May 30

Things To Do Before Travelling Abroad

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Getting everything done before heading off on a holiday can be difficult, but making sure your pre-travel list is completed will give you great peace of mind while on every single trip. Travel insurance, vaccinations, visas, and scanning documents can pile up on your ‘to-do’ post it notes, but all the little tasks done can really save you a lot of trouble while out on your adventures. This is especially true if you’re travelling outside of Europe or to places with special visa requirements.

This article has a six-item to-do list already set up for you to tick off. From booking your single trip travel insurance to checking your debit cards, you’ll find some helpful suggestions of things to get done before you get on the plane.

1. See your doctor

If you’re travelling outside of Europe, you might need to get vaccinations before you go, and in some cases, before you can even apply for a visa. It’s also not a bad idea to refill any prescription medication to last you through the duration of your travels.

2. Learn as much about your destination as possible

If you’re travelling to a place you know very little about, it’s a really good idea to read about the local customs and history before you leave. This will give context to many of the sites you’re seeing, and will provide insight into appropriate behaviours and attire.

3. Check in with your bank

Before you travel, check the expiry dates on your cards to make sure that they’ll last through the duration of your trip. It’s also not a bad idea to call your bank to let them know which countries you’ll be visiting, so no red flags go up which might led them to put a stop on your card when you need it.

4. Book Single Trip Travel Insurance

When travelling abroad, it’s a good idea to make sure you have single trip travel insurance to cover you in case of injury or loss of property. These policies are usually easy find and you can usually complete application forms online and just print out your proof of policy. Many countries require you to have cover before you can apply for a visa.

5. Scan your documents

Make a copy of your passport, insurance policy, card numbers, your ticket details, and any emergency contact information that you might need (including doctors, family members, and travel agent). Email these documents and this information to yourself, and also forward it to your family and friends.

6. Stock up your camera

Pack extra batteries; you don’t want your batteries to die on you when you’re just about to arrive at the Great Wall of China or Yosemite National Park. Remember you might not always have access to an outlet and pack extra memory cards as well, so you can snap photos to your heart’s content.

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May 29

Top 5 Turkish Beaches Revealed

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Turkey continues to remain a firm favourite for UK holidaymakers looking for guaranteed summer sunshine and value-for-money. With four airports (Izmir, Dalman, Bodrum and Antalya) serving the coastal areas to the south of the country, there are plenty of resorts to choose from – but which really offer the best beaches? The travel experts at Hays Travel have compiled a list of their top five Turkish beaches.

1)The Blue Lagoon, OluDeniz, near Fethiye
This is the most photographed beach in Turkey and one of the most photographed in the world! A protected national park, this clear, peaceful lagoon is cut off from the sea by a long sandbank. Home to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle, the lagoon is surrounded by fine white shingle and shady pine forests. Hire a pedalo and see if you can get up close to a turtle, or make a real entrance by paragliding in from the top of one of the nearby rugged mountains. Stunning scenery, unique wildlife, a real must-see spot.

2)Olympos, near Alanya
Oludeniz is stunning, but its popularity means it can get very crowded. For something a little less busy, head to Olympos. Secluded and small, it’s more popular with backpackers than the masses. Nearby Roman ruins give it its name. Go back to basics and stay at the local treehouse camp.

3)Patara, near Fethiye
This huge beach is the birthplace of Nicholas, who went on to be immortalised in legend as Father Christmas. Soft and spotless, it’s a great place for building sandcastles and playing but does lack shade in the scorching high season.

4)Turgutreis, near Bodrum
Ever-popular Bodrum can get crowded and isn’t very special, luckily you don’t have to head too far out of town to reach Turgutreis. Gnetly shelving and chilled-out, this is a great spot for families. The breze also makes this beach popular with windsurfers.

5)Konyaalti Beach, near Antalya
Clear sea and pristine shingle have won this stretch an award for cleanliness. Arrive by dolmus or stay in the hip minimalist Hillside Su hotel, which overlooks this beautiful beach.

“These are only a selection of the brilliant beaches on offer in Turkey,” says Emily at Hays Travel. “Go and visit, explore, hire a car and find your own. There are lots of little islands and hidden coves around the coast – for a real holiday with a difference, why not cruise on board a gulet (traditional Turkish yacht.) If you prefer luxury, choose a first-class beach front hotel and take just a few steps from your room to the shore. There’s a beach to suit everyone in Turkey!”

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May 29

Country Vacation Sri Lanka Offers Lot Many Facilities On These Beaches For Its Members

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If there is any island, which possesses diversity as rich as a continent, it has to be Sri Lanka. Country Vacation Sri Lanka is a perfect platform, through which, Country Vacations offers the exclusive taste and travel experience of Sri Lanka. Country Vacations membership in an added fillip, with which Country Vacation members find it easy to locate all secluded sensuous locations, even in Sri Lanka. Island was badly hit by Tsunami, few years back. But since then, Sri Lanka has been cynosure of all eyes. This island is now rated amongst top few destinations around the world, where tourists go gaga.

Picturesque locations, sensuous beaches and air of festivity are characteristic features, peculiar to Sri Lanka. Country Vacations Sri Lanka, with its local expertise, marked by ingenuity in their services through Country Vacation membership, is the best choice one can rely on for planning vacations in Sri Lanka. Country Vacation presents a list of all must see locations to Country Vacation members in Sri Lanka.

Arugam Bay on the east coast, and Hikkaduwa and Mirissa on the south coast offer perfect feast for surfers. Surfers kit can always be managed with privilege of Country Vacations membership. For families and children, who look for calm waves, and prefer gentle swimming over adventurous water sports, the best places are Unawatuna, near Galle, and Nilaveli. Country Vacation Sri Lanka offers lot many facilities on these beaches for its members. Not to forget Marine Life to be seen around Pigeon Island. This includes large variety of fishes and few rare species of turtles as well. Country Vacation Sri Lanka just like Sri Lanka itself surprises with small miracles.
Kandy, hardly 116 kms away from Colombo, has misty hills with rich heritage and is called as Royal City.

Rock climbing and trekking are regular adventures in the region. Golfers find their dream come true with perfect surroundings in Kandy and world class comfort with Country Vacation membership. The best advantage of local know how that Country Vacation Sri Lanka has, lies in keeping Country Vacation members aware of the festivals and perfect time, specific to a location. Kandy holds Esala Perahera in July and August, which offers glimpses of medieval pageantry of the Island. If one has Country Vacation Membership, fun is all his.

Hotels and lodges can easily be booked, with assistance of Country Vacations Sri Lanka which otherwise can turn out to be costlier and hard to find in busy seasons. Country Vacations Sri Lanka is a tailor made package for tourists looking for original Sinhalese experience in this country. Vacations in Sri Lanka, are incomplete without looking at flora and fauna, but it takes more than one visit to see it all. However with Country Vacations Sri Lanka, and Country Vacations membership, maximum fun is guaranteed.

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May 29

Caravan and camping holiday parks that make a great stay

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Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and the smallest flattest continent and is a natural wonderland of pristine rainforests, azure blue waters, beautiful beaches and ancient rock formations. There are sixteen listed world heritage sites, vibrant cities, stunning flora and fauna and many historic townships that all add to Australia’s unique appeal. There is fauna and flora endemic to Australia that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The culture and customs boost a rich diversity of nationalities that include myths, traditions, folklore and legends. Included is the dream time which dates back thousands of decades of spiritual indigenous art and culture. There are over two hundred dialects and languages spoken across Australia that includes forty five indigenous languages. The most common languages spoken besides English are Arabic, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese and Cantonese.

Australia is one of the oldest countries on earth and their innovative history, art, and culture is still relatively young. Australia offers tourists outstanding nature experiences and national parks, breathtaking landscapes and some of the most renowned wine regions in the world. One can now experience the diverse natural environments with its unique wildlife when staying at one of the many caravan and camping holiday parks. When out camping, you have the opportunity to get close up to Australia’s native animals and plants and discover the ancient rainforests and wide open spaces on the edge of modern cities. You will have the chance to swim in pristine water environments and climb snow capped mountains. Here are a few of the experiences you don’t want to miss such as Ningaloo Reef with its largest reef worldwide where you can swim with the world’s largest fish the whale sharks. Shark Bay is home to dolphins, humpback whales, manta rays and turtles. Spend time hand feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia or take a walk on a beach made from tiny shells at Hamelin Pool. A short distance from Geelong centre, a surfer’s paradise is the Geelong Riverview Tourist Park where you can camp. This park is very close to the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road and offers boating, surfing, swimming, scuba diving and sailing activities.

Holiday parks in Australia are ideal for tourists wanting to travel around Australia, as they provide amenities such as modern cabins, BBQ areas, playgrounds, camp kitchens, swimming pools, recreation areas and much more. A must visit is the Kakadu National Park which is the largest in Australia and comprises of six different seasons and is divided into seven distinct regions. The park spans over 40 thousand years of aboriginal history with its beautiful rugged escarpments, open savannah plains, lush wetlands and forest woodlands. These and other parks are a must visit.

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May 28

Premier Destination for Golf Vacations

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Many people choose to take vacations to play golf. There are many popular places to go. The south of Portugal and Spain appeal to many Europeans because of a warmer climate. Scotland appeals to some, as the “birthplace” of golf, but it is also home to some of the World’s finest links golf courses. But if you look at the professional game, many of the world’s top players live in Florida, or have a home there, so that they can play and hone their game on some of the finest courses in the World.

Consider a list of some of the players who have a home in Florida: Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter. The list goes on. So what draws these people to Florida.

Climate: Florida has very mild winters, which means that this is a year round golf destination. It can get a little hot and humid, but golf can be played during the cooler times of day when this is the case.

Outstanding golf courses: This is of course the real reason you are reading this article and it is definitely true. Florida was formally a very large swamp. Over centuries the water has receded, but it has left behind lots of lakes and ponds, which means that many natural features are left behind with which to create golf courses. Also, as Florida is largely a flat state, golf architects have sought to make courses interesting by creating some fascinating undulations. The greens are also usually maintained to an exceptional standard and play very fast due to the hot weather.

All of this leads to some stunningly memorable holes. Think of the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass with its beautiful island green. Or think of Bay Hill, or in fact any one of the 50 or so championship golf courses situated close to the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida. OK, I know that TPC Sawgrass is a bit further north and lots of people would not be able to afford to play there. Nevertheless, it conjures up in the mind the types of holes and golf architecture available. Disney itself has a number of championship golf courses. Many places have tee times which are cheaper if you are willing to play in the heat of the day. But this can easily be borne if you are driving a cart around as you will be offered some shade from the roof whilst in the cart and the breeze while the cart is in motion can also be cooling. It is now easier than ever to pack your clubs and take them with you on planes. So what is to stop you heading to Florida and seeing one of the world’s premier golf destinations.

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May 27

Cholamandalam Travel Insurance Plans

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Indians are travelling like never before. Be it for leisure, business, further education or more, there is an estimated increase of 20% traffic travelling overseas every year. And a study shows that 80% of the travelers like to buy travel insurance policies online to ensure they are leaving their baggage of worries at home while they travel overseas.

There are many insurance companies offering travel insurance plans. Cholamandalam is one of the reliable travel insurance among these. Although most of the benefits arising out of Chola Travel Insurance are the same as others viz Medical Treatment, Repatriation of Remains, Dental Treatment, Checked Baggage Loss, Checked Baggage Delay, Passport Loss, Personal Liability, Hijack Relief Benefit, Hospital Daily Cash, Financial Emergency, Trip Cancellation, Trip Curtailment, Trip Delay, International Driving License Loss, Home Burglary, etc. However what sets Chola apart from others is:
Door-to-door Cover which means that your travel insurance starts the moment you leave your home for airport and ends when you return home from airport. Also it covers Personal Accident both overseas and domestic during your travel insurance validity.
Extensive network of hospitals and service providers all over the world.
Age Limit of family members starts from 3 months upto 80 years. No medical checkups are required for family members upto 65 years of age.
Pre-existing conditions are covered under life-saving unforeseen emergencies. Cholamandalam provides cover for any eventuality arising from a pre-existing condition.
Tie-up with I-SOS (the world-renowned International SOS) for Claims Processing and Assistance Services.

Besides the above listed benefits you get Toll-free phone numbers to contact the service provider from most frequently visited countries. The claims are settled fairly in a quick fashion. You just need to keep a copy of all the bills so that you can substantiate your claims and get timely reimbursement.

Cholamandalam insurance can be bought online at EIndiaInsurance. You can compare the insurance plan with other brands and can get a quote immediately. You can also speak to insurance agents on the phone to get complete information on the plan that you are interested in. Whenever buying an overseas travel insurance always remember to see what all is excluded and get complete clarity so that you know what you are paying for, what all it covers, what are its benefits and be sure if its worth your hard earned money or not. Last but not the least, do not just buy any travel insurance which is cheap coz you might have to shell money out of your pocket in the event of any unforeseen emergency which might not be covered under the cheap travel insurance plan. A few rupees more might just give you a complete peace of mind while you explore the other world. So travel, but with a good travel insurance plan in your backpack!

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May 27

Celebrating Romantic Apple Vacations Unik Island Resort & Spa

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Apple Vacations has deemed UNIK Island Resort & Spa a five red apple resort with excellent guest services and accommodations for Cancun vacations.

Located off of mainland Cancun on the Isla Mujeres (Island of Women), this resort is directed more towards couples than Spring Breakers. It offers the perfect environment for a relaxed, romantic getaway to enjoy the company of a loved-one. At just 84 rooms, one-third of a typical Cancun hotel, the UNIK Island Resort & Spa is truly a unique experience amongst Cancun vacation.

About UNIK Island Resort & Spa

While small, the UNIK Island Resort & Spa is still quite grand. The suites range from 470 to a whopping 825 square feet, each equipped with a balcony or terrace so you can feel the warm tropical breeze as you stare out across the Caribbean.

Speaking of the lovely, turquoise-colored Caribbean Sea, enjoy a peaceful day at the white sandy beaches without fear of tourist overcrowding on this remote island. Or simply go for a dip in the UNIK Island Resort & Spas outdoor pool with swim-up bar while basking in the glow of the sun.

Activities

For travelers looking to remain active on their Apple vacations, UNIK Island Resort & Spa offers complimentary workout equipment and beachside yoga and Pilates.

While secluded, the Isla Mujeres has constant transportation to mainland Cancun via ferry. On the mainland, enjoy the fancy boutiques and shopping centers, thrilling water sports, and exciting nightlife.

Dining Options

The UNIK Island Resort & Spa provides four restaurants with delicious meal options. La Isla Grill & Lounge provides casual favorites and remarkable drinks served poolside. Breeze serves Mediterranean meals with an excellent view of the Caribbean. Jade is the spot to go for Asian and Mexican cuisines. Finally, Pearl is a contemporary dining experience open for all three meals.

Whether youre looking for the perfect honeymoon spot or a place to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary, UNIK Island Resort & Spa is the ideal location.

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May 26

Baring All Go Nude On A Greece Holiday

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If you’re looking for a trip that’s as light on your wallet as it is on your suitcase, cheap holidays in Greece are the perfect answer for those wanting to enjoy the stunning surroundings of this country au naturel.

World renowned as a premier destination for naturism, Greece and its many islands offer the ideal getaway for visitors who prefer going nude, and the attitude to naturism in this Mediterranean country is second to none.
Nudism can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks, when athletes would compete in the nude and men were depicted naked in the many sculptures that have reached us today. And although the locals can be conservative, this open-minded approach to the body is still clear, making Greece one of the best places in the world to enjoy naturism, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned nudist.

Boasting secluded coves, long stretches of sand or more popular nude-friendly beaches; it’s no wonder that many people are often tempted to try nude bathing for the first time during their holidays in Greece. There are many places to choose from where clothing is optional, and each one is suited to any traveller, from family and couples’ beaches to gay or mixed beaches. Although the list of known nude beaches is almost endless, some can be textile (clothes-wearing) during the high season especially weekends when the locals flock to the seaside, and others can be nude one year and clothed the next. Best check before leaving the bathing suit at home.

There are quite literally dozens of beaches which encourage nude bathing in Greece, but two of the most famous nude-friendly beaches are in Mykonos: Paradise and Super Paradise. Now better known for its ‘party beach’ reputation, if you’re looking for seclusion, this isn’t the place. Try the island of Crete, where its remote coastline is better suited to naturism away from any gawkers.

Although there are numerous nude beaches throughout Crete, most of them can be found in the south-west of the island. The Red Beach (not to be confused with the textile beaches of the same name) remains popular as a nudist destination, particularly at the north end of the beach, whilst Filaki Beach is the only official nude beach in Greece and home to an official naturist resort.

It may be relatively conservative, but the island of Skiathos (featured in the film Mamma Mia!) has a well-known nude quarter, with names like Big Banana, Little Banana and Nameless Banana making the island’s three nudist beaches all that more memorable. But with so many of the country’s islands boasting remote shorelines and carefully hidden coves, nudists will be in their element wherever they go.

If you are tempted to bare all for the first time on your Greece holiday, do remember the sunscreen. Swimming sandals are also optional, at the risk of encountering a sea anemone, but forget the camera it can be intrusive.

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May 25

Thailand’s Beaches Are Prime Vacation Destinations

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Thailand has one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. For those that have traveled there they know that the beauty of this untouched place makes for some of the best vacations in the world. This is coupled with the vast amount of historical culture that abounds the countryside and there is never a shortage of things to do in this country. Because much of this land is untouched by development you will find that relaxation and peaceful living is more than possible. The reaches of the mighty have not gotten this far and that means that you will get the very best in the vacation arena, especially when it comes to the Thailand beach areas.

Below are some of the best beach Thailand has to offer.

Koh Mook is one of Thailand’s most private and virgin beaches. It offers long white beaches and a peace of mind that is truly spectacular and unmatched.

Khao Lak is a wonderful Thailand beach. Just a short drive from the airport, this paradise offers a remote vacation area like no other. Thanks to the area being largely uninhabited, there is lush rain forest nearby along with a whole host of wildlife to be viewed. The water remains warm in the November through December months and the fishing and scuba diving is out of this world.

Phuket Thailand Beach is another great spot. Enjoy this resort November through March. There is more than enough to do. It is a bit more crowded than other beaches as this area thrives on the tourism dollars that it brings in. The scuba diving is top notch in this area and you will also find some of the warmest most clear water in the world. There are several nearby attractions to keep one busy for quite a few days.

Phi Phi Don Thailand beach is quite the turn around. Once a remote and nearly unknown place, this Thailand beach came to life when Hollywood came in and filmed a movie here. It is now considered to be one of the most popular beaches in the entire country and is frequented by many big names. This is a site that you will not want to miss, as the views are breathtaking and the water warm and inviting.

West Railiy Thailand beach is one of the undiscovered diamonds in the rough. There is very little that is expensive here and one can stay at the “resort” for over a week and barely tap the budget. The sands are milky white and the water clear. Scuba diving is very popular here as well as the fishing. This location is only accessible by long tail boat so plan for a bit of a long ride.

For more information, visit:

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May 24

Business Holiday Cards Etiquette- When Professional Translation Is Necessary

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There are written rules and unwritten rules that go with sending holiday cards both nationally and internationally. Several rules overlap when it comes to common sense and basic manners. When it comes to sending off international holiday cards for businesses- when is it okay to trust in basic translation or when to hire a professional translator to write those very important messages?

One very important rule of thumb- purchasing pre-made holiday cards with a message in the foreign language already printed on the cards is most likely written and spelled correctly. You can order these cards online from multiple locations and feel good about what message you are sending out.

Basic Business Holiday Card Etiquette

Maybe the most important thing you can do is pay attention to traditions and religions. If you are unsure if your client celebrates Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Christmas , send a Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings or Winter Wishes
Make sure your list is up-to-date with correct names and addresses. If you do this on a regular basis. Not only will you save on postage by avoiding return to sender, you wont want to forget new clients that you will want to stay in contact.
Even though you may have 2000 holiday cards that you send out- be personal and sign each one. It makes a huge difference professionally and personally. Going a step further and writing a personal message can make the world of difference. Only make sure your message to foreign countries is properly translated.
Dont forget to include the staff or the spouse in the greeting portion of the card and always use proper titles.

All of these tips will ensure your dont embarrass your company as well theirs. To make sure your national and especially international cards are delivered in time, send them out early! Make a goal to have your cards out December 1st. When thinking if you should send anything besides a holiday-appropriate card, like sending chocolates, fruit cake or other edible packages, think about the shelf-life and how the food will be received. More than likely if you wanted to send smoked fish, tightly wrapped chocolates or canned nuts will always ensure that the food is fresh. Sending spoiled or stale food is much worse than not sending anything at all!

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