Here are eight useful travel tools to use before and during your vacation:#1 Airfare Checker:Before planning your trip, you may want to check which season or month is the cheapest to fly. Depending on your destination, you can save hundreds by merely moving your departure date by a few weeks. For example, if you are traveling to Europe in August, did you know that airfares drop by 30% if you travel in September? They drop even more if you push it out to November. Of course seasons play a role here, but if your vacation is not reliant upon season, you can save quite a bit just moving your departure days around.#2 Travel Alerts:A must check before deciding on where to go and where to stay. Even after you book, you should make sure that all is good where you are going. This is especially important for 3rd world countries or places that have unstable governments. The last thing you want to do on your vacation is to worry about your safety.#3 Currency Converter:Dealing in multiple currencies can be very difficult, especially with currencies that have high values or odd ball numbers. A simple currency converter or a pocket calculator can make sure you are getting the correct amount. This is also useful when comparing which exchange places have the best exchange rate.#4 Flight Tracker:Before heading out to the airport, on both your outbound and return flight, be sure to check your flights. Delays, cancellations, and flight changes occur very frequently and can disrupt your travel plans greatly. Be prepared, and check with your airline before heading out.#5 Weather:While you may not be able to change it, weather certainly determines what you should wear. It is also useful to plan your activities around it as well. For example, planning a hiking trip in the mountains wouldn’t be good on a rainy day. Instead plan an indoor activity such as a museum or aquarium.#6 Maps:Knowing where you are and where you are going is crucial when traveling. You will avoid delays, getting lost, and it will just make for a more stress free vacation. This also isn’t limited to road maps, subway, city, and transit maps will also help you get around.#7 News:It is always useful to check the current news while you are traveling. Besides staying on top of current events, know your local news. For example, perhaps the train or road you are taking is closed for repair, or perhaps there is a warning not to drink the water. Being aware of current news helps you avoid any travel mishaps.#8 Translator:Communication is vital when navigating foreign countries. Being able to somewhat speak a few words can make your trip much easier. While most foreign countries and tourist attractions will speak your native language, having a translator will be vital when traveling to more remote parts. A simple dictionary or mobile phone app can assist you in getting the crux of your message across.
If you are looking to plan a trip and you are not quite sure of where to go, what to do, how to get there and how much money to shell out, then you definitely need to check out a travel directory. A travel directory is very much like a phone directory. It provides a list of travel related information. The advantage of a travel directory is that it classifies information under a number of convenient titles. For example, if luxury is your primary concern, most travel directories have a list which is dedicated exclusively to the ones who love to indulge in exotic travels and enjoy the best of stays and food.Travel directories also provide travel articles that help you in deciding which destination best suits your requirements. These travel articles are very informative and vividly describe the sights and sounds of the places they speak of. They let you know about all the means of transport that you can avail to get somewhere, often citing the prices that you have to pay. Articles about particular cities and towns also speak of neighboring places of tourist interest.Travel directories also contain photo albums. These albums are the best curtain raisers that you can watch before you actually visit a place. Starting from snow capped mountain tops to sun bathed sandy beaches, these photos leave a long lasting first impression about a place.A travel news section is there in most travel directories which provide the local news of the places you wish to travel to. For example, if you are planning a visit to Berlin, you can check out the latest news about the weather conditions and political situation there.Many travel directories also give you access to a host of You tube travel videos that have been uploaded by others. Many shows, functions and festivals are held in many places around the world. These videos are often a great way to experience them without actually being there.Travel blogs in a travel directory are a great a way to decide where you want to visit. These are updated regularly and contain posts about various places from around the world! Often these are posted by famous travelers. There are photographs along with the writing that turn out to be very helpful as well.The best part about a travel directory is that most of them allow you to upload your own information about places that you have visited and would like others to know about. Starting from articles to photographs and videos, you can upload whatever you may feel necessary.The information in travel directories is easy to access since they are categorized under convenient heads like accommodation, business travel, camping, food, museums and a lot more.
Have you ever thought about making a steady online income… while traveling? eBay provides a fantastic platform for doing this and it’s not very difficult or time consuming. You can travel overseas for a LONG time by holding just a few online auctions per week if you set things up properly.Most people dismiss eBay as a viable travel business because they think you’ve got to have a physical inventory present… and while traveling, that would clearly be limited by the size of your luggage.There’s good news and more good news. The first piece of good news is that you definitely DON’T need to have a physical item or inventory to sell. You can easily sell a digitally delivered product or inexpensively hire a fulfillment house to ship your stuff for you. Here’s the ‘more’ good news: because most people dismiss eBay for making a travel income the market is left wide open for this type of marketing!The other big reason entrepreneurs dismiss eBay is because they think it’s for selling old junk lying around the house. They take a ‘garage sale’ mentality about eBay (sell your extra stuff lying around the house). This is great for some people, but wrong for business!So, Here is your basic model for traveling and making money with online auctions:1) Find a product to sell. This is easy. You can sell a digital E-book if you don’t want to carry an inventory, or you can resell items from wholesalers at a markup. Simply get on the lists of a few dozen wholesalers and start watching their wholesale product listings.2) Based on those products, narrow it down to what people WANT. This is the biggest pitfall would-be auction sellers make… They sell a product they think people need instead of what people actually BUY. You’ve got to find where the highway traffic is flowing and stand in front of it with a big money net.3) Study Your Competition. You should steal what other competitors are doing that is working! Watch for the sellers who consistently sell products in the market you’ve chosen, and see what they are doing. They’re on eBay because what they’re doing is working! By the way, don’t get scared off by competition. Competition means there’s a market of buyers!4) Get your feet wet. Jump in there and make a listing! Start the bidding price low so that people get emotionally invested in your product. Show lots of pictures. Consider utilizing an auction listing template to make things look nice… but remember, it’s the STORY that people get drawn into more than a pretty website, so make them feel like they already own the product and show them the benefits of owning your product, not the features.5) Scale Bigger. After you’ve experienced some success with a few auctions, you can now make more sales and bigger sales.So how do you travel and sell on eBay? Easy. There are internet café’s all over the world that you can login to for as little as $0.10 cents per hour! Most will be around $1-$2 dollars per hour, and you’ll get a surprisingly high-tech computer to access the web with.You can modify your listings from abroad and have your fulfillment house (or your little brother!) handle shipments. If you like, you can even have a customer service center answering buyer questions.
Despite belts remaining tightened, 2010 is a year in which 80 per cent of Brits are planning on taking at least one holiday according to a recent report from Thomson. Indeed, as proclaimed by STA travel, this year will see the rise of the two week adventure holiday. According to the group there has been a sharp rise in the number of people planning action-packed two-week breaks, marking a clear departure from the ‘staycation,’ last year’s top travel trend. Commenting on 26th January, as official figures revealed that the country had exited recession, Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) spokesman Ian Bradley said that travellers who forwent a holiday last year will be keen on heading abroad this year: “Most people will be looking for sun and for value. Places like North Africa and the Middle East will probably give you that…” There is no doubt that ‘value’ will be the operative word for 2010.Firstly, it goes without saying that destinations outside the eurozone offer the best value on holiday money because they offer the best currency exchange rates. The ‘White Med’ in northern Egypt is especially enticing at present as it’s crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, cultural heritage, and leisure and sport activities are available at excellent value and set to be easily accessible with new direct flights from Gatwick and Manchester commencing on 30th March. Jamaica has become the most affordable long haul destination this year with the pound strengthening against the Jamaican dollar in recent months. Sarah Munro, head of Post Office Travel Services, noted that there has been a 24 per cent rise in sterling against the Jamaican currency in the past 12 months, making the Caribbean country far more affordable to visit. Research from the group also revealed St Lucia to be the most expensive of the top four most popular Caribbean islands. On the other side of the globe, tourists planning a trip down under will get an incredible experience for their money according to Tourism Western Australia. Elen Thomas, UK PR manager for the tourism board, said that resorts in Exmouth and Coral Bay offer great budget accommodation options while still providing the unforgettable holiday experience one would expect from a visit to Australia. “It is still roughly two dollars to the pound and the experience of swimming with such a wide variety of marine life in an area which has remained so pristine and undeveloped is extraordinary,” commented Thomas.Closer to home, Spain’s position as one of the most popular holiday destinations is unlikely to change while it continues to offer exceptional value for money, Cheapflights.co.uk has claimed. Commenting recently, Francesca Ecsery, global sales director of the price comparison site, said the country’s reliable warm weather, vibrant culture and beautiful natural landscape make it an attractive destination at any price, but its affordability has made it a hugely popular destination for Brits. “Consumers will get the best value on Spanish holidays by being flexible on time, flexible on destination and travelling out of peak season,” she said, adding that by choosing to travel in late summer, holidaymakers could save as much as 70 per cent on ticket prices compared to peak-season costs. According to a recent Post Office Travel Services report, Spain is now the cheapest holiday destination in the eurozone. Balkan countries, such as Croatia and Slovenia, also offer an exciting and cost-effective travel experience. Simon Calder, senior travel editor at the Independent, however identified Albania as a particularly popular destination offering exceptional value for those planning a holiday on a shoestring.For those looking to get away for a value ski holiday this winter should be looking in the same region. Bulgaria has emerged as a great destination for ski-enthusiasts looking to hit the pistes on a budget. Anthony Chenery, travel expert at Teletext Holidays, said that the winter travel market has suffered in recent years because many view skiing as a secondary holiday and when holiday money is hard to come by it is these trips that are likely to be sidelined. However, he added: “The good news for customers is that operators, to stimulate demand, have been cutting their prices quite significantly, which is great news if you want to go skiing as there are some excellent deals to be had.” In addition to Bulgaria, Andorra was also identified as a leading bargain winter travel destination.There are therefore plenty of affordable destinations to be enjoyed this year and increasingly so as the pound beings to strengthen against the euro, if rather shakily. In order to get the best value travellers will benefit from taking the time to research foreign currency exchange rates online for their chosen destination and, in so doing, avoid uncompetitive high-street rates.
The enclosed recommendations are a result of my travel throughout the world on business for 20+ years. These observations are offered as a helpful supplement to other sources on the web dealing with personal security issues while traveling. My apologies to those who do not find these observations pertinent to their particular situation. Allow me to say that these suggestions are offered freely and without restriction so they may be passed around with no obligation. Very little of this information is original to me, and I apologize if anyone has written anything similar. Also, I am not a security professional and make no claims of expertise. This stuff works for me… each reader’s mileage may vary. Some of my ideas might actually get people in trouble with the authorities and/or cause physical harm. Please read this with an open mind and a critical eye. .Lots of US Embassy staff, host country Federal Police and Army staff gave me input, horror stories and advice regarding personal safety issues while I was visiting and working in overseas markets… mainly, Latin America, but including trips to Western European and Pacific Rim countries.I also have input from international and US expatriates living and working there. I know that many people have a lot of experience in many different countries, and may honestly laugh at all these ideas and issues presented here as stupid and alarmist. How you take it is your business… it is submitted in serious concern for the safety of all international travelers.It was necessary for me to learn this stuff because I have lived and worked outside the US most of my life. I first traveled internationally in the 1960s and retired in 2005 to live in Argentina. I hope you can understand that the world in post 9-11 has really changed. Radicals of the right, the left and the lunatic religious extreme and NarcoTerrorists all celebrated when the twin towers went down. You should also be aware that even pre 9-11, international travel was seriously more dangerous than it was in the 1960s. Now, bad guys all over the world have become more encouraged by their perception that bad guys can get away with bad stuff… hence, have become more aggressive.* TRY TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF with the area you plan to visit. There are various aggregates of news that allow one to program their search “bots” to look for keywords involving your area of interest. I use Yahoo News, DogPile News Search element and some others. I also look for the local news sources for the area in question on the web. Here are some questions you should consider when seeking information about your geographical area of interest.* Are terrorist/organized criminal groups currently active in the area?
* Do they aggressively attack visiting foreigners? Or, is it more local-on-local crime?
* How active are they? How violent have they proven to be within the last 4 – 12 months?
* How sophisticated are they? Do they use military weapons and tactics?
* Are they predictable? Can you expect to be safer by staying out of known areas of operation?
* Will local citizens warn visiting foreigners? Do you have local contacts who can advise you?Groups and individuals have demonstrated their willingness to employ terrorist/criminal tactics to further their agendas. While some threats have a regional focus, others have become international and affect multiple areas. Foreign visitors, military and diplomatic staff are seriously targeted in virtually every region of the world.ALWAYS PLAY THE “WHAT IF… ?” SCENARIO GAME
Consider ways you might become a victim of a criminal/NarcoTerrorist attack. Several factors to keep in mind include:LOCAL TRANSPORTTaxis: Try to never travel alone in a taxi. Try to never take a taxi off the street. Try to ALWAYS have a taxi company card on you and call or have someone call the cab for you. If not, a taxicab stand is the next best solution. Even US embassy marines have to take these precautions, and we know they’re in good shape… pretty tough in a fight. They are also excellent sources of good local information. Unfortunately, one of the thriving businesses in criminal/NarcoTerror Land is to pick up a rich guy (you) off the street in a taxi, and around the corner are two additional thugs with guns who escort you to a quiet place, strip the rich guy, take his luggage, etc.If a Visa or debit card is found, they will escort you to an ATM and make you withdraw the daily limit before they strip you naked and leave you on the side of the road. Unless… if they are impressed with what they find among your effects, the thugs may decide it’s worth a try to sell you to the NarcoTerrorists (drug traffickers). They may ask for US$5,000 – US$15,000, knowing the NarcoTerrorists’ usual minimum demand for ransom is US$250k. Then, you may spend the next several years of your life chained to a tree in the jungle swatting mosquitoes and eating undercooked beans. If you or your taxi driver notices a suspicious vehicle or two in the vicinity, consider asking the taxi driver to take you to the nearest police station… or high traffic area.If you must drive a car and your budget does not include an armored vehicle with “run-flat” tires preceded by a “chase” car and a following “blocker” van full of armed bodyguards, try to rent/select an 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance. A heavy-duty bumper is a good idea for running through barricades. If you see a police roadblock manned by only one or two officers and one (or NO) clearly official vehicle, consider running the roadblock or going around it. You may prefer to reverse out of the area quickly to a place where you can turn around and leave the area. If it is really a fake-cop scam (or, off-duty/retired cops pulling a scam), you should be OK. You may really need a heavy duty vehicle for this maneuver. If is a legitimate control point/official police roadblock and they catch you, humbly and VERY politely explain that you are sorry and will never do it again, but a friend of yours warned against false roadblocks by criminals/NarcoTerrorists. All around the world, official roadblocks usually have many, many clearly marked police vehicles and uniformed/heavily armed officers. Don’t forget that NarcoTerrorists have Police uniforms and equipment, too… but, usually not too many official vehicles.If you happen to be driving down a street and one or more people run out in front of the car in an attempt to stop you, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE to slam down the accelerator as if you are trying to hit them. They will get out of the way.If you are in a known area for auto-related crime and someone rear-ends your vehicle as if on purpose, consider leaving the scene as rapidly as possible. This is a serious “What if… ?” scenario.In many countries, police understand if you slow down but fail to stop at traffic lights and stop signs after dark because it is known to be too dangerous at night.PLEASE BE AWARE that motorcycles and scooters are not always a good idea if you have to try to escape while someone is shooting at you. Car sheet metal isn’t much, but every little bit helps.ATMs: Try to only go to an ATM in the daytime ANYWHERE in the world. Even in the US. Also, pay attention to who is in the area before, during and after getting your money. Situational awareness is difficult when you’re trying to get the pesky machine to work… so, consider not going to an ATM alone.Buses: Until 1995, I always felt safe taking the bus. I would still take the Nuevo Laredo – Monterrey bus, but probably think twice about taking one in the Juarez or Sinaloa state areas. Why? The various Colombian and Mexican NarcoTerror groups stop buses full of people as bait to get the government forces to move into kill zones where IEDs take them out. I have seen the results first hand, and seeing where 40+ teenage army guys got brutally cut to pieces by home-made bombs will mess up your whole life.If you happen to be one of the poor guys shivering naked on the side of the road with 20-30 others watching the NarcoTraficantes molest the women passengers, understand that you will spend the next SEVERAL YEARS of your life eating beans in the jungle. Poor folks get to go home…except for the young and pretty girls and teenage boys they want to draft for paramilitary service for the NarcoTraficantes .The NarcoTraficantes are studying in the same Islamic extremist terror schools as Al-Qaida, and Colombian/Mexican NarcoTraficantes’ IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are really starting to show up a lot more… in recent cases, bait and blast techniques were used in the south of Mexico to kill lots of soldiers and Federal Police.At an outdoor table at any restaurant, don’t leave your phone, camera, purse or any other valuables in plain sight or within reach of the walking public. Try to sit as far from vehicular/pedestrian traffic as possible. As always, play the “What if… ? Game” and remain alert to your surroundings. Jenna Bush’s purse was jacked in full daylight in Buenos Aires, surrounded by agents.When leaving a high-end location, such as an electronics store, Armani, etc, an expensive restaurant or nice hotel, you may have just identified yourself as a potential high-end target. If you are carrying packages, and you put them into an automobile, please try to secure the items in the trunk or a lockable compartment and be aware that you will possibly be followed by thugs with evil intent to your next location. If you are in a Range Rover or Cadillac Esplanade, you should understand that you are in a rolling high-value target, with little or no secure storage. If you stop and leave the vehicle in any unsecured location after being seen exiting a high-end location, don’t be too surprised if you come back later to find the locks broken or the vehicle stolen.A wallet is a liability, and I never carry one. I wear a slim, zippered pouch between my T-shirt and external shirt/sweater for credit cards, driving license and copies (NOT originals) of my passport, birth certificate, travel or residency documents. Sometimes, I prefer a photographer’s vest with lots of internal/external zippered or Velcro pockets. This vest can contain as much as a small suitcase… currently, about 4 kilos of stuff. Fanny packs are less secure, so I usually just put reading material, inexpensive sunglasses, gum, etc in them. Cameras/GPSs and other high-end items are secured in Velcro pockets in the vest or coat pocket. As a side note, I have copied and reduced in size all my important documents for daily carry and emailed these copies to several of my web-based email accounts so I can replace them at any time from any internet/print location.The amount of cash I carry is as small as possible. I keep large denomination bills in a money clip in the bottom of one front pocket with a handkerchief crushed down on top of it. Another money clip contains the daily allotment of small bills is in another front pocket, so I don’t have to flash large bills for most purchases. It is also crammed down in the bottom of the front pocket with another handkerchief crammed on top of it. The bulk of my funds, original passport and other documents, valuables, etc are kept in a WalMart small combination safe that fits in my luggage, which I check in at the front office safe at the hotel when traveling. PLEASE NOTE that I do not agree with several recommendations that a “decoy wallet” stuffed with paper be carried to toss away so as to distract attackers. I prefer throwing my decoy stash of small denomination bills to scatter everywhere as a more time consuming distraction for a better chance of escape.Luggage security: Most complaints regarding theft, damage or loss involves the contents of luggage. Savvy travelers will make a written inventory of items in their luggage and photograph it in case of loss. Carry important items like medication, eyeglasses, and expensive jewelry in your hand luggage, a traveler’s vest like photographers use to carry their small equipment items, etc. My vest holds up to 8 kilos of goodies. Photocopy the contents of your wallet and your passport. Carry a copy in your hand luggage and leave one at home as back up. Keep luggage under your control until you check in at your destination. Consider traveling with sturdy plain-looking luggage. Expensive looking luggage may be targeted for its perceived contents. External bag tags should not list your full home address and telephone number. I put my cell phone number, my phone number and email address on my tags. I do not put my name or any affiliations on bag tags. Consider defacing your beautiful luggage with big bands of tape all around the outside, laterally, with your phone numbers, email, etc in case of loss.Consider durable luggage that is capable of being locked or secured and that will withstand being at the bottom of a pile of hundreds of other pieces of luggage without popping open. It is a good idea to add extra banding… $5 for a wide nylon strap with side snap locks at WalMart… or airport plastic wrap or duct tape to your luggage locks to prevent anyone from opening your luggage without detection. When flying, I do NOT lock my bags. I only use self-locking plastic tie-wraps. They work well for securing my luggage. All airport inspectors have replacements if they have to cut your ties to inspect your bags. You can buy these at any home improvement store for about a dollar. The reason for this is that smugglers have been known to slip drugs/weapons, etc into luggage only to retrieve it later and maybe with force. Passengers have unknowingly transported illegal substances/firearms that were slipped into their suitcase by baggage handlers only to be arrested later by authorities. What explanation you would give to prove your innocence to a foreign government of why you are carrying drugs or guns? If your luggage was properly sealed, you should see if it has been tampered with prior to opening it. Report any luggage tampering immediately to security before opening the case.Luggage locks: If there is a combination lock on the bag, I put a piece of tape on the bag under the lock with the combo… usually, 0-0-0. This is because my bag was seriously harmed by customs forcing the bag open EVEN THOUGH IT WAS UNLOCKED. A sign of the times, no?Airplane security: Beyond the obvious precautions, I would suggest trying to reserve a window seat as close to the middle of the cabin as possible. The rear and front of each cabin is where the bad guys congregate to watch over the victims. Consider what you can do to avoid being obvious about your business/military/nationality/religious affiliations.Cruise Ship Security: Cruise ships are like a small city where passengers are encouraged to forget their troubles and relax once onboard ship. It is natural for passengers on vacation to let their guard down, especially when out to sea in a resort-like setting. Try to not let a false sense of security aboard a cruise ruin your vacation by becoming a crime victim. Before you ship out, consider taking some of these preventative steps:After you enter your cabin, and while the door is still open, always check inside the bathroom or closest before sitting down inside. Don’t assume that your cabin is as secure as a hotel. Many people have keys to your cabin and your cabin door may be left standing open for hours while the cleaning crews or cabin steward services the room. Cabin doors locks are sometimes horribly outdated and are not re-keyed as frequently as hotel rooms. Obviously, don’t leave valuable items lying around. It is a good idea to have inventoried your luggage and photographed expensive items at home, and even emailed the info to your web email account for easy retrieval anywhere before you packed them at home in case of loss. Since most ship passengers are set up on a charge account system, be sure to use the ship safe deposit box for storage of valuable items, papers, credit cards or extra cash. Use all locks on the cabin door including the night latch. Consider carrying a hardware store door stop in your luggage and deploying it for extra security while in the cabin. Some are available with alarms from web suppliers. Don’t open your cabin door to strangers. Whatever the person wants can be expressed from the other side of the closed and locked door. Be sure to teach children about this important procedure.Just like in a hotel, protect your cabin key and cabin number. Dishonest crew or passengers will look for the opportunity to snatch a loose key or one that is left unattended. When in port, be sure to leave your key with the registration desk before disembarking.Remember the phony hairspray/deodorant can safe if small items need to be secured and no safe is available. Once on board and out to sea, don’t assume that you are totally safe from criminal acts. While there is little danger of an outside predator robbing or attacking you on a cruise ship, crimes can just as easily be committed by crew members or by fellow passengers. Many cruise lines hire transient and seasonal employees at low wages. Because of this, turnover is high and cruise lines struggle to keep a ship fully staffed. While most crew members are hardworking and honest people, you cannot assume that the ship has properly screened that nice cabin attendant, waiter or below deck crew.. Consider a Family Security Plan: If you bring your children aboard, be sure to establish family rules in advance. Set curfews and restrictions…just like at home. Teenagers especially should be told never to accompany crew members into non-public areas nor should crew members be allowed inside your cabin. Being at sea can cause a false sense of security. Even though the crime incident rate per thousand is relatively low, there can still be predators on board. Ship nightclubs, casinos, swimming pools and jacuzzis are favorite spots for those looking for a victim.You also need to keep your guard up with intoxicated passengers. Food and liquor consumption peaks on board ships and cause bring out the worst in some people not used to it. Just because passengers are dressed up, doesn’t mean they will act appropriately or not be overly aggressive. It is not unheard of for a ship passenger to slip a drug into your drink and take advantage of you just like on shore. There are pickpockets, purse thieves, and cabin burglars on board waiting for you to let your guard down or become careless. There are also scam artists who seek and prey on rich vacationers if given the chance.Your family security plan for children might include bed checks, curfews, restrictions, and special meeting places. Beware of which children they hang out with, just like at home. Your children can be exposed to other children who use drugs or like to get into mischief, just like at home. Try to limit your child to ship sponsored activities in public areas. You should make contact with your children periodically even if they are supervised. Giving them the run of the ship while you are otherwise engaged is not a good idea. Always have a backup plan and identify a ship crew member as a contact person in case your child fails to show up or you get separated at a port. Make certain that the kids understand there is nothing you can do to retrieve a kid from the police if they are caught in a foreign country with contraband.You are not in Kansas anymore. Although you boarded a ship in a US port doesn’t mean that you are protected by the US justice system. Most ships are registered in non-US countries and travel in territorial waters where US laws might not apply. The cruise industry does not report crime data consistently, if at all, to the FBI or have a database of ships with the most crime problems. Shipboard crimes sometimes fall into a “no man’s land” of law enforcement. A crime can occur between two people of different nationalities, on a ship from a third country, and in the territorial waters of a fourth country. The governing law is the International Maritime Law and is not as well developed as US law. Reporting a crime on board a cruise ship doesn’t mean anything will be done or that the crime will ever be investigated. The FBI is the only US law enforcement agency that can investigate a major crime but only if it occurs in International waters, otherwise crimes are reported to the jurisdiction of the closest foreign country and to the embassies of the parties involved. Prosecution of crime, in many cases, will be left in the hands of the local port authority where no one can predict the outcome.Be aware that if you or your family member gets into trouble on board a ship or in a port, you may be held accountable to the laws of a foreign country. The thing to do is to stay alert, be cautious, and stay safe while at sea. For details on the safety record of your cruise ship or how your ship will handle problems such are lost luggage or crime acts, contact the cruise line directly and ask for written disclosure of their policies and regulations. You can also contact the Cruise Lines International Association in New York City who represents the twenty five largest cruise lines for more information.AVOIDING DISASTERLocation: Local terrorists may target locations frequented by foreigners or foreign military personnel such as certain hotels, apartment buildings, public transportation centers, and nightclubs. Avoid possible target locations. They often use the employees of foreigner frequented establishments, taxi drivers, airport staff (especially banking/money changing establishment personnel) and adult entertainment workers as associates or sources of information about possible lucrative targets.Opportunity: Terrorists and criminals look for “soft targets”… so, learn to avoid appearing so. It is difficult to over stress the need to maintain vigilance, practice good personal safety, and to alert the proper authorities of suspicious behavior. If you find yourself unable to avoid being outdoors at night, try to walk down the middle of the street (not always possible). Be especially watchful if passing a large van or a vehicle with people in it, courtyards and deep doorways near your path. Walk purposefully with strong, determined strides… shoulders back, head erect, head and eyes constantly moving. Use windows/mirrors near the street to check your surroundings. Under no circumstances allow anyone to engage you in conversation at this time. Criminals will try to slow you down while their helpers get into position to assault you. Keep moving, speak into your cell phone as if carrying on a conversation… preferably in a language you think the possible attackers don’t know. To attack you, terrorists generally must perceive you, your association, or your location as a target. Put serious thought on the subject of how to avoid appearing to be an easy target.Be alert for how criminals/NarcoTerrorists prepare and conduct attacks through predictable steps. Through vigilance, you might be able to recognize preparations for an attack before it is executed. Be alert to unusual behavior that may indicate intelligence gathering, surveillance, collecting materials for attack, dry runs, and rehearsals. For example:* Taking photos or videos of potential targets
* Writing notes or sketching details about a possible target
* Showing abnormal attention to details of routine activities and security measures
* Using false identification
* Paying cash for items normally bought on credit
* Purchasing large quantities of items that could be used as part of an attack (e.g., chemicals or cell phones)
* If you see something unusual, report it immediately to security officials for further investigation. Make a note of the individual’s description and activities, the time of day, and equipment being used.TRAVEL TIPS
Terrorist/criminal attacks at the Spanish/English/Japanese rail systems, Mexican border towns, Bali, Indonesia, Luxor, Egypt, London, England, and other tourist locations signal an increased threat to foreign travelers. While visiting a new location, it is natural to tour local sites of interest. While sightseeing, you should keep good anti-crime/anti-terrorism practices in mind.Plan Ahead* Research any known potential threats in the area. If the threat is elevated, take extra precautions or postpone your activities.
* Plan activities and a route that includes safe locations. Keep thinking, “What if…”
* Ask a friend or coworker to join you – small groups are usually safer than individuals.
* If sightseeing with others, pre-designate a location to meet at if separated during an emergency. Make sure someone knows your itinerary (acquaintances, business contacts, hotel staff?) and what time you may be returning.BLEND IN TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS* Conceal your national/business/religious affiliation and try to blend in with other tourists. USA red white and blue t-shirts, soccer/baseball logo clothing and religious jewelry are overly conspicuous in many instances.
* Observe and conform to local culture. Activities such as public displays of affection, drinking alcohol, or wearing shorts or skirts may be inappropriate.
* Do not bring undue attention to yourself. Avoid loud or boisterous behavior. Walking the streets at night in an inebriated state in very dangerous in many locations.
Business news updates are critical information for the frequent business traveler. If you miss business news it can really cause problems. Imagine a new airline comes to your local airport, and offers fantastic deals for a limited time to establish a customer base. If you don’t know about this, you will miss out on some fantastic travel deals and end up paying much more than you have to. There are worse outcomes than spending too much, also.What if you book a flight and find out that an airline strike started the day before you were supposed to leave? If you had known back when you booked the flight, you would have gone with another airline of course! You’ll also need to know about weather and travel conditions for your destination. If you live somewhere warm, and are traveling, you may wrongly estimate the conditions. What if it is cold where you are going? What if you are experiencing summer, but the destination is in the other hemisphere and is the middle of winter?If you pack wrong, because you don’t expect the cold weather, you’ll be most miserable. And it is so unnecessary. When you travel to many countries there will be people who speak English. This will not always be the case. If it is not an English speaking country you will need a guide or interpreter to help you get around.Some areas of the globe have a very high crime rate. It is best to know this before you leave. Be prepared, and don’t be ignorant about the laws of a country or the crime rate. In China there is a lot of credit card fraud, for instance. You’ll want to watch your receipts. Speaking of China, did you expect to be able to rent a car there? If you don’t have a Chinese driver’s license, you can’t drive in China. It does not matter that you have an American or a European license. You will need to find another form of transportation. Internet sites update their information and news as frequently as hourly. There is really no reason to be unprepared.
In today’s fast paced world, there is little time for spiritual aspects. Everyone is worried about their career, family and future. Even Christians are traveling in the same boat and are not spending time with the Lord. To save people from sin God sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross and bring salvation into the world. However, after 2000+ years there are people around the world who still did not hear this good news. For others, this is just news and not good news. That is why it is important to use Christian forums to share this Good news with everyone as people have access to the Internet more than anything else.The Internet technology has changed the way people live. It even applies to spirituality issues. Christian forums offer a great platform to reach the unreached millions and share the good news of Jesus Christ. If you look at II Kings Chapter 5, you find a Hebrew servant maid. She was taken as a captive and was serving the wife of Naaman, a great Syrian warrior. Though Naaman was a powerful warrior and the highest official in the Syrian kingdom, he had leprosy. While he was worried and dejected, this Hebrew maid advised him to visit Elisha, a great prophet of God, to get his leprosy cured. When Naaman visited Elisha, he got his leprosy cured. How great is the testimony of a small servant maid? She has done a good thing to her enemy. When a small maid servant could bring a great warrior to the feet of the Lord, how powerful can our testimony work on the lives of downtrodden and dejected people? Join good Christian forums and share the love of God to encourage people and save them from bondage.However, we are not concerned about other people. We live in our own comfort zones. We do not have time for Christian forums or Christian sites. When Israel was taken captive, Esther was a part of these captives. She was chosen as the wife of King Ahasuerus. When the king gave a decree to kill Israelis, listening to the word of Haaman, everyone was worried about their lives. During that time, Mordacai came to Esther and asked her to meet the king and request him to cancel the decree. When she was hesitating, he told that God can use an alternate way if she does not do this work. Then she went to the King and cancelled the decree to save the whole nation. If one person can stand for the Lord, the whole nation can be saved. Join good Christian forums and spread this good news to the entire world.
Before the advent of the internet it was a little bit difficult to find a traveling nurse position that would interest you, but now it is much easier to go through the resources of the internet to find a traveling nurse position that will work for your specific skill set and location desires. However, you will still need to look carefully to make sure that you are signing on with a reputable company and that they offer the pay scale and benefits that you need from the job. The good news is that with so many more offers, you have plenty of interesting options to choose from, so you should be more than capable of finding the perfect one for you.One of the first places that you will want to be sure to check are the online job boards that specifically have listings for traveling nurses. Now, there are plenty of different fields that you can specialize in as a traveling nurse. Sometimes you might deal with pregnancies, while others could deal with dialysis patients or other specialties. This is why you will want to be sure that the job you are applying for is one that you feel will suit your capabilities as a professional. You might have one area where you feel that your skills and expertise could be better suited, and if so then you will want to focus your job search on that specialty.Something else that you will want to take into consideration before applying for a traveling nurse position is where you will be practicing. This is important because if you find yourself traveling outside of the confines of your state, then you will need to make sure that your license is good for that area or state. This will not only help you to secure the job, but it will show your employer that you had the foresight to take this into consideration. Plus, it means that you will be able to start work immediately whereas others could have to wait until they received their license and this could be seen as a bonus.When you are looking for a job, be sure that you check several of the boards that advertise positions specifically for travelling nurses. This will help you to make sure that you are able to find a position that you want doing the kind of work that you enjoy. Because the internet offers such a diverse range of possibilities you can explore a wealth of different opportunities so that you can match up your current employment needs with the job positions that are being offered. Not to mention that you will be able to choose from a number of different locations. And, since the nature of a traveling nurse is to work in different areas and to travel where they are needed, this means that there will always be job opportunities for this kind of work.
Opportunities come your way via several routes. It could be a tip from a friend, something said in discussions, a look at the shops around you, or something you stumbled on online. Newspapers are also prolific sources of business ideas. But if your interest is investing overseas, specifically in the Middle East, find that chance in the daily Lebanon news.Real Estate FindsInvesting overseas is not unusualm but for first-time investors who want value for their hard-earned dollars, this kind of investment is novel. However, scouting for breaks can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know where to look. Interestingly, Lebanon news classifieds have it all detailed and the best bet is real estate.For your real estate investment, choose from chalets, apartments, industrial offices, land, offices, studio rooms, clinics, showrooms, retail, and villas. You also have the option to go for a share certificate. You can also advertise your real properties for sale in the online classifieds for a minimal fee.If you’re deciding on a career move, the drop-down menu has an interesting list of available jobs from accounting to travel/tourism. Like the real estate and auto markets, you can choose your desired region and city for a new job. That’s how you get the break.JobsWhether you are in Egypt or in another part of the globe, you can always get a job to match your expertise in Lebanon. If no match is found, click the “Notify Me” tab. Those new to the site are required to register. Don’t fret, though, because registration is free on Lebanon news sites.For the adventurous, landing a job in Lebanon, whether in the picturesque valleys or commercial districts, gives you the chance to take in the scenic vistas, experience new culture, gain new friends, and learn new things that can benefit your career.It is true that the political situation is unstable as posted in Lebanon news online. However, the presence of multinational corporations and the building of new infrastructure mitigate the situation. You could always choose a place farthest away from areas of conflict. Yet it is always best to consult with the embassy for your safety.Import and ExportLebanon offers top notch homegrown products. Wine, precious stones, pearls, electronic, and electric equipments. At present, the top importers are Switzerland, Syria, and Iraq. Also worth your investment are exotic food, fabrics, rugs, and jewelry. In the chat forums, you can find like-minded business persons who can supply your needs.A thorough study is in order before you strike up a business partnership, though. Some background research on companies can assure of you of legitimate deals and a review of the country’s existing policies on the import business and taxes should give you the information before you make a deal.Other OpportunitiesBusiness people who have a keen eye for spotting business opportunities can find these in Lebanon news. They can analyze situations and events and evaluate the global market trends. Being updated with World News can give you more ideas to start a business anywhere in the world.But aside from money-making ventures, there are opportunities to be had in the Middle East. There’s the chance to find affordable hotels, beach, and skiing resorts if you’re inclined to see this part of the world. It’s just a matter of time before you find the opportunity you’re looking for.
You’re retired, or soon will be, and the thought of traveling excites you. Did you know that travel is made so much easier with the Internet and social media at your disposal? Over the past five years, technology has created applications that simplify traveling whether you are going great distances or on a domestic road trip.Traveling on the Road
The simplest way to see new things and experience new people is to plan a road trip. Taking a road trip by car or by RV can be the easiest way to get out of your rut and discover areas of the country that may interest you. I try to do one road trip per year into territories I have not visited. I have many friends and family scattered across the US, so having them as part of my social network allows me to contact them if I get near where they live.Internet is generally available regardless of where you travel. By in large, many establishments provide free internet access and Wi-Fi connection to patrons, so the cost is usually minimal. Smart phones and tablets are providing increased access, even while on the road. In comparison, 5 years ago you were restricted to a laptop and often had to pay for Internet service. However, unlike 5 years ago, the expense of gasoline is likely double today of what it was then, so efficiency in trip execution is a huge consideration.I found Smartphone usage to be very beneficial on a recent trip across the Eastern seaboard. First, let me explain that I am an experienced freelance traveler, often without a specific destination in mind. I enjoy the adventure of travel when I go place to place without a specific advance reservation or destination. This allows me the freedom to have last-minute changes without incurring penalties and it often expands my opportunity to take advantage of new local discoveries. This form of travel is unsettling for some, but works for others who travel a lot. Smartphones are a great aid in traveling freestyle; they provide the benefit of Wi-Fi connections, when available, and cellular data access when not.When on a road trip, the passenger, not the driver, can use many of the features of a Smartphone for navigation, searching for destinations ahead, booking accommodations, and monitoring road conditions. The ability to do this and other features in real-time improves the experience of a road trip while allowing one to see more of what a region has to offer. During my last road trip, we discovered a town we knew little about and were able to Google it on the Smartphone for more historical detail. The information presented made me want to spend an additional day in the region exploring some of the history of the town that I otherwise would not have considered.Retirees often have time available to make adjustments to travel plans, even at the expense of increasing the duration of the trip. Americans, in general, restrict travel time to one or two weeks in length. In fact, one of the hardest habits for a retiree to break is removing the time barrier on trips. This is in part due to the conditioning we experienced while we were in the workplace. But, to truly enjoy a road trip, one should allow time to see as much of the area as possible, and this may require additional time. Canadians and other foreign nationals enjoy longer travel times because many have four or more weeks available each year as vacation days. I love to meet a Canadian on a road trip because of their sense of adventure. I find that many Canadians save their vacations for winter months and escape to warmer climates for extend periods of time. Extended vacations is something every retiree should enjoy.Road Trip made easy
Whether you travel in state, across the country, or across Canada, a road trip using a Smartphone will enhance the enjoyment of the trip. Many retirees are selling homes and storing their possessions to downsize into a RV and taking to the road. This form of travel is growing in popularity and with the use of social media applications one can stay connected with family and friends. The use of Smartphone apps that allow banking, internet calling, tracking investments, and news feeds provide real-time access to everything one needs for traveling. Smartphone apps are endless and will make being on the road a safer and more relaxing experience.