You’ve heard it 1 million times… If you drink, drive responsibly. Has it occurred to anyone other than me that the words ‘drinking’ and ‘drive responsibly’ don’t even belong in the same sentence? Maybe this instead: if you’re drinking, make intelligent decisions regarding driving. Or better yet, if you are drinking don’t drive dammit! Certainly at least not until the next day when you’ve sobered up and aren’t hung over anymore. A drunk driving charge on people’s DMV driving records can be far more detrimental than one may have originally thought. That is of course only one small reason not to drive drunk.
Been There, Done That
Many of us have been guilty of getting behind the wheel after too many drinks. You’re just a little buzzed so you’re sure you can drive if you really concentrate, pay attention and stick to the speed limit. But as so many commercials will have you believe these days… Buzzed driving is drunk driving. If all the tests and studies that have been done aren’t enough to convince you, that first accident should. Sadly, that first accident could be your last. It could also be the last time some 16-year-old kid gets behind the wheel of dad’s car and just happens to be in your way after you had one too many. That the kind of thing you want to live with for the rest of your life? Could you even live with it for the rest of your life? If your conscience didn’t kill you, you can look forward to the financial devastation that something like this could end up wreaking on your bank book and your family. Everybody makes mistakes, just don’t make this one.
I Have Here, in Front of Me, Your Driving Record
What individuals in your life may utter those words? Unfortunately for you it could be a potential employer. Even if you aren’t applying for a job that involves driving some businesses do the kinds of background checks that involve driving records with the DMV. You can tell an awful lot about a person by looking at their driving record after all. Irresponsibility behind the wheel could very well equal irresponsible at work. Distracted, inattentive drivers are likely to be distracted and inattentive on-the-job.
And that drunk driving charge we referred to earlier…? This person may well be an alcoholic.
What do all of these countries have in common: Vietnam, Venezuela, the United States, United Nations, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Turkey, Thailand, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, Russia, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Poland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Mexico, Macedonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Kenya, Japan, Jamaica, Ireland, India, Hungary, Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, France, Denmark, Croatia, China, Canada, Brazil, Bermuda, Austria, Australia, Argentina, Albania and many more? Each and every one has at least some kind of smoking ban currently being enforced.
How Does a Smoker Travel Comfortably?
If you don’t want to have to worry about finding a place where it’s safe to smoke, while you’re traveling on business or vacation, there is a very simple solution. It’s called an electronic cigarette and it reportedly gives you all of the same benefits of smoking a cigarette, but without the unhealthy effects of the burning tar and smoke. These modern marvels come in all sorts of flavors, from fruity all the way to an authentic tobacco flavor. Some even light up on the end, when you inhale to look more like the real thing. What you are inhaling exhaling is nothing more than harmless water vapor possibly mixed with a specific dose of nicotine, whose dosages vary depending on your habit. Many places that don’t allow the smoking of cigarettes, do allow the use of electronic cigarettes. Many… Not all.
Yes It’s True – The Establishment Strikes Again
The powers that be have been at it again. Some brilliant mind came up with a way for smokers to enjoy their smokey treats, as smokeless treats so some big wig sitting at a desk somewhere had to think of a way for the smoking Nazis, to again reign victorious. Sure enough, some places are actually banning the use of electronic cigarettes, just like they did with real cigarettes. They make claims about weird chemicals being somewhere in the mix, in addition of course to the nicotine being consumed by the smoker. If you want to put nicotine in your body should the government really have anything to say about it? They may ban smoking in public areas, but they’re certainly not banning the sale of it, from which they make a mint from taxes.
Maybe if they could solve the national debt through the taxation of electronic cigarettes, Big Brother and other government organizations would be more on board. I mean seriously, God forbid that smokers be allowed to take in their nicotine fix, without the harmful effects of stinky, burning tobacco. Wait a minute, wouldn’t that mean banning nicotine patches as well? Hmm.
If you have ever walked through the lobby of a five star hotel, you were likely blown away by pretty much every feature that the hotel had to offer, especially if it was your first time staying in such luxury. Not only are the floors spotless and free of imperfection, every inch of the hotel seems as if it were almost sprayed with some sort of dust and dirt repellant to keep it clean. However, the secret of keeping things so clean is simple – hire a great cleaning team.
While You Were Sleeping
When you are staying in a five star hotel, the owners and managers will do their best to make sure that the guests aren’t inconvenienced in any way. This generally includes the cleaning that must be done every day. So, in maintaining this frame of mind, the hotel managers and owners tend to arrange to have most of the cleaning done during the night when the majority of their guests are sleeping. They make sure to use machines that clean as quietly as possible and use only the highest quality supplies, so that you aren’t waking up to chemical fumes the next morning. Really, no one wants to breathe in fumes when they are trying to eat their breakfast. Of course, for the less intrusive chores such as gardening or housekeeping are allowed during the day time but for the deep cleaning, there is usually a late night involved.
Take Time to Appreciate
The fact that so much time and thought goes into the cleaning of these gorgeous hotels, it really is important that you take a moment out of your day and just admire the scenery. Unless you stay in a five star hotel on a regular basis, you may not know when the next time you will be able to enjoy luxury will happen. Take a moment while you are checked in to simply enjoy the hotel around you. Really take time to appreciate all that the hotel has to offer, from the spotless marble floors in the lobby to the well-manicured green of the golf course, even just the cleanliness and luxury of your hotel room. People tend to glance over the little things but the truth is that it is all of these little things that truly make the experience memorable.
Staying in a five star hotel is something that some of us will only do once or twice in a lifetime, if ever. If you get the chance to experience this, truly take the time to experience and appreciate the hotel for what it is: a combined effort between the management and staff to provide you with an experience you won’t soon forget.
You have put so much work into your wedding. The dresses for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the invitations. The music sound system or maybe you have a live band. Decorations, flowers, table coverings. Food and drink. You worry that your guests will be satisfied and happy. And, to top it off, your wedding isn’t even in your home town. You have to travel for it. Should this be more stress? Absolutely not! Often times when traveling for a wedding, you can find spectacular deals and items you may not be able to find in your home town, including wedding shoes. This will allow you a little more freedom and variety, not only for your wedding in general, but for you for new clothing purchases.
Shopping On The Honeymoon
The wedding is over. You and your new husband have finally made it through the wedding, made the rounds to all of your guests, and have driven away to begin your new life together. But first, the wedding night and honeymoon are about to begin. Suddenly you realize you forgot something back home in the closet! The lingerie. Now, of course your husband probably won’t care. After all, men don’t really care what you wear, as long as they get to see you naked. This, however, is your special night. Fortunately, if your honeymoon is in a major city most malls have lingerie stores. If your honeymoon takes you to a beach location, you may find more stunning beach wear at your destination rather than from your city of origin. Beach resorts specialize in swimsuits, bikini’s, and if your buttocks is shaped for it, the daringly skimpy thong! You may even find other outfits you never expected to find back home.
Shopping For The Honeymoon
Don’t forget your footwear. Men will take a couple pairs of shoes and be happy. Women know better. Shoes can make or break an outfit. But again, depending on where you go for the honeymoon, you may find something you can’t live without along the way. Perhaps a new pair for that slinky evening dress you brought, or a new pair of sandals for the beach. Or even a sexy pair of stiletto heels to go with the lingerie you just bought, because you forgot to pack what you originally bought and left it hanging in the closet back home.
No matter what, be prepared for a few side trips for shopping. You will be surprised at what you can find along the way!
Ah the hospitality industry… For business owners it’s anything but hospitable however. Funny how that works. (actually not so funny if you’re the business owner)
Starting out Small
Small businesses can usually take it slow and easy when it comes to things like purchasing. Sure, there are a few things that every business needs and cannot function without so there will always be that little list of necessities regardless. But even the smallest hospitality business has to have everything in stock, be up and running, and operating in a health conscious manner or risk being shut down. That business doesn’t start until you as a business owner have a place for everything and everything in its place. Those are the rules and you must abide by them. Even a tiny little coffee shop has crazy restrictions by the health department which, if you are in the hospitality industry, you already know all too well. It costs money to jump through the hoops set up by the powers that be. Where you going to get that kind of money?
Filling a Purchase Order
Great… you’ve purchased everything you need and now you’re in the hole. Now, other companies are purchasing from you and you have their purchase orders to fill. The company down the street wants their entire office supplied with sandwiches and coffee at noon every day. A friend of a friend who heard about your new hospitality business wants to have their grandparents 50th wedding anniversary at your establishment and needs you to cater the event. Oh and did they mention, it was for 190 people? Since you’re tapped out, you are going to need some type of funding in order to fill those purchase orders. What you need is a business cash advance. The bank is going to laugh you right out the door before you even sit down at the loan officer’s desk. “You should’ve thought of this ahead of time!” or some such nonsense will be their remark. So what is a business owner to do?
Rather than depend on the banking institutions you may want to do an online search for companies that do nothing other than loan other businesses the money they need to survive/succeed. These companies concentrate on doing everything for the business owner that the banks don’t. Approval rates are quicker, money is wired right to your business account, no collateral is needed, and payment options are far more flexible than the bank down the street. So what are you waiting for?
Don’t judge a book by its cover, wise words in most cases, but sometimes it is a good rule of thumb to maybe not judge, but look closely at the cover. In the case of picking a hotel the cover is the hotel lobby and if it is underwhelming, you can pretty much guess that the guest rooms are not going to measure up to par either. The best four and five star hotels invest in their appearance. Things like the furniture, artwork and over all décor are all well thought out, in the best hotels. No one is saying that just by enjoying hotel art on the walls, you will also enjoy your stay but, you can pretty much assume that if the hotel puts effort in to the outward appearance, they also take that same approach with other aspects of their operation.
More than a Waiting Area
Beyond the appearance of the lobby, some hotels offer perks in their lobby area. Free Wi-Fi is becoming an expectation of many travelers and many hotels offer free internet access, in their lobby area, even before you check in for your stay. If you are working on your laptop in the lobby and you want a snack, you might just be in luck, because many hotels now have a full service food and beverage area. Taking it to another level, Las Vegas has long been the leader in the hotel lobby becoming more of an experience and less of a waiting area. In some Vegas hotels, the lobby in the main attraction or at least an interesting side attraction complete with casino games, but of course, it is Vegas.
Most hotels are a little more on the tame side, when it comes to the activities they offer in the lobby. Things like free espressos or other designer coffees are becoming common at hotel chains across the country. More and more hotels are re-imagining their lobby area as a gathering place, rather than a place to pass through on check in and check out. This idea is to entice people to leave their rooms and use the lobby as a congregating area. This means many hotel lobbies are starting to look more like living rooms and less like hotel lobbies.
Particularly if you are trapped indoors all day or all night, for your job. Truth be told, few of us do get outdoors, on a regular basis, to loll in the sun. Whenever people go on vacation, they inevitably spend more time outside than they do indoors – that’s part of the whole vacation process, after all. And, in Alaska there are certainly no shortage of outdoor areas and activities, that will serve as the perfect vacation spot for the outdoorsman. If however you want to improve on perfection you might consider booking and spending some time in one of the many Alaska fishing lodges.
Seafood in All Its Splendor
Between Alaskan King crab, Alaskan salmon and the snow crab found off the shores of Alaska, you are in for a true culinary delight. Imagine if you can, seafood that is fresher than that caught on the same day, from the icy waters of Alaska. It will take you longer to come up with an answer for that than it will for the Alaskan glaciers to move a foot. And, speaking of glaciers, when is the last time you hiked along the top of one? You may live in a cold land for part of the year, but chances are the only walking on ice you’ve done is across a lake or pond. This state is not just a fisherman’s paradise, but an outdoorsman’s paradise as well. Or outdoors woman… Whichever the case. Of course spending too much time outdoors, without the proper attire is a little on the treacherous side, but that’s what being an outdoors person is all about. Knowing what to expect from the elements and dressing accordingly, as well as bringing along the right type of equipment.
Alaska’s Abundance of Wildlife
Whether you’re hunting the wildlife in Alaska with a camera, a crossbow, a fishing rod or a rifle, you will find no shortage of the following: whales (Orca), mountain goats, and bald eagles to polar bears, black bears, brown bears and even a moose or two or three. Mooses? Meeses? Mice? You may think you’re on some type of winter wonderland Safari. And, when you tire of the outdoors (as if) there are plenty of historic and cultural sites to see and in which to partake. This was after all a major influence on the pioneering escapades, during the gold rush. Panning for gold was more than just a pastime or a tourist attraction back then… It was a way of life and a (hopefully) possible solution to being poor. Lives were spent, lost and taken, during the intense strive to go from rags to riches.
In fact, getting from one point to another in Alaska is an experience in itself. There is everything from the standard planes and automobiles to ferries, jet boats, helicopters, dog sleds and float planes.
When deciding to pick up and haul the entire family and all your relations to Costa Rica, for that rural family reunion adventure, remember to let everyone know that this is the tropics folks. What you pack can have a direct effect on just how much fun you can have together.
God Bless the Airlines in Their Infinite Wisdom
It would take too long to name all of the airlines that are now charging, not just extra for your second, but even charging for your first bag! To my knowledge, Southwest Airlines is the only airline that is still allowing you at least one free bag, in the baggage compartment. Considering that, the lighter you pack the less chance you will have of needing a large enough bag, for the baggage compartment, or going over the weight limit for that bag. Remember, when packing, that you’re going to return home with, more likely than not, a lot more than you left with from home. Souvenirs and other must-have items will be taking up room, that may not have been there before you traveled to Costa Rica. Some people pack an extra bag, which can flatten out for the trip there and be utilized to carry extras on the way back. Don’t forget that if you’re carrying it, it has to pass inspection.
There’s Plenty of Shopping in Costa Rica
If you forget to pack some of your favorite items there is no shortage of places to shop in this lovely island paradise. You can always take time out from your water adventures and volcanic tours, to take the entire family shopping. Here are just a few suggestions: handicrafts at Sarchi’s Taller Eloy Alfaro; Coffee Britt Chocolates are a huge deal already at the airport, but can be purchased throughout the city; fresh, tasty vegetables and fruit can be found in abundance, all over the place; San Jose’s Artesan Market; don’t worry if you lose your glasses, because you can pick some up at Cartago’s Supermas; if culture is your style there is art available from local artists, at Galeria Estudio, and finally Mercardo Artesania and Central in San Jose.
And don’t worry, there is always someone willing to sell you one-size-fits-all T-shirts and shorts. Sandals can be found nearby and sunscreen is always available, somewhere. Just because you forgot yours doesn’t mean that everyone else did, too. Whoops, did I mention packing a swimsuit? I’ll just bet you can buy one there!
Are you planning a trip to Greece? Greece is a beautiful country with a rich history and beautiful culture, making it a perfect vacation spot. While there will be plenty of tour guides and translators fighting for your business once you get there, having a grasp of the language, before even boarding that plane will give your vacation a special touch and will let you experience more of what the country has to offer.
Why it’s Important
Anytime you visit a country whose language you are not fluent in, you are at a disadvantage. Not only can this be dangerous if you wind up getting lost or hurt, not knowing the language also lets people know just how much of a tourist you are, which you never want to advertise. It is important even for the foods that you eat! If you are not familiar with a language well enough to read a menu or order from a restaurant properly, you could wind up ordering something that causes a food allergic reaction or even something that your religious beliefs forbids. In other words, having at least a basic understanding of the language in a foreign country will save some potential headaches.
Saving Some Money
When you are on vacation, every little penny helps you get the most out of the vacation. So, why would you want to spend money on a translator when you could use that money to see another attraction or enjoy a fancy dinner? Translators and tour guides that speak Greek can help in a pinch, but can be expensive. You may be able to find a less expensive translator by finding a student at a local university who is looking to make a little extra money, but even this will take away from the time you could be using to enjoy your vacation.
Speaking Greek will allow you to enjoy your vacation on a completely different level. Some of the best conversations you can have are those that you strike up with a total stranger. If you visit Greece without knowing the language, you are depriving yourself of this wonderful situation and could miss out on a life-long friendship. Not to mention, why pay someone for something you can do yourself? Learn the Greek language, before making your trip and you will have a vacation worth bragging about, without the headaches that can come along with not knowing it.
Any time you travel away from your home, for an extended amount of time, there are always things that must be kept in mind for your trip. How many pair of socks? What kind of clothing needs to be brought (casual or dressy)? Should I take my own shampoo or live off what the hotel provides? If you have medications, the decision of what and how much to bring is important to your daily health. If you are traveling outside the United States this decision can be especially critical. Online Canadian Pharmacy can help, with the costs of your medications. But what medications you need to bring on your trip depends on your medical history and dosages. So it’s vital for you to do a little research, on the type of medications you are taking.
Just like a Boy Scout, before you walk out that door and climb into the cab to start your journey, you need to be prepared. Have all your vaccinations current. Know what your health insurance policy provides, if you travel outside the United States. Does it cover emergencies? Does it provide trip cancellation insurance, if you need to cancel your flight, due to a medical emergency? Keep emergency contact information with you and readily available should you ever need it. Reference cards can be used to list all the important numbers and medical information including medications, surgeries, injuries, allergies, medical conditions and general medical history.
Bring the medications you are familiar with and it’s also not a bad idea to check the laws of the country, where you are going, to see if there are any restrictions, on the medications you intend to transport. Some countries may require you to present a license or special permission, to bring in certain medications. Bring extra medications. Generally a good idea is to bring twice the amount, for the number of days you will be away from home. You never know, if on your trip, there might be a delay of some kind. If all you planned for was medications for the exact number of days of your stay, you might save yourself the aggravation of seeking new meds, should you have to be delayed in another country. Don’t expect to receive medication through the mail, if an emergency comes up. Again, this may be against the law in some countries. Be sure to keep all medication, in its original bottles. Nothing will look more suspicious than a baggie full of unknown pills.
Above all do your own research. Know where you are going and all relevant information regarding the possession and transport, with the medications with which you intend to travel.