The past couple weeks, we have been reviewing 5 travel tips that can be applied to your life as well inspired by Amanda’s Blog “A Dangerous Business” and her post “26 Things Travel Has Taught Me.” Here are 5 more tips:
Everyone has a unique travel style that fits them. Some prefer roughing it with a backpack and no real agenda while others prefer the life of luxury and seek elegance in their travels too. Don’t worry about what others might think about your preferences as these can potentially change as you get older or with different circumstances. The bottom line is, have fun no matter what kind of traveler you are!
Hostel’s are convenient and cheap alternatives for travelers on a budget. These are a great way to meet others if you are venturing alone. In some countries, you can even work the front desk for free accommodations.
Technology means we are never really alone anymore. Technology has allowed us to book everything from flights, accommodations, rental cars, tour operators, etc. all online. We can also instantly connect with our friends and family using social media and applications such as Skype even if we are across the world!
Still Being able to read an old-fashioned map will come in handy. Yes technology has allowed for online mapping systems and GPS that can pin-point our exact location but sometimes they don’t do the trick. Map-reading is a great skill to still embody, especially when there is no internet access.
If you happen to still get lost along the way, be sure to relish in the experience (as long as you are still safe). Getting lost in a new place can allow you to interact with the locals, find hidden treasures, and get off of the beaten tourist path so get lost often.
We hope that these travel tips will be applied to your day-to-day lives as well! Safe journey’s everyone!
Pets are part of our families and American’s love our four-legged pals so much that last year, we spent $53.33 billion on pet related products according to the APPA (American Pet Products Association)! Many of us bring our pets along with us whenever we travel. Be sure to pack these 10 items whenever you bring your pets along:
Pet Carrier. Be sure your carrier is sturdy and that the door will stay shut for the duration of your trip. If you are planning on taking a plane, be sure to contact the airline your are flying with for specific pet carrier guidelines.
ID Tags. Be sure your pet(s) have an identification tag on their collar with your pet’s name and your local contact information. You should also have a specific travel tag with your out-of-town contact information (if different). It is also wise to have your pet’s rabies tags on the collar as well. Make sure your pet’s collar is secure and will not fall off during your journey.
Seat-Belt Harnesses. When traveling by car, you should always buckle up and your pets should be buckled too. There are specific seat-belt harnesses that are made for dogs so they can be strapped in while on the move in the car. If you are driving with your cat, be sure to have them in a carrying case and secure the case so that it is not moving around all over in the seat.
Water/Food Holder. Travel water dispensers can be purchased which will control any spillage from occurring. Your pets need to stay hydrated just as much as you do so be sure to give them enough water – as much as you would when you are at home – during your trip. Fold-able travel bowls can be purchased and many can be used for both food and water, just be sure to read the label.
First-Aid Kit. You can purchase pet first aid kits at any pet supply store or you can make your own. Be sure to include: gauze (both pads and rolls), cotton swabs, instant cold pack, roll of cloth, tweezers, thermometer, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic ointment. You can also include bottled water, plastic gloves, small scissors (if you are traveling by car or checking it in your bag), mild pet sedatives, and an eyedropper (for feeding). If your pet has suffered a serious injury or sickness, be sure to locate your nearest vet before administering care yourself.
Toys. Be sure to bring along some item that will allow your pet to play while confined in a small space and will also smell familiar which will make them more comfortable.
Portable Litter Box. When traveling with your feline friends, be sure to bring along a portable toilet for them to use. This method is safer than letting your kitty out of the car as they might run away. There are portable litter trays that fold up for easier storage and can be thrown away once your cat has finished. Be sure to get your cat accustomed to the new litter box a couple weeks before your trip so they can get used to the difference. Dogs can easily be put onto a leash and taken outside during a long car ride.
Seat Covers. For long car rides you will want to invest in a seat cover that can easily be removed once your pet is out of the car to protect your car seats. These can be purchased in a variety of sizes, colors, textures, and prices.
Microchips. It might be a good idea to get your pets fitted with tiny microchips that will track them in case they get lost. These can be done mostly by a small hypodermic needle into your pets and they usually cost less than $50.
Pet Passport. A pet passport are documents from your vet that say your pet is healthy and that they are current on their shots. This might not be necessary if you are driving across the US but if you are traveling abroad, it might be. The European Union requires pet passports by law. Double check with the US Embassy of the country you are traveling too to find out what the pet import rules are before your trip.
Traveling with your pets can be a challenge at times but if you are prepared, it will make your vacation that much more memorable with your furry friends. For more information about all things pet, consult Animal Planet’s Pet Blog.
On Friday, we explored 5 tips inspired by our young travel blogger, Amanda who has her own blog, A Dangerous Business, and one post in particular “26 Things Travel Has Taught Me.” This week, we are going to explore 5 more tips influenced from Amanda’s wisdom about life and travel.
Get to know a culture before you make false judgements. Again, keeping an open-mind in life and on your travels will allow you to get to know a culture and its customs before coming to any conclusions that might be in your mind from stereo-types or what you may have heard from others.
The world might not be so small after-all. Our world is filled with awe-inspiring sights and people ready and waiting for us to come experience them! So many places, so little time.
Going back to one place repeatedly is not a bad thing. There are always going to be places that we have visited in the past that will keep calling us back and it’s perfectly alright to keep returning. Just be sure to experience some other places too along the way so you don’t miss a thing!
The US is pretty cool too. Traveling abroad is always fun but traveling across the United States is a journey all its own! We have a huge country with lots of culture, vast open spaces, gorgeous natural sites, and so much more so be sure to travel all over our country too.
Try to experience the local culture as much as you can. It’s okay if you aren’t an adventurous eater or if you don’t drink alcohol. Most people will not judge you for not trying something. So just be you but try to experience new and different things whenever possible.
We hope these tips can be applied not only to your travels but to your day-t0-day living as well. I challenge you to go see something new this week – even if it’s in your own backyard.
Happy trails everyone!
This week’s inspiration comes from a very talented blogger, Amanda who has her own travel blog, A Dangerous Business. She wrote a post titled “26 Things Travel Has Taught Me” and I think these are all great lessons learned that can be applied to business travel too.
Every week, 5 tips will be revealed. Hopefully, these will inspire everyone that has traveled a lot to take a look back at each trip with new eyes.
The Media portrays the world to be a much scarier place than in reality. Sure, traveling abroad anywhere is going to be a bit scary because it is out of your comfort zone. Just be sure to be smart about your journey and everything should be fine.
Just because a country might have a poor past doesn’t mean that it isn’t different today. Pretty much every single country in existence today has suffered from war, terrorism, communism, etc. but that doesn’t determine the present day in that country. Don’t make a decision not to go somewhere because of a place’s past. People can change and so can a destination.
People all over are more alike than one might assume. You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover and you shouldn’t judge a person just because they look different, speak different, have a different culture because at the end of the day, we are all people and we are all searching for the same things. Happiness, prosperity, health, and love. So keep this in mind whenever you may have a different thought about someone else.
Being an American is a truly amazing blessing! We, as Americans, have the opportunity and privilege to travel pretty much anywhere we desire. Despite what is floating around, most countries love Americans too even if they might not agree with our government, they love the people and love getting to know more about us and our culture as well.
Stay positive and open-minded. This is a great tip not only in your travels around the US and abroad but also in your day-to-day life as well. Keeping an open-mind will open up possibilities that you never thought would be possible and makes life that much better! As Amanda says, “forget what you think you know, and life will be much more rewarding.”
Thanks Amanda for your wonderful insight into life and traveling! Your tips are truly amazing and our followers will be deeply impacted by these too!
Stay tuned next week for 5 more tips.
Have a happy and healthy weekend and safe travels everyone!
If you are a native or a visitor to Boston and surrounding suburbs and cities, then be sure to try a new or favorite restaurant for $38.13 for a 3-course dinner. Lunches are included in restaurant week too for 2-courses, pay only $15.13 and 3-courses, $20.13. All prices are for a price-fixed menu and exclude drinks, tax, and tip.
The types of eateries include:
For a list of all participating restaurants, click here.
Every year a local charity is selected as a partner. This year, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and American Express are donating $5,000 to First Night, Inc.
which is dedicated to building community and diversity through the arts. All participating restaurants are donating $100 gift certificates to First Night’s Fund Raising Auction that started March 18th-April 4th. To support First Night, click on the link to see all auction items and place your bid today before it’s too late!
Enjoy great food for great prices and help your local communities by supporting First Night. Enjoy!
You wouldn’t want to drive without auto insurance or have a house without home owner’s insurance so why would you ever want to travel without insurance either? Travel Insurance is so important especially when traveling oversees but can come in handy for any trip. Even if your company pays for your health insurance, there is a very good chance that you won’t have any coverage oversees and in some cases, you might not have any across states depending on your plan. Travel insurance will cover the cost of injuries, illnesses, accidents, cancellations, etc.
Nomadic Matt is a travel blogger that has been traveling all over the world since 2006. He gives sound travel advice and recently wrote all about Travel Insurance which is where we get our inspiration and information for today’s post.
Here is a list of tips for finding the right Travel Insurance policy for YOU:
- Find a plan with a high coverage limit to take care of all medical expenses. Most will cover up to $100,000 USD but paying higher premiums will up the coverage amount. Find a plan that will take care of all of your potential health costs so that you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
- Be sure to find a plan that covers emergency evacuation – for both natural disasters and health related injuries/illnesses. The coverage for this is generally $300,000 USD.
- Remember that Travel Insurance is not a health insurance substitute but is for any accidents that might happen while you are abroad.
Good Travel Insurance policies should include:
- Coverage for emergencies that arise that cut your travel plans short;
- Coverage for trip cancellations, hotel bookings, flights, trains, autos, etc.;
- Coverage for lost or stolen items including baggage, documents, jewelry, etc.;
- Coverage for your electronics (cameras, iPods, laptops, iPads, tablets, etc.)
- Coverage for personal accidents;
- Coverage of any legal expenses that may be incurred;
- Coverage for any sudden illnesses or injury;
- Coverage for most countries in the world (especially the one(s) you are going to);
- Provide 24 Hour Emergency services and financial coverage if you get stuck in another country
What Travel Insurance won’t cover:
- Injury to person’s on the road;
- Alcohol or drug related incidents;
- Carelessness in handling your baggage and possessions;
- Recklessness – this is defined by the particular insurance company so be sure to clarify what your company’s definition is.
Proper steps for faster claim filing:
- Have all of your receipts and documentation for everything you need reimbursement for. If you have a police report, be sure to include this as well.
- Be prepared to wait for reimbursement but if you have given the company everything they need to file the claim, chances are you will get your money back much sooner.
Where to get started:
- www.insuremytrip.com provides plan comparisons from multiple insurance companies all on one site.
- www.worldnomads.com comes highly rated by lots of worldwide travelers: Nomadic Matt says “They are very reputable and claims are quickly and fairly processed. I used them because they are the official partner of National Geographic, now I stay with them because they are awesome. While their insurance policy is similar to many of the other companies…I enjoy World Nomads because I can purchase and renew my insurance policy online in a matter of minutes, they have a very friendly and responsive staff who answer questions and help solve problems via social media, and they have great customer feedback. They tend to be the most responsive out there.”
With any decision, research is key to find the company that will fit your specific needs. Be sure to consider all of the above when narrowing down the right company.
We hope that from now on, Travel Insurance is always another business expense whenever you are traveling and wish safe journeys to all!
If you are going to be in Dallas, TX on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 then don’t miss this free event hosted by VisitDallas.com.
The festivities include live music, free give-aways, food, drinks, and fun for the whole family!
The performers are DJ Michael Jerome, Professor D, and Vocal Trash.
Time: 4:00pm-8:00pm; Location: AT&T Plaza in Victory Park; Date: March 27, 2013.
Schedule: 4:00-4:30 DJ Michael Jerome; 4:30-5:30 Vocal Trash; 5:30-6:00 DJ Michael Jerome; 6-6:15 Mayoral Presentation; 6:15-7:10 Professor D; 7:10-7:20 DJ Michael Jerome; 7:20-8:00 Professor D.
Cloud based software is all around us these days and makes doing business on the go so much easier and manageable. Here are the top 10 cloud based applications that you can implement into your business now:
Zendesk: This software allows you to quickly trouble-shoot and manage all of your customers needs in one easy to use interface that takes information from anywhere – social media, email, etc. and creates one ticket for that customer. This software was designed for the customer, agents, and managers. There is also a way to track analytics, communicate internally, and the best part is that it can be used on iPhone, iPad, Windows 7, Android, Kindle Fire, and Blackberry.
Ad Block Plus. This is an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Android, or Opera that allows you to block pesky pop-ups.
Zoho Creator. Create and manage your own database and apps using a convenient drag-and-drop system and there is an extensive network of support readily available to answer any questions you might have.
Skype. Call anyone, anywhere for less than most other phone carriers. You can also see the other person too which makes it a great way to hold a meeting.
Basecamp. Store and manage all of your projects in one place. Control who can see your project(s) and who can see each other all in this easy to use interface.
GoToMeeting. Use this software to host a meeting from afar. You can show the other meeting attendees your computer or just a document from your computer. Do an entire presentation online with your partners oversees or across the country.
SocialOomph. Track and manage all of your social media in one account.
TribeHR. Keeps all of your employees information in one place that allows you and them to interact with.
FuseBill. Create and track all invoices in one place, set-up recurring payments, charge client’s cards, and more with this all-in-one accounting cloud-based system.
Boxmeup. If you have a lot of inventory, this app will make your life so much easier because it allows you to keep stock of all of your items by placing them into virtual boxes.
Hopefully these cloud-based applications will help make your businesses run smoother and will help reduce some of the stresses of running a business.
Stay in a home away from home while traveling for business or leisure, relocating, insurance claims, etc. The possibilities are endless for fully furnished rentals and much more comfortable for long term stays than hotels!
We have fully-furnished short term rentals all over Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Lexington and throughout Massachusetts in the hottest apartment rental buildings and exclusive private residential properties. Our quality & luxury are unsurpassed.
All of our rentals include:
- Electronics, Housewares, Linens
- Utilities Included
- 24/7, Friendly Customer Service
- Easy application process
- Meet & Greet Service
This weeks featured area is Lexington, MA:
Avalon at Lexington Fully Furnished Suites that have been recently renovated. This property accepts cats; includes a washer/dryer in the unit, luxurious surroundings, valet parking, and much more! To view more photos, maps, and information about this beautiful building, please click here.
Avalon at Lexington Hills Fully Furnished Suites convenient to all Longwood Medical Area (LMA) Hospitals. This property was also recently renovated and accepts both cats and dogs. Other amenities include: fitness center, concierge services, USPS on-site, all hardwood floors, and much more! To view more photos, maps, and information about this lovely building, please click here.
To view all of our amazing exclusive properties and areas that we service, please visit us at http://Boston.AvenueWest.com or give us a call directly 347-735-9661 or email us Boston@AvenueWest.com and we can find the perfect property to fit your needs.
In the recent Wall Street Journal article titled “10 Things Online Reviewers Won’t Tell You,” author Kelli B. Grant dove into the truths about many online reviews. Here is what she found:
Only 70% of consumers say that they trust reviews from review websites such as yelp.com, Angie’s List, and TripAdvisor. In reality, 30% of online reviews are fake. Businesses can find people that they can hire to write them good reviews.
- Business owners, employees, friends, and family members create an online alias and then either post rave reviews about their company or really negative ones about the competition. It was found from a 2011 Harvard study that sales increase an average of 5% to 9% for independent restaurants on yelp.com with just a one-star-better difference. Which might be one reason why the business owners and affiliates themselves create these reviews.
- Beware whenever you decided to post a negative review online, even if you are doing so anonymously. The first amendment protects your freedom of speech but it will not protect you from a law suit if you post a false statement of fact.
- There is a higher percentage of 5 star reviews across the board on Amazon.com, yelp.com, and TripAdvisor and the experts say that this is most likely caused by the number of fake reviews.
- Instead of just relying on the review rating itself, try to read the description of the review so that you can better determine the quality of the products and/or services being offered.
On Amazon.com, companies can give away free products utilizing the Amazon Vine Program but they must still allow both negative and positive feedback on the free products. They are not allowed to offer any other type of compensation. A 2011 survey conducted by Cornell University asked 166 of the “top 1,000″ best reviewers on Amazon. They found out that 85% of them had received free products and 78% of them said that they usually posted a review about these products and 88% of these reviews were positive.
- A study conducted this year by Weber Shandwick (a PR firm) concluded that 65% of shoppers pick brands they weren’t considering previously because of consumer reviews.
- Many companies will send email reminders to their customers in the hopes that they will write a review which will then boost the company’s ratings which they can use to better market themselves.
Baazarvoice conducted a research study in 2012 that asked millenials and baby boomers how important consumer reviews are in their purchasing decision. It was found that 84% of millenials and 70% of baby boomers won’t buy a product if it has no reviews.
Don’t always believe that the companies at the top of the search results are the best.
Most of the review sites on the web today have policies in place to help weed out the fake reviews from the real ones but there is still a good percentage of these fake reviews floating around on the world wide web. Hopefully these statistics will help you the next time you are on a review site trying to find the perfect restaurant, hotel, product, etc. Happy shopping everyone!