggage tags so that you can easily identify it in the airport crowd. You can customize it by decorating with ribbons, sticky labels or even multi-colored shoelaces which will prevent it from getting misplaced at the airport and you will not feel harassed.

Gather all the garments, shoes, cosmetics that is at the top of your priority

    • Pack light and invest in durable trolley travel bags as they convenient to carry. You can also opt for modes sleek suitcases as most travelers do while going for a vacation. Always remember travel bags with wheels or messenger bags are ideal for business conference trips as with them you can easily carry your laptop/iPad as well as personal accessories. For short official trips consider the rolling carry-on bags with cases where you can keep your mobiles, pen, keys, business cards etc.

 

    • Pack the clothes that are at the top of your priority for a vacation or outdoor trip such as bathing suits or pyjamas.

 

    • Take along underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, woolen garments and do not forget to roll them while packing as it will prevent wrinkling of that stuff and save a lot of space. You can also use vacuum compression bags for keeping your garments for an outdoor trip. Garment bags are also good as they protect the clothes in a vacation as well as keep them neat and wrinkle-free. They are long-lasting, trendy and light.

 

    • Fold the harder fabrics in the suitcase such as blazers, skirts, cotton shirts etc to keep them in a good condition.

 

    • Pack sneakers, sandals, fancy shoes carefully as they tend to take a lot of space. You can choose one-gallon-size resealable bags for keeping them and then place them beside the sides of the bag. It will be a feasible idea to keep sunglasses and mobile chargers along with the shoes.

 

    • It is best to keep phone chargers, camera chargers, adapters, and headphones in spare zip lock bags for greater safety. Such bags are also useful for keeping car keys, medicines, electrical items etc.

 

    • Use luggage scales to prevent unnecessary charges at the airport

 

    • Invest in a thermal cooler bag for packing cold drinks and other fluids for traveling

 

  • Take luxurious and soft Velura for carrying blankets and neck pillows.

Consider all the key things in your baggage

Take with you all the things that you need including

  • Wallet
  • Mobile phone
  • Air tickets and print out of their numbers
  • Water
  • Plastic bags with toiletries
  • Note pad and pen
  • Itinerary
  • Cosmetics
  • Laptop
  • Video camera
  • Imperishable snacks
  • Magazines
  • Change of clothes

Follow the ideas above for packing and have an invigorating holiday with your friends and family.

This entry was posted on January 1, 2016, in Travel.