Carry-On Must-Haves for Your Next Vacation

Going on a vacation is always a one of its kind experience. Deciding to take some time to get away and have some time off with the busy hustle of your work life can be rewarding for your overall health. Even if you decide to go alone on your trip or bring along some friends with you, any holiday can be easily memorable.

Of course you don’t want to have any oversight and cause inconvenience in the middle of your soul rejuvenation trip — thus bringing along these things with you on your next vacation might save you from any hassle.

Power Bank
Some hotels offer only one outlet to plug in either your gadget or the room lamp itself. To save you from deliberating which is far more urgent and important, bringing a power bank would save your devices’ battery life. There are power banks sold in the market that are compact and designed mainly for travel. You do not have to worry about the outlet compatibility too considering most of these come with built-in USB ports for convenience.

Lip Balm
Staying for long hours outside and climate changes when you are aboard a plane increases the chance of your lips getting chapped quickly. It is advisable to bring some lip balm to ensure your lips are moisturized and safe from chapping.

Water Bottle
It is important to keep yourself hydrated all day long especially if you are venturing outdoors. Carrying a water bottle will keep your drinks cold for long hours, and they come in a variety of designs and colors that would make them easy to spot inside your beach bag.

First Aid kit
You don’t have to go fancy over this. A small bag filled with the most necessary medicine and pills is just what you might need. You do not want to suffer a headache, upset stomach, or fever during your relaxing holiday. It is your opportunity to unwind and relieve yourself of all the pent-up stress, so taking along remedies with you won’t hurt. And as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry.

Sunscreen
Going outdoors for your next holiday sounds like an adventure, but you also have to make sure your skin is protected well from the harmful UV rays. Summer seems like the perfect opportunity to go to the beach but the summer sun is far harsher on the skin. Bringing a sunscreen with the proper SPF will keep you away from a potential burn and will keep your skin smooth and soft at the same time.

Camera
Bringing a camera along for your next get-away is ideal. It does not matter which kind, your DSLR camera works just as fine as your smartphone camera. You never know when will be the next time you’d have the chance to visit a certain place thus taking some photos will help you relish all the memories that you create during your escapade.

2015 Top Airlines

When we travel, we have to deal with long hauls especially if it is very far from Singapore. We do not have a choice unless we prefer travelling via land and boat. Flying is the easiest and the fastest means of transport. We only need to bear with it for a few hours if we really want to reach our destination.

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For long hauls, we simply want enough legroom and comfortable seats. Unfortunately, not all airlines provide this amenity. The good news is that the CN Traveller UK provided a list of the top airlines for long hauls. The edition is published in the magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Travel Awards. We deserve a fine in-flight experience.

If we want to avoid the horror of travelling long hauls, we should know the best airlines and decide to avail of their services. These airlines may not be that cheap but at least we will have a comfortable flight. So, here are the top airlines voted by many travellers:

1. British Airways: Many people voted British Airways as the best airlines. The airlines is the flag carrier of United Kingdom with headquarters at London Heathrow. Actually it is the biggest airline based on its fleet size. The airline company offers different international flights.

2. Qatar: Qatar is the second most favourite airline for long haul travels. The airline is the flag carrier of Qatar with headquarters at Doha. It is known for its varied networks linking more than 100 international destinations. The airline company owns more than one hundred fifty planes.

3. Emirates: Emirates is based in Dubai and so far, it is the biggest airline in the Middle East. The company owns more than three thousand flights every week linking more than one hundred forty cities in seventy eight territories.

4. Qantas: Qantas is Australia’s flag carrier. Qantas is the world’s 3rd oldest airline.

5. Cathay Pacific: Cathay Pacific is headquartered in Hong Kong. Cathay offers flights to more than 200 cities in the world with its fleet comprising of Airbuses and Boeings.

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6. Singapore Airlines: We have the best airport so why not the best and the most favourite airline as well? The airline has a strong and established presence in South Asia, East Asia and Oceania.

7. Etihad: Etihad is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and it is the second largest airline next to Emirates.

8. Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic is a British airline headquartered at Crawley, England. In 2012, Virgin Atlantic carried more than five million passengers which made it the 7th largest airline in UK in terms of passengers.

9. Air New Zealand: Air New Zealand is the flag carrier of New Zealand headquartered in Auckland.

10. KLM: KLM will not be left behind at number ten. KLM is Netherland’s flag carrier based in Amstelveen. KLM is also called Royal Dutch Airlines.

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5 Tricks to Beat Long Layover Boredom

Long layovers caused by bad weather, delayed flights or missed connections is something that can’t be avoided when flying. Nonetheless, there are lots of things that you can do to pass a long layover: You can fill yourself with some tasty snacks, look around the airport, or even shop to your heart’s content. But if you’re left with nothing else to do than people-watch, here are five simple tricks that you can do to kill the time and entertain yourself.

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  1. Go Sight-Seeing. If you have enough time to kill and the airport you’re in is within easy rich of the city centre, then look into visiting some local sites near the airport’s vicinity. In cities like London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Chicago, Hong Kong and Singapore, travellers can easily see popular attractions either by rented tours or public transport. For better sight-seeing results, sketch a rough itinerary beforehand. Research on the kind of transportation that you can take to and from the airport, as well as the local sites that you want to visit.

 

  1. Catch With a Friend Online. Don’t feel like talking to the person seated next to you? Then socialize with your family and friends online. Use the extra time you have to reply to messages, update your Facebook status or make a phone call. There’s just hundreds of things that you can do in social media, and this is probably the best time to get back to the people you’ve neglected on the whole duration of your trip.

 

  1. Play a Game. It’s always a good idea to pack one or two board games with you, especially if you’re going to experience a rather long layover. Some good packable games include Travel Scrabble, Bananagrams and Yahtzee to Go. Also, have your travel companion or a fellow passenger join you in the fun.

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  1. Write in Your Journal. Love writing? Then use all the free time that you have to write a poem, short story or your additional plans for your trip. You can also update your blog, or reply to your readers’ comments. There are just so many things that you can write about using the time that you have.

 

  1. Sleep. If anything else fails, take a good nap. Find a quiet place, and get as secured and comfortable as possible then shut your eye. You may not get a quality sleep, but an hour of napping is already enough to recharge you throughout your trip.

Long layovers can really suck all the fun and energy out of you. Luckily, you can do the aforementioned tricks to entertain yourself and make the most of your waiting time.

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How to Have an Affordable Trip to London  

 

There is a possibility that we might go to London one of these days. Many Singaporeans think that London is hard to reach. Yes, going to London is not cheap but that does not mean that we have to squander our life savings to enjoy a trip there.

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Many Singaporeans eye London because we were once from a British colony and many students head there to study every year. With this in mind, we can easily travel there. If we are serious about travelling to London, it is time that we make it happen. Here are some affordable tips for that romantic London escapade:

  • Flight: The good news here is that there are numerous flights from here to London and vice versa. If we choose off-peak periods, we can get tickets for as long as S$900. We have to avoid peak-periods (August, September, December, January, April, January and June) where students are crowding to get flights at the beginning of the school term. The best months include February, March, October and November.
  • Accommodation: If we know someone in London, we can stay with them while we are in London. If we do not have anyone, it is time that we look for affordable accommodation. London is a huge city and there are many affordable places to stay if we seriously look for it. We can head to AirBnB for instance where we can get a comfortable room within the central area for only $150 per night. When booking, we have to consider if the place is near Tube stations so we can move easily. If it is near Tube stations, it will suffice.

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  • Shopping: For shopping enthusiasts, the London streets are full of fashion brands. If we are a student, we should bring our student pass so we can avail some of their discounts. If we do not want high fashion shopping, we can scour the Portobello Market and see what we can find. We have to remember though that we are not in London to shop. There are many shopping places in Singapore too!
  • Attractions: Brits love going to the museums and galleries. This is the reason why museums and galleries in London is free of any admission fee. We do not need to pay a single cent if we want to scrutinize artworks. If we want to visit London Eye and Madame Tussaud’s, it will cost us.
  • Dining: We have to be prepared because eating in London is not cheap at all. If we are there for a romantic getaway, we have to spend for a bit of comfort. The best thing that we can do is search for restaurants with affordable deals.

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Travelling Alone? The 5 Safest Cities to Visit in 2015  

Whether you are a seasoned nomad or a first-time traveller, your security and safety should always be the number one priority, most especially when travelling alone. When going solo, be more cautious when travelling and always find out beforehand whether a destination has low crime rates, protected against cyber attacks, and well-prepared for sudden diseases.

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If you’re planning of travelling this year, check out this countdown for 2015’s safest cities to visit.

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

With universal healthcare systems, European cities generally perform well in terms f protecting their people against disease outbreaks. Amsterdam is just a small city—with around 780,000 people, which makes it easier for authorities to deliver safe urban environment for both its residents and visitors.

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

Apart from boasting a very low crime rate, Stockholm has ‘green’ policies that make its environment a healthy and safe for its people. It also has festivals dedicated to the passing of seasons, making your visit in the city a lot more fun and memorable.

  1. Osaka, Japan

Even with its impressive tourism rate, Osaka still manages to keep a reputation for being one of Asia’s cleanest and safest cities. Moreover, it’s magical mix of old and new sights made tourists all from over the world fall head over heels with this Asian city.

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  1. Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Singapore is indeed safe, lah! Apart from having an impressively low crime rate, it also is the world’s cleanest city. Plus, the fact that almost all Singaporeans speak English, exploring the city is made even easier for first-timers.

  1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is another Asian country that tops this list. Apart from delicious sushi and noodles and the ever popular Disneyland and DisneySea, the city boasts a remarkable score for personal safety, digital security, and infrastructure safety, despite the threats of earthquakes.

Travelling should not only be about mouth-watering cuisines and breathtaking sights. Above anything else, your safety should be the major deal when visiting places you’ve never been before.

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5 Secret Wonders of Jakarta

Want to visit Indonesia but think you’ve visited Batam too often? Well, there’s a lot of places to visit in Indonesia, especially in metropolitan Jakarta, and we’re not even talking about the high-rise buildings and mega-malls. Here are 5 locations in “the Big Durian” to satiate your wanderlust.

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 1.       Café Batavia

Located in the second-oldest building in the city, Café Batavia is a premiere dining destination with its history, romantic setting, and sheer prestige. The café is within a 200 years old building, which gives a glimpse of 19th century Jakarta, and features classical decorations and, of course, a sumptuous menu. Open 24 hours, it’s an ideal place for a long dinner or lunch date.

2.       Jalan Surabaya Market

This one’s for the budget wanderers. No other market in Indonesia offers the same range and bargain value as Surabaya flea market. Here you’ll find anything from old gramophones, to pottery replicas, to wood carvings to antique chandeliers. Just remember though: if the price is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t. Even if you don’t make any purchases, the place is great as a photo background.

3.       Sunda Kelapa Harbour

Another destination for history-and-travel buffs, the Sunda Kelapa harbour features ships that were hand-made in Sulawesi and using the same design as those made 200 years ago. For a once in a lifetime experience, you can request to board one of the ships and hire a local for a short “voyage” around the place. It’s probably the closest you can come to time travel by sea.

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4.       Udang Seafood

A large crowd is a great indicator of good food, so don’t be surprised if you find a drove of happy eaters at Udang Seafood in the Penjaringan sub-district in Jakarta’s northside. What makes the place excellent is that not only are their food delicious, they’re very cheap too. Thirty bucks is normally more than enough for a full meal.

5.       Sasikirana Spa

As the 12th largest city in the world, expect Jakarta to wear you down a bit. Get rid of the stress before you come home by visiting Sasikirana Spa at Jl. Kolonel Sugiono, Duren Sawit. This massage is known for its deep-healing massage, as well as the great ambiance and friendly therapists. They offer different types of massages and other services, as well as products you can take home with you.

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Travelling on Budget

Travelling is one of the most exciting activities one can do in his life. While some people think that travelling is only for those people who can afford it, the truth is, travelling is for everyone, even for those who have tight budget. Worry not if you do not have money because you can still travel despite this, and here is how.

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    • Travel places near your place. Travelling does not mean going out of the country or far from your home. Sometimes, the best place you can go to is just a bus ride away. If you are on a tight budget, this means it is time for you to discover travel opportunities near your place. Through this, you are not only travelling, you are also turning mundane places into something more special.
    • Book flights and buy tickets ahead of time. Plan ahead so that you can book flights and buy tickets ahead of time. Through this, one can buy travel tickets at a much cheaper cost.travel-on-budget-2
    • Get an internship abroad. Another wise way for one to travel on a low cost is through internship abroad. Through this, one can work and travel at the same time. Most abroad internships have board and lodging for free, so you will not worry about this. All you have to do is work and travel on your free time.
    • Be an exchange student. The same way as having an internship abroad, being an exchange student abroad also gives you the chance not only to study and learn in a foreign school but also to travel a new place.
    • Try hitchhiking. If you are the type of person who can easily get along with strangers, one way for you to travel at a low cost is to try hitchhiking. Prepare your sturdy boots for the hiking and your interesting stories once you get a hitch.
    • Pack everything you need. Instead of buying things like food, toiletries and clothing, pack them all before you travel. Cook your own food, have enough clothes and take free toilets and baths.
    • Travelling entails discovering new places, meeting new people and tasting new food, and one can achieve all these at a low cost.Travelling