Saturday, 7 April 2012

Business Travel Tips For Your Family

Business travel tips often focus on how to make the actual traveler's trip easier. But what about the family that is left behind? Often times depending on the age of the kids, it can be just as stressful for them and your spouse. While you are planning out your next trip, take some time to plan out how you are going to spend quality time with your family both before and after the trip.
One thing to plan is something to do when you return so everyone can look forward to that activity and not on the absence. Plan for a trip to the zoo or some other age appropriate activity for your children.
Help your spouse do any chores before you leave, like grocery shopping or laundry. Being a single parent for a couple of days can be challenging, especially when you are not used to going it alone.
Play with your kids before you leave as well. Before trips we are usually just focused on preparing for the trip itself and not on preparing the family.
Call often while you are gone. When on the road don't forget to check in even more often then when you are in town. This helps maintain a constant reassurance that things are okay.
Families are often the forgotten factor when talking about business travel tips. There is a whole industry focused on the traveler but not on the family. If you are a frequent flyer, take some time to focus on your family.
For more great info visit: Family Stress and Business Travel.
Also be sure to visit my blog at Business Travel Tips.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Tips to Select a Coach Hire Company For a Luxurious Travel

In most businesses, it is essential to provide facilities for the transportation of staff members and clients to exhibitions or business meetings. Now, let us observe some of the advantages of corporate coach hire services. With the reduction in flight rates, the luxury of air travel may be seen as one of the cheaper modes of transport. With the advertising of discount packages from the important airports, air travel seems most appealing.
However, when you sum up the actual expenses incurred by air travel you will find that it is the most expensive mode of transport. Let's have a brief look at this. Taxis, train fares or the fuel costs should be considered while traveling to the airport. There is no doubt that the actual flight rates might be cheap but the incidental expenses like parking etc can add to the costs. On arrival at the designated airport, additional traveling to your destination would once again mean train or taxi fares.
If you want your clients to reach the venue of the business meeting in a fresh and good mood, then you should definitely consider traveling by a coach. Otherwise, the entire journey could be exhausting. Besides, booking different tickets is time consuming. An efficient way of traveling in luxury is hiring a coach, particularly if you have a group of 15 to 20 people.
You no longer have to wait due to delays in plane and train services. The entire group can travel together in style, comfort and have loads of fun. The new advanced coaches have facilities which allow you to enjoy your journey as they provide music, TV, tables, refrigerators and services of a hostess. You feel quite relaxed as there are no sit outs, transfers or queuing which is common with the other modes of transport. Hence, It is not at all astonishing that most of the business transactions are completed during this relaxed coach travel prior to the meetings, when the staff and clients bond.
So, how will you go about selecting a coach hire company for your business or family trips? Searching the internet is the best option as most companies have their websites which show you precise images of the vehicles that they are available for hire. Clean and good quality coaches create a good impression of their business. You can actually visit the company in your area of business and find out the different options available. It is always better to go for coaches that are categorized as executive ones as they house amenities and features that meet the highest standards.
It is also essential to see that the driver of your coach is well dressed and is polite when interacting with the clients and staff. These are some of the tips to select a coach hire service for luxury travel.
Momentum Coach Hire offer a fantastic range of coaches, available for everything from school trips to stag parties. View the Momentum Coach Hire site for more information.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

China Travel Tips

These China Travel Tips, Survival Techniques, will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience the real China with a little less stress.
China is an odd beast that needs to be respected; the major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, all have their own personalities.
Some complex situations that you think would be an organizational disaster turn out to be great and you wonder afterward what all the fuss and worry was about. Then the simplest of tasks can turn out to be a major calamity.
This is when you have what we call here a "China day".
These days come and go and are part of the experience of everyday travel in China. One needs to have an open mind when travelling China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to Western ways of living.
You need to have a very open mind when you Travel in China.
I have listed below a few China Travel Tips that will make life that wee bit more bearable on your Travel China experience.
China Travel Tips - Be Toilet Wise
o Never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time.
o Be prepared; Carry some tissue.
o You may have to use a squat toilet, again if you know this before hand it is not a shock. If you don't know how to use a squat toilet, try the following experiment at home.
While holding onto something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, so that the cheeks of your bottom is almost touching your heels or the back of your calf. Now, let go with your hands. See if you stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or you cannot get up, then a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you will be happy you did.
o If you see a clean toilet, Go... it may not come again for a while.
o There are many public toilets around the cities, usually the ones you pay for are OK, (RMB .5), the others best to stay away from if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around the cities.
o Be warned that public areas like bus and train stations are usually what I class as "tough toilets", however if gotta go you gotta go.
o Outside of the major cities, the toilet systems are old or have very narrow plumbing /pipes and get blocked easily. In these cases a small basket is usually beside the toilet, this is for your used toilet paper.
One of the best China Travel toilet Tips I can give you, is use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the class of hotel that you are using.
I do not wish to scare you. However, of all the China Travel Tips in all the other web sites I have read, this is a topic not often mentioned, but it is very important to us all.
So outside of the major cities conditions can be tough. But most of the time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; everything will have been checked out before hand. However even the best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared, the toilets in the smaller cities, towns and villages can be scary.
China Travel Tips - The Food
o The food is great and the variety is overwhelming. Most of the time you get to choose what you eat, or you can recognize what you're eating, however sometimes you do not get a choice. Carry a chocolate bar or something; this will keep you going until some food that you can recognize turns up. Drink bottled or boiled water, as the tap water is NOT safe to drink, this is for the whole of China. Even boiled water, while sterilised can contain a lot of minerals and iron deposits that you probably do not want in your system. The safest bet is to drink bottle water. Tap water in most big cities is OK for brushing teeth.
o Eating habits - Most Chinese people have a great habit of being very noisy when they eat and lunch and dinner times can be a wonderfully noisy celebration, food tends to go in all directions, its just part of being in China.
o People also smoke at the table while everyone is eating, so some restaurants get very loud and smoky.
o If you get stuck what to order as most of the menu's are in Chinese just look at the table next to you and point to the dish you fancy and ask how much it is, this system works really well and know seems to mind.
o I have a basic menu that will help you order safe food, (no Cats or Dog) this will enable you to visit a larger selection of restaurants, not just the tourist ones with high prices. You can carry it with you and use it in the local restaurants where most will be able to serve what is on it. This way you will know what you are eating.
These local places are very cheap and the food it great. Contact me if you would like me to send it to you.
China Travel Tips - Taxis
o China Travel Tips- Taxis - Taxis are an experience that can have you griping the seat and gasping for breath; however you soon get used to it, after the first few rides, you're an old hand.
o The taxis in Shanghai are, overall, quite good. Try to get the Blue, Blue'ish Turquoise, Gold and White taxis, these are the best... these are the four major taxi companies and are generally recognised by their single colour paintwork. The others are OK, just older and a rougher ride (the others also may have faulty metres). No drivers will speak English.
o Carry your hotel or accommodation business card with you, written in Chinese, this helps if you get lost walking around town.
o In all the taxis around the country you will see the drivers name and taxi registration number in plain sight. If you have any problem, or if you think you have been over charged etc, just take this number down, make a big fuss about it, and the driver then should wake up and fix whatever problem you have. Even better is to take the receipt. This has all the trip details on it and you can ring the taxi company if you want to take things further or if you've left something in the taxi.
o The government takes rip-off drivers in all cities, Beijing and Xian especially, very seriously and if you complain they will lose their license. This is their livelihood. So far I have had not one driver in 3 years that has not backed down and we have then agreed a price for the trip or solved our problem.
o In Shanghai, it is common practice for taxi fare increases after 11pm. However, one can usually bargain for a 20% discount, which will get the fare back to the pre-11pm rate.
Be strong with the taxi drivers, never-the-less, keep your cool, smile and negotiate.
China Travel Tips - Shopping
o China Travel Tips - Shopping - China is a shopper's paradise, Markets, Bargains; Top labels... anything and everything if you have the time. With clothes, the larger (Western) sizes can be quite hard to find, however in the major cities where you get a lot of tourist traffic, you can find them.
o Electrical gear, DVD's, Cameras, stuff like this is not worth buying in China, Hong Kong is still the best place for this.
o Store hours in the major cities are from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
o Visa card is still the best card to carry, with ATM's in good supply all with PLUS access etc.
There is usually a surcharge for use of VISA, MasterCard or other forms of credit card.
o Wait on purchasing if you can, look around to get a feel for the prices. The Chinese are VERY experienced at selling and know that we halve the opening price when bargaining.
In the markets go for 25% of what they first ask; go so low that they let you walk away. This will give you an idea of the bottom price. The resulting end-price will probably be around 40% to 50% of where they started.
Whatever the market people say, they are used to pushing and haggling for best prices. Do not worry about being too hard, they are used to it and will not sell you an item unless they make a profit. Don't be concerned with the apparently hurt body language when you go low - it is all part of the game. As soon as they have wrapped up your first purchase, they will try to sell you something more. Remember to keep smiling and having fun while bargaining.
China Travel Tips - Medical Treatment and Records
o Most hotels will have a doctor that you can see. In the major hotels English will be spoken.
o Always take a small first aid kit, cold remedy, headache tablets at the very least. WATSONS is a very large chain chemist. Most of the remedies, tablets etc, that you may require should be in these shops. These shops are all over China.
o There is a great network of pharmacy type shops; these are indicated by a Green Cross. There will always be a 24 hr Green Cross pharmacy in the city you are in. It is handy to carry a Phase book, as no one will speak English, however you will end up with something that will help.
o INPORTANT POINT - for most of the mass produced packet type medicines, the packaging will be written in Chinese on one side, English on the other. However in the shops you only see the Chinese side. Have a good look, turn the packs over, it gives you a lot more confidence knowing you can read the package.
o If you have a specific medical issue, take records, most of the Doctors will have OK written / reading English, even though their oral English will be poor.
China Travel Tips - Telephone
o Using the phone is as easy as at home. However the person picking it up will not speak English or have very broken English... the Major 4- or 5-Star Hotels will all be OK.
o What is worth doing is buying a Chinese Telecom SIM card, they are about RMB100 and with this you get RMB50 in calls, the other 50 is for the price of the SIM card; this SIM card will go into all major brand phones and work OK.
By doing this, people can reach you within and out of China if there is an emergency. If you have a couple of phones, you can short (txt) message each other (SMS). Also you are able to call your tourist guide, hotel etc if you have any major problems. It is a cheap way to keep in touch.
NB.Before you buy a Chinese SIM card, check that it will work in your Cell / Mobile phone. There are plenty of China Telecom shops that can help.
China Travel Tips on when NOT to move around China.
o Spring Festival, this would be the Chinese New Year time, around the end of January / Early February
o Early May; Labour day Holidays
o Early October; National Day Holidays
Of all the China Travel Tips National Day is the biggest one. Millions of Chinese travel at these holiday times of the year. Most are travelling back to home towns or visiting family. Hotels, trains, planes, cars, buses, and roads are all crowded to the maximum. Major congestion, everywhere.
Also travel fares are at their full price. No discounts are offered!
Stay in one place and enjoy where you are. It's best and causes fewer hassles.
China Travel Tips - TV
o If you want to watch TV, most of the major hotels will have cable and if you are in the smaller places, the national channel, CCTV9 is in English. Over the last couple of years it has got a lot better, with some great China Travel Tips programs, news and views on people and places around China.
China Travel Tips - Airport Tax
o There is a "construction fee" at almost all airports.
Domestic flights RMB 50
International flights RMB 90 - which is to be paid in local currency.
Just recently, tickets are being tissued with the Construction Tax included; however make sure you have the Tax money with you just to make sure.
I hope some of these China Travel Tips will come in handy and will make your trip to China that little bit easier.
If you have been to China and wish to share your China Travel Tips, please feel free to contact me anytime.
John Mckenna
Hi I'm John Mckenna, I am from New Zealand and have lived in Shanghia China now for 3 years.
I own and operate; my site provides experienced based Travel and Tour information on the wonders of Travel in China, the Real China, Ancient China, China at its very best...

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

International Travel Tips That Will Come In Handy

When you travel within your country or outside it, you need to follow travel tips to make your travel effortless. But the international travel needs some extra care. We can follow some tips to make the travel abroad an enjoyable one.
The first tip to follow is that in a foreign country it is very important for the travelers to know they are guests and they should make it point to obey the country's laws and should not involve themselves in any illegal activities like smuggling and drug trafficking. If these are abided by then the stay in the country will be peaceful and enjoyable.
Next is the baggage. It should be as light as possible but it should include all the essentials so that no difficulty is faced at any time. Also you need to check the things you carry until the last. This can prevent any theft from happening lest you get stranded.
The currencies of the countries differ from each other. Knowing the exchange rates would help a lot. Before going to the destination you can carry some with you because you may need some to pay the taxi fare. One thing to be really careful is never to discuss the money matters and your finances in the public nor count them in public. You may be inviting some harm to yourself. Most countries would require the travelers to declare the cash that you are carrying.
Next in line are the travel documents. They should be in place and all of them should be valid and you should be aware of the extensions possible. Also the tickets of the travel should be checked thoroughly and the route to the destination should be known properly. Another hurdle is the customs handling which is not an easy task. But if you declare your belongings and the items you purchased for personal use and as gifts you have nothing to fear.
Thus international traveling can be pretty much enjoyable if these tips are born in mind to the core.
ExpatIntelligence website contains more information related topics like International Travel Tips and Overseas Without Insurance.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Family Travel Tips to Smooth the Road

Any parent knows the headaches that can occur while traveling with the kids. From bathroom breaks every 30 minutes to sibling rivalry flare-ups; bringing the children on a road trip can really test the patience of even a saint. However, with a little advanced planning and some easy family travel tips, many of these travel pains can be minimized.
One of the most important family travel tips is to simply relax. Nothing ever goes completely as planned when on a trip, and bringing the kids only adds additional stress when things go awry. Even seemingly benign set backs can cause major outbreaks of crying and screaming from tired, road-weary children. And because children naturally look to their parents when gauging the seriousness of a given situation, if you're exhibiting signs of stress, this will inevitably be magnified by the children.
For a child, nothing makes a car ride seem longer than having nothing to do but look out the window. And if you're a parent, nothing makes a trip seem longer than a bored and unruly child. This being the case it is vital to bring a variety of entertainment when traveling with small children. Books, games, DVD's, and anything else that can be used as a distraction will make a long road trip go by much faster for both the parent and the child.
An often overlooked aspect of family travel tips is choosing the right time to do your traveling. When possible, traveling at night is often the best idea, as most children will simply fall asleep within a short period of time on the road. If you must travel during the day, arranging your travel time around regularly scheduled naps is an excellent idea as it can provide at least a few hours of quiet while driving.
Ensuring you have plenty of time to travel is also very important. Having the time to be able to make regular stops along the way not only helps break up the monotony of driving, but it also allows children a chance to move around and burn off some energy. And with any luck, by following these family travel tips, your next vacation will be a great experience for the whole family.
Jennifer R. Scott has been writing for over ten years on a broad range of topics. She has a background that includes such diverse areas as environmentalism, cooking, animal care, and technology. If you would like more information on parenting, please visit family travel tips, a site for parents.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Top Ten Safe Travel Tips

Traveling is one of the most enjoyable and interesting things we can do, but with traveling comes some risks. We all know that it's not always safe to travel and that some of the things associated with it, such as money and hotel stays bring with them some additional risks as well. There are some top ten safe travel tips that you can use to make your travels more safe and enjoyable.
Everyone should take the time to learn the top ten safe travel tips for those who are traveling summer or winter.
1. Keep your self and your children seat belted at all times when the car is moving. Keep your young children or toddlers safely secured in a rear facing car seat. The reason this is a top ten safe travel tip is obvious. The kids are our number one concern when it comes to traveling.
2. Keep your cash stashed out of sight. When you stop don't display large amounts of cash and don't flash it in a store. When you can use travelers checks as opposed to carrying large amounts of strictly cash. When you do carry cash, keep some in the car, some on you and some on your spouse so that your trip is not dependent upon just one person. One of the top ten safe travel tips that can keep your trip safe if one of you is injured, or your car is stolen, is this one.
3. Keep a first aid kit in your car at all times.
4. Don't visit an ATM machine at night or when alone.
5. If traveling with children, keep things to occupy them so that you can keep your attention focused on the driving, where your attention should be. This top ten safe travel tip is one of the most important.
6. Be aware of how is around you at all times. Make sure that you are paying attention to where you children are, and where others are located in relation to them and to you.
7. Keep your luggage or pda/palm pilot close to you. Don't permit strangers to come near your luggage or ask them to watch it while you enter a restroom or other areas where you are not able to see the things you will be carrying onto an airline or train/automobile. Paying close attention to this one of the top ten safe travel tips will assure that you not only keep yourself and your family safe, but also others who will be traveling with you if you are using mass transportation.
8. Keep your regular medication handy and on your person as opposed to packaged all separate from you.
9. Don't carry your most valued jewelry or your most expensive coat with you on vacation. Its in open invitation.
10. Don't take your children with you or travel to parts of the country where advisories have been issued. If it is truly a vacation, then why put yourself into a position to be in danger.
Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author.
To learn more about travel tips [], please visit Best Travel Safety Tips [] for current articles and discussions.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Student Travelers Tips and Advice

Students are not the wealthiest travelers and, recognizing this, the travel industry is beginning to make special priced packages available for students. With a college ID and a little time spent doing research it is possible for students to find some great travel deals.
Several travel agencies specialize in booking student travel. Working with one of these agencies is an excellent idea because they are very knowledgeable about what is currently being offered for students.
For gap year travel a student travel agency can plan a long term travel itinerary. Included in the package will be airline and hotel or hostel reservations plus discounted tickets to local attractions and landmarks. These packages can be individualized for each traveler.
Airlines are also recognizing student travelers in a big way. Discounted tickets are available with a college ID. Several airlines have special reward clubs for students, which allow them to earn airline mileage.
They are also offering credit cards that give students airline miles for every penny spent. If a student is planning for a trip that involves lots of air travel family members can also get an airline credit card and transfer their miles to the student before he books his flights.
An insider trick that many students are not aware of is stand- by travel. When a student has the time, and many do during gap year travel abroad, they can fly stand-by. If extra seats are available on a flight a student can purchase a ticket, usually for well under £100, and jump on the flight.
If the flight is booked and all passengers show up the student can just wait until the next flight. Travel experts say this is one of the cheapest ways to fly if you have the time.
Hotels are trying to cash in on the student travel market and compete with hostels. Standard rooms can be booked at a discount with a student ID. Hotels also offer packages that include tours and tickets to local attractions as well as meals. The best idea for inexpensive lodging is considering a roommate.
Splitting lodging costs can save lots of money and allow a student to stay in a more centrally located and nicer hotel. Once at their travel destination most students will want to see the sights.
If the student has not already received a discount attraction package from his travel agent or hotel he can find many coupons and deals on local websites. Most attractions and landmarks have discounted student rates and when these are combined with coupons they offer a real savings.
One last tip is to purchase a global cell phone and prepaid minutes before leaving home. Global cell phones are no more expensive than normal cell phones and will save quite a bit on roaming charges.
The money a student saves by following these simple tips makes student travel much more attractive. In many cases, using these easy tips will actually make a trip possible. And the money saved? Buy some great souvenirs for mum and dad!
Darren Cronian is the blogger behind the Travel Rants Blog He writes about problems that consumers face with travel. Read travel tips to help you plan your holiday.