Tag: Travel

World-Class Living On A Budget In The Lion City

As far as travel destinations go, Southeast Asia seems to get something of a mixed reception from people looking to explore. There are gorgeous beaches, fantastic temples, lots of wildlife, and much more. But some destinations in the area also have a reputation for being dirty, dingy, or even dangerous. The world-class infrastructure and famous cleanliness of Singapore make it stand way above the rest, even if the reputation the area always gets isn’t always deserved. But just because it’s a world-class destination doesn’t mean you have to pay world-class prices.

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Setting up

Your bank balance is most likely going to feel the hotel bill heaviest of all. Singapore hotels are some of the best in all of Asia, with high-quality rooms, top-notch service, and more amenities than you can shake a stick at. Not to mention some truly unique stays like the pool deck at the Parkroyal. If you want to keep things budget, however, even the lower-priced hotels are impressive. The M Social is a more artsy, modern space, still containing facilities like a gym and spa, but it can be half as expensive as places like the Parkroyal.

Getting around

The sights of Singapore are hard to ignore. The Gardens by the Bay and Jurong Bird Park make for some gorgeous examples of the metropolitan meeting the natural beautifully. You can’t ignore the immense Sri Mariamman Temple, either. The taxis can be very expensive, especially to tourists, however, so it’s best to stick to public transport when possible. With an EZ-Link card, you’ll make plenty of savings on public transport, too. Bikes can be rented with helmets, locks, and lights, for as little as $3 an hour and give you the best way to travel while taking in some of the most colorful streets the city has to offer.

Take care of yourself

It’s easy to opt for the luxury experience in the Lion City, of which there are plenty of services to cater. Especially if you’re a foodie, it’s hard to resist some of the wineries and boutique cuisine shops offering Indian, Malay, and Chinese dishes. But it might be worth making those dining-out-nights a rarity, instead opting to buy grocery & foodstuff online in Singapore. Everyday shopping prices aren’t all that expensive and the fact that much of the country’s online business is in English makes it a breeze to use.

Take advantage of the free stuff

The Lion City has some expensive attractions, but it also has a lot to offer for free. There is a wide selection of gorgeous, well-kept parks like Labrador Park. It’s a culturally bustling city, too, so you’re likely to find free attractions like art displays, performances in public, and the occasional free day at the museums if you just go exploring. Also, it’s not like other Asian cities where you are told to avoid tap water at all costs. It’s perfectly safe in Singapore, so you won’t need to stock up on overpriced water bottles.

Singapore can be expensive, there’s no doubt about that. It is one of the most technologically and financially healthy countries in the world, so it should be expected. But being savvy about your budget can make it much more affordable.

 

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Trip Ideas That Everyone In The Family Will Love

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There are always squabbles during summer about where the family should go on vacation. The parents want a relaxing trip, but the kids don’t want to be bored out of their minds. Of course, there’s always the factor of money; you don’t want to spend a fortune on a short trip, and you might not be able to afford to do so anyway. Here are some ideas for trips that everyone in the family will love (and you’ll be able to afford them).

A road trip.

As talked about over at ikreatepassions.com, nothing beats a road trip with the family. If there’s one way to compromise and give everybody in the family something they love on your next big trip away then think outside the box. You don’t have to settle on one destination if you can’t find one place that’s everyone’s cup of tea. Head off on a road trip and see several destinations in the space of one day. Give everybody a taste of what they want from a family vacation. It’s the perfect solution. Make sure you’re prepared in every sense. Bring plenty of food and water with you, and create a solid plan for the day (or several days) involved with your trip. If you’re seeing multiple places then you want to make sure there’s time to fit everything into your vacation.

Exploring nature.

Perhaps your family isn’t the wealthiest in the world, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise and give up on the idea of a vacation this year. A family vacation is all about spending some time together with your loved ones and having a laugh. It might be nice to do that on a sunny beach in some distant, exotic resort, but you don’t have to go somewhere so far away and so expensive to do that.

You could have fun simply by keeping things closer to home and exploring nature in a nearby valley, national park, or trail. You could turn it into a fun camping trip, as suggested over at densonline.com, with fun daytime activities involving seeing the natural sights which surround you. You don’t need to head off on a ten-mile hike; a small walk to admire the natural sights, whether that be a lake or a stunning forest, is enough to get a feel for your surroundings. Better yet, it usually costs next to nothing to hire out a camping site for a night or two.

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Head to the city.

Of course, if you’re really running out of ideas to keep everyone happy then you could go to a place wherein there’s enough to do to keep all people of all preferences happy: the city. You don’t have to spend a fortune going abroad, and you don’t have to worry about running out of things to do. You could check out some options on sites such as familyvacationcritic.com for cities near you that the family may never have visited before. You don’t always have to go to a different country to experience a cultural shift; vacations can be had practically on your doorstep. The world is a diverse place.

 

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The Heartland: Seeing The Real America!

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If you really want to know what America is about, it can’t be done by going to Disney World and spending two weeks with Mickey Mouse and his friends! You need to see the heartland, and get the sights, sounds and smells of a vast and plentiful land. If you have the time to explore what America has to offer them it’s time to saddle up and take a journey through some wholesome all-American activities. Here we go!

Go to a ball game

This is probably the first thing you need to tick off on your list of activities. The best time to catch a game would be during a warm summer’s night, where the rustic snacks of hot dogs and beer scent the stadium with its intoxicating aromas. You can either choose to go to a Major League Baseball game or opt for one of the minor league teams where the local ambience is far more infectious.

View the mountains… from the sky!

There are many ways to get some fantastic views of the mountains and rolling rocks of America’s heartland. But one of the most relaxing ways to do it is by hot air balloon, and if you time it right, you can pick a journey where you get to see the sun coming up over the horizon, which is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. If you check out the hot air balloon price and options available you could do it in style and have a champagne breakfast, or just relax and take in that amazing view!

Cruise down the open road

It’s more than essential that you need to see small town America by hitting the open road via the Pacific Coast Highway or Route 66 while the wind is blowing in your hair and you’ve got some traditional country music on the stereo. If you have the time, or if you are just on a short journey, there are plenty of road trips to take via the heartland of this country. One simple, time-saving option is to go from Las Vegas to Los Angeles via the Mojave Desert, which is home to one of the greatest landmarks in American history, as well as one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon.

Pay a visit to The King’s home!

Even if you aren’t a fan of Elvis Presley, you need to see the home of the man who personified rock and roll and brought it to millions. Graceland, the museum/home of The King, boasts a collection of his most iconic jumpsuits, as well as his classic cars and even his two private planes, called Lisa Marie and, of course, Hounddog II.

Witness a rodeo

You couldn’t escape America’s heartlands without catching a glimpse of real cowboys at the traditional all-American rodeo. Get a cowboy hat on and get in the stands to look at, quite possibly, one of the most dangerous sports the world has ever seen, and have a great time while you’re at it!

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Essential Guide To Camping For Camping-Haters

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Camping is a lot like Marmite. A lot like Marmite. It’s not that you either love it or absolutely loathe it, for those that absolutely loathe it, it’s also the fact you can’t comprehend what there is to like about it. Sleeping is uncomfortable, eating is a challenge, it’s either too hot or too cold and then there is the bathroom situation which, in a nutshell, is not ideal.

Despite all this, we are firmly in the love camp. However, we do sympathise with those that aren’t. We get it. However, it is one of the best ways to get some me time. That is why we have come up with a list of tips and tricks and bits of advice to help you get an enjoyable experience out of it the next time your friends or family convince you to attend such a thing.

Think of this as the essential guide to camping for camp-haters:

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Entertainment Is Essential

One of the reasons why camp-haters detest camping so much is because they miss their creature comforts, which is where entertainment can really help. Bring with you a tablet or a laptop that has a long battery life, such as those new Asus computers, and a bunch of your favourite films too. There is nothing to say you can’t do this. Yes, if you are true camper then you’re going to find this suggest abhorrent, but who cares. You don’t see the chef at a restaurant come out and tell you off putting salt on the meal they’ve just cooked to perfection, and that is because it is a matter of preference. Sam goes here.

Food You Love

It is a big turn off for most camping-haters, which is fair enough. One-pot meals just aren’t to everyone’s fancy. Luckily, it doesn’t say you have to eat stewed roadkill just because you are camping. That’s why we recommend you pack a cooler full of your favourite foods, bring a portable grill with some pans and utensils and cook the foods you like. Want bacon and eggs in the morning instead of cereal bar, then indulge that, especially if it will make your experience more enjoyable.

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Doesn’t Have To Be In-Tents

Just because you are camping, it doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a tent that leaks wind and water and creepy crawlies. You can go with something that is a little more aligned with glamping. Teepees, hammocksbell tents, campervans with an awning, even a cabin; all of these are totally acceptable, and all of these offer way more space and protection. We’ve seen people with bell tents that have got double beds and sofas in them. Now that’s the life, right there.

Best Bathroom Ever

If you can find a way to enjoy the bathroom experience a bit more then you’ll probably start enjoying the whole camping thing a bit more too. That’s just hard when you have to dig a whole fifteen metres away from your base. However, there are ways to overcome this. First off, take a portable camping toilet with you, and do exactly the same as you do at home, just with a far better view. As for the shower, just grab yourself a solar powered shower with a privacy cubicle and all, which will allow you to enjoy a long warm shower in any secluded spot you fancy.

 

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Need Some Me Time? Then A Camping Trip Should Be On The Cards

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Do you ever feel like you need to step away from your normal life and just take some time out? Don’t worry, if your answer is yes, then you’re going to agree that you could do with some ‘me time’ sometime soon. It’s not always easy to know how you’re going to get that time to yourself and for a long enough period. But, one of the best ways to stay stress-free is to do something calming and enjoyable, like camping. And although you may feel like camping is a kind of vacation, it’s more than that. Camping is great for calming your lifestyle as well as a break away.

Get Away From The World

The first thing that should entice you about the idea of camping is the way that you can get away from the world in the process. When you go camping, you’re physically heading out into nature. It allows you to remove yourself from your stressful real world situation. And sometimes, that’s all you need. When you can spend a few days away from your real life, you’ll find that you’re able to keep calm and recharge your batteries.

Being Out In The Fresh Air

Then there’s also the fresh air. In today’s society, people just don’t get enough fresh air. We go from home to the office and back home again, then repeat. But, never underestimate the power of some fresh air. When you go out for a walk or head out into nature, you’ll find that fresh air can do you a world of good. So, be sure to take in as much as the outside as you can when you camp, you’ll feel a lot healthier for it.

Enjoy Being Active, Not Passive

We also find that we tend to be a lot more passive in life than generations before us. With TV and the internet, we do a lot less. We find that we’re just consuming information most of the time. But, when you go camping, you have to ‘do’. So, pack up everything you need to fend for yourself. With cooking equipment and survival kit, like this http://best-rechargeable-flashlight.cubereviews.com/, you’ll be able to enjoy being active. You’ll find that being active in nature is a great way to switch off and enjoy being out in the open.

Enjoy The Company Of Others

As well as being active, camping also gives you the opportunity to be social and enjoy the company of others. There are so many reasons why being social is good for you, like these https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/streams-of-consciousness/the-importance-of-being-social/, so now’s the time to reap the benefits. It will save you from being online and allow you to connect deeper with friends or family.

Step Back And Slow Down

And finally, you’re also going to want to enjoy the way that camping allows you to step back and forces you to slow down. You have nowhere to be, you have nothing to do (unless you want to read or explore or something), so just enjoy it. It will also teach you not to take the little things in life for granted and to appreciate what the world has to offer. And what kind of me time could be better than that?

 

 

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Hangout- A perfect place of amusement for both children and adults

Come summer vacations and parents start thinking of places to amuse their children and give them some entertainment value, and I am no different. I always try to explore some new places where the child can have fun to the fullest and also we as adults can spend a good time and Hangout is definitely one such option.

With 6 different segments, it has something to offer to all age groups, whether its a kindergarten , a teen ager or an adult. There are enough gaming options to satiate different needs. Also the sports diner gives a chance to indulge in good food and drinks for everyone and more especially the adults can relax over a drink or two while the kids try their hands at different games.

The 6 different segments making this very unique Family Entertainment Center, The VR Zone-brings in a 360 degree turning roller coaster that replicates a real rollercoaster. The VR Roller coaster simulator is full motion cockpit, where riders can program their own journey by selecting track pieces. Every loop, leap, and lunge is seen on huge HD projection screen. The VR Zone also boasts of the VR shooting a 360 degree head turning shooting game & a 6-seater VR ride with the Virtual glasses, bringing virtual reality into the entertainment industry & more virtual games & rides under one roof. In addition to this The Sports Diner has the 1st black light arena bowling with UV lights, neon balls, black light reflecting carpet, lanes, capping, side painted walls to give you the 1st of its kind neon bowling experience as its 2nd segment called the Hi Lanes Bowling, with 4 lanes each catering to 6 players with full seating capacity & service & party area. We ourselves had a lot of fun enjoying a couple of bowling games, it was after years that I played it again, and I thoroughly loved going back to it.

The Private party & Pool table area is the 3rd segment where interestingly the pool tables convert into dining tables if your requirement is not to play, with choice of games like beer pong, beer buck it, electronic darts, you sure can have a party for grownups here while the kids have a separate floor upstairs on the 4th floor called Hang Out kids.

The fully stocked bar made of individual wine corks and changing LED light pillars adds character to the place with its high tables seating is a perfect place to grab a bite or catch the happy hour. The dining area has 6 seater family booths promoting mealtimes with family and friends. The game room at the SD is different from the a-typical HangOut kids these games are selected keeping the grown-ups in mind, with bar stools and drink service in the game room we saw many grown-ups enjoying playing to win the prizes at the Winners Corner. The Winners corner has prizes to be won ranging from pens to a steam iron, power banks & you may even win an I-pad too, all you need to do it get lucky on those games. The staircase separates and segregates and yet connects the Hang Out kids upstairs a full floor catering to 10 and under with games, rides, playgrounds and lots more which is again is carefully selected keeping their tender age & requirement in mind.

My son enjoyed games like Slot Machine, Spinning the Wheel and Claw Machine. What he enjoyed most was winning tickets with each game, which could later be redeemed for exciting gifts. He collected around 2800 points and redeemed it for a magnetic dart board and a fidget spinner. I personally think that this concept attracts kids a lot.

The food at sports diner was also commendable. We tried a variety of things and in starters I would like to recommend the non veg platter and the chicken dim sums. They were really nice. For main course my recommendations would be the Mutton Burger, and Mutton Lasagne, Keema Pao and Butter Chicken.

Completing the Entertainment needs and living up to its promise of ever evolving & bringing in the newest there is to offer in terms of technology and entertainment Hang Out yet once again opened doors to  2 floors, The Sports Diner & Hang Out kids offering a one stop shop in Entertainment.

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Planning Your Great American Road Trip

A traditional American holiday that more people need to try is the famous road trip. Even if you’re not from America, there are countless reasons why you should do this at least once in your life. Be it a solo adventure or a trip with your friends and family, travelling across this massive country and passing through dozens of states is something that few people have experienced, but everyone that does it comes home with fond memories, plenty of souvenirs, and countless photo albums. But what makes the great American road trip such an attractive holiday, and what does it take to plan one? Read on to find out.

 

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Prepare documentation for your group

If you don’t live in the United States, then get yourself a passport and a visa. Instead of getting a regular visa to enter the United States, you can choose to get an ESTA instead. This is essentially a visa waiver that people can apply for if they come from certain countries. You can use this ESTA application checker to monitor the status of your application if you’re eagerly waiting for it to come. In addition to a visa, you might need to carry your driving license with you if you plan to be the driver. When you rent a vehicle, you might also need further documentation, so be sure to check online because it heavily depends on the state you start your road trip on. It’s preferable if you can connect with Americans to make this step a lot easier since they can rent the car and drive it instead of you jumping through legal issues to rent a vehicle.

Plan a route

Road trips are all about the journey, not the destination. If possible, try and plan your route so that it crosses as many iconic destinations as possible. For instance, the famous Route 66 is one that plenty of road trip enthusiasts have travelled at least once in their lives. It crosses through several different states including Chicago, Texas and California, giving you plenty of varied scenery. Make sure you also plan ahead when it comes to accommodation. Although sleeping in your vehicle is a valid way to spend the night, you only get the full experience if you stay at the various bed & breakfast and motel establishments along the route. You also get to experience classic American dining as you stop off at each city. Just make sure to carry a GPS device with you so you don’t get lost!

Carry essentials

Something that is often forgotten during the road trip is that you pass by countless stores. You don’t really need to carry many things with you. Just a bit of luggage, travel documents and medication is usually enough. You can buy plenty of snacks along the route, there are places to sleep so there’s no need to camp, and there’s plenty of entertainment along the way as well. The most important devices to carry are a GPS unit and a camera to take pictures. Don’t carry too many things. Lighten the car, carry just the essentials, and remember to bring money for gas!

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Planning A Long-Haul Vacation

Planning a vacation is one thing, but going for a long-haul vacation is an entirely separate set of challenges. To be in the position to choose a destination on a far-flung side of the world is a blessed one. Deciding to go on an adventure and trek the foothills of the mountains or ski down the slopes covered in fresh, powdered snow instead of lounging on a beach an hour away is a big decision.

 

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Before you do anything, though, you have to plan. For some, planning is hard and boring and for others, the excitement of an adventure is in the planning. Proper planning is an absolute essential when you have only a week or two to play with for your vacation. You not only have to ensure you have all the right travel documents – including any visas for the place you are going. There are so many websites that can tell you what you will need to have alongside your passport and you can check out FAQs here to see if you will need authorization to travel through Europe. You also need to look up the right insurance cover for your vacation; long haul destinations tend to need better coverage so ensure you look into that.

The absolute first thing you need to decide is what you want from your holiday. Are you looking for lush jungle treks or lounging on the white sandy beaches? Are you aiming to city hop your way around a country or scale to the summit of a mountain? Whatever your tastes, you have to check the local advice with the Foreign Office for travelling to ensure you’re covered for any visas you need and health requirements. Some places require you to have injections before you go to protect against certain diseases, and you don’t want to be turned away at the airport because you didn’t check!

 

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Next, you need to decide if you want to create a package holiday, or if you want to book everything separately. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to book a holiday as a package but for others, it makes more sense to book flights separate from hotel. All-inclusive breaks are easier to come by if you book a full package, and if you want less hassle, a package break is an easy option. There are plenty of travel agencies that offer vacations that are quite specialist, including specific skiing holidays and mountain hikes. Wanderlust is infectious and you should think carefully about exactly what it is you want out of your holiday before you book it.

Be practical about your holiday. We’ve talked about travel documents and the possible need for vaccinations for a holiday. Being practical about timelines before you go on holiday is important, because if certain travel authorizations and visas take a little time, you need to plan ahead so that you don’t lose out on a great holiday deal. There is nothing better than planning a break away, so doing it carefully will get you memories to last a lifetime!

 

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Long Flight Coming Up? Here’s How To Make Sure It’s a Breeze

With summer nearly upon us, we’re all (hopefully) about to jet off to new and exciting destinations, where we’ll relax, have fun, and broaden our horizons. First, though, there’s a flight to navigate. Some people are natural fliers, while others see it solely as a necessary evil. If you’re in the latter category, then take note, because we’re on hand to make that long journey more comfortable, and – whisper it – but maybe more fun too. Here are five tips to keep in mind before your next journey!

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Wear the Right Clothing

Yes, you have to travel to the airport, and there’ll be a lot of people waiting to check in, so you can’t just wear whatever you want. But on the plane? It’s not a fashion show! You should wear whatever’s most comfortable for you. One neat trick is to have a pair of pajamas (or other comfortable clothing) in your carry-on bag, along with slippers. As soon as you’re on the plane, get changed. You’ll be able to switch back when you land, and no one will be any the wiser that you’ve been wearing some baggy old rags.

Staying Entertained

You’ll need to have all your devices charged and ready to go before the flight. A laptop is a bit much for a flight, but an iPad can make all the difference between boredom and not minding if you have to circle the landing site a couple of times. If possible, book with an airline that offers free (or at least paid) wifi: there’s nothing quite like playing a casino game or scrolling through your newsfeed when you’re high up in the sky. At the very least, a device that plays music (and of course a pair of headphones) can keep you entertained and your mind off the fact that you’re stuck on a plane.

Get Creative

How often do you get the chance to be locked away, with nothing but your mind to keep you company? If you’re of a creative bent, then this a golden opportunity that you need to make the most of. Once the plane has settled into its journey, take a look out at the setting sun as it falls over the earth, and get thinking. It’s an ample time to write, think of new ideas, or just enter a reflective state about your life.

Are You a Talker?

It would be great if you could have three seats to yourself, but in all likelihood, you won’t. There’ll be people next to you. Which gives you a chance to learn about someone new! Your lives will only overlap for a few hours, so get to them, have a nice time, share a drink, and then wave goodbye. There’s something interesting about everyone, if only you take your chance to ask them!

When All Else Fails

If you think there are no circumstances under which you’ll be a happy flier, you can also splash the cash and opt for first class. Trust us; you won’t mind a long flight when you’re traveling in style!

 

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Coping With The Top 3 Worst Travel Troubles

In an ideal world, every trip will go as smooth as can be. There will be no problems, and we travel with complete confidence and no hiccups. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and things go wrong all the time.

So, here’s my list of the top travel troubles and how you can cope with them:

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Cancelled Flights

When your flights get cancelled, it can ruin your travels. It prevents you from getting somewhere on time and can cause a great deal of stress. Especially if it’s your flight home, as you end up lost in a foreign country with no way of getting home.

It’s hard to cope with this travel trouble, but there are some things you can do. Mainly, try and have a plan B wherever possible. This doesn’t mean you should book multiple flights, but more that you should prepare for the worst. For example, reserve a room at a hotel near the airport for the day of your flight. Then, if your flight gets cancelled, you have somewhere to stay for the night. If your flight isn’t cancelled, you can cancel the reservation free of charge (check with the hotel that you can do this, most allow you to, but some don’t).

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Lost Luggage

Losing your luggage is one of the worst travel troubles out there. When an airline loses your stuff, it can put you in a really bad position. All of your clothes and precious belongings have gone, leaving you stranded with nothing.

Thankfully, you can cope with this problem in two ways. Firstly, you can prevent it from happening by avoiding paying for hold luggage. Try and only use hand luggage, and you can keep your bags with you at all times. This may be hard for some people, but you can always pay for extra hand luggage too if you can’t keep it all in one bag. The second idea is to help you cope with the aftermath of some lost luggage. What you should do is buy travel insurance to protect you when this happens. There are loads of places like GoBear that compare travel insurance so you can find the best one. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be protected if any of your luggage goes missing or gets damaged. You can claim compensation and get replacements or money for anything you lost.

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No Cash

Most of us like bringing foreign money with us when we travel. This is because it can cost a lot to use our cards, and our banks may see activity in a foreign country and block our account as a security measure. This leads to a long phone conversation as you prove who you are and get the account unblocked. So, we use cash, but what happens when we run out? It can cause a big problem for us, particularly if we didn’t bring our card at all.

Well, coping with this issue is easy. First, always bring more than you need, just in case! Secondly, get a travelcard and load it up with money. You can use this card at ATMs to withdraw cash without being charged fees!

There you have it, three travel troubles complete with ideas on how to cope with them. Now, you can travel with confidence this summer.

 

 

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