Traveling solo may seem lonely, expensive and maybe a little scary to some people. But there are people who would prefer to travel alone. If you want to know if you’re suited for solo travel, here is a list of advantages and disadvantages:
• Freedom. Traveling with a companion is always an exercise in compromise, especially when you can’t agree with your companion on where to go and what to do. By traveling alone, you get to do what you want at your own time.
• Make new friends. When you’re traveling alone, you get to make new friends out of fellow travelers and locals. You might not be interested in striking up a conversation with strangers if you had a travel companion.
• Self-discovery. You can learn more about yourself when you’re on your own. Traveling solo can pluck you out of your comfort zone and you can understand yourself better; know what you want to do, where you want to go, and what interests you.
• Security. Traveling solo will make you feel alone and without someone you truly trust. You may feel vulnerable because you think no one has your back.
• Sharing experiences. You can tell stories of your travel adventures, and show pictures of where you’ve been but it’s not the same as having someone to share those experiences with.
• Expensive. Traveling alone can be more expensive than traveling with a group or a companion. You won’t have anyone with which to share bills for meals and accommodations. There are some places that charge “single supplement,” which can range from 25 to 100 percent of the overall cost.
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Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you still want to take great shots that bring justice to the beauty of the place you’ve traveled to. There’s so much beauty in the world and to experience it firsthand is a memory worth keeping. To ensure you get great photos of your travels, here are some simple tips:
Look up the place you’ll be visiting so you know what are the best locations for taking pictures. This doesn’t mean you’ll duplicate the shots that other people already took. You can also use postcards from the place as a reference or ask locals about spots where you can get an amazing view.
The best times for taking pictures are usually pre-dawn or early morning so a little sacrifice has to be made in order to avoid shooting in midday light. You can also shoot city landscapes in the early evening so you get a shot with all the lights on and with the help of a bit of light in the sky. It’s important to remember that lighting can make or break a photo.
Do something different
Many photographers will suggest that you “get off the beaten track,” which basically tells us to do something different. Whether this means you literally go on the road less traveled by or you just add your own creative flare to the famous landmarks, it is entirely up to you. If you choose the latter, you should experiment with new angles or different vantage points to get a really interesting never-been-done-before shot. It would be quite a challenge to accomplish this but well worth the effort.
Hi, I’m Riyesh Menon and I always look forward to getting out to see the world. Connect with me on Google+ to discover more ways to enjoy traveling.
Keeping your belongings organized during a vacation can be quite difficult. This article from Travelers Today shares five tips on staying organized when traveling.
Traveling can be a headache sometimes. But, it can be even worse when you are digging through your bag and trying to find one slip of paper that you need. Staying organized is extremely important while traveling and here are five ways that can help you.
1. Use your smartphone
Gone are the days where you have to print out every bus booking or hotel reservation. Use your smartphone to your advantage and try to eliminate as much paper as possible. It will not only help you stay organized but will help you be more green. Try using the iPhone’s passport feature or saving all your travel reservations to a specific file in your email. Keeping your phone organized will help you travel more efficiently.
2. Pack your bag the same way, every time
It seems dumb, but packing your bag the same way every time will help you find your things easier. Whether you are packing your suitcase or stuffing a backpack, having a plan can help you remember where your items are. It also will help you to not forget anything when you travel. If you want some advice, try packing things you hardly use on your travel at the bottom of the bag, and things you will use right away near the top.
3. Buy an organizer for your toiletries
There is nothing worse than tearing your bag apart for your small floss container. Although it may seem like a waste of space, having an organizer for your toiletries is really helpful. Not only does it keep everything together, but it also contains spills if anything opens. If you are not finding a bag you like, try thinking out of the box. For example, try looking at jewelry folios because they tend to have more pockets.
4. Keep your electric cords neat
If you are traveling with a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, computer, or any combination of electronics, you are bound to have an endless amount of cords to carry. Instead of just shoving them in your bag, try to keep them secured and neat. Tie the cords together with ribbon or buy one of these cable managementsystems. Whatever you choose, make sure you keep your cords untangled to lessen stress.
5. Pack less
A simple idea, but not exactly that simple to execute. Overpacking can create unnecessary headaches and stress for travelers. Try to simplify the packing process by getting rid of the things that you “might need.” Yes, things may happen on your journey, but there is always a pharmacy or grocery store somewhere near by. Do not worry about what might happen on your journey. Take only the things you know you will use everyday.
Also, do not forget these tips as the holidays approach. These techniques may help alleviate some holiday travel stress.
Riyesh Menon is an avid traveler. Subscribe to his blog for more traveling tips for a stress-free vacation.
Kathryn Dill of Forbes shares five helpful tips when returning to work from a vacation.
The vision of returning to the office after vacation and the reality usually have very little in common. While many of us expect to sit down at our desks after time away filled with boundless energy and restored creativity that will fuel new projects, what usually ends up happening is that we spend several scattered hours (or days) trying to process a deluge of emails and falling further behind on tasks that have built up in the interim.
“You’ve got to set yourself up so there’s the minimum pileup while you’re gone,” says Julie Morgenstern, productivity consultant and author of Never Check Email In The Morning. “Once you invest in that process once, it becomes an automated process. ‘Every time I go away, this is my coverage bible.’”
How can you avoid the post-vacation crush and hang on to that refreshed glow?
Actively plan for your return.
When planning time away from work, most people focus on getting organized for departure. Avoid undoing all that restoration by treating your return as something that needs to be managed in advance as well.
While many of us try to maximize vacation time by coming home Sunday night, Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, suggests considering an earlier-than-last-minute return.
“Consider coming back on Saturday instead of Sunday,” says Vanderkam, emphasizing that time to unpack, pick up a few essential groceries, and get a quiet, uninterrupted jump on email can lessen the impact that first day back in the office.
Factor in some triage.
Don’t just walk back into the office after a vacation without a plan of attack–unless you want to be steamrolled.
“The tendency is to try to make up for all the meetings you miss,” says Vanderkam. “As much as possible, try to push those to the second day or the afternoon gives you a little bit of space.”
Morgenstern suggests you protect the time you’ve set aside to get caught up the way you would a meeting or a presentation. It’s just as necessary–so treat it that way.
“Build in some transition time. Don’t book anything for your first day in the office, allot the time,” says Morgenstern. “And block off the time in your calendar. If it looks like you’re available, people are going to put things on your calendar. These are meetings with your to dos.”
Your out-of-office response is your first line of defense–wield it to your advantage
Your out-of -office autoreply needs to be straightforward (ditch the phrase “much-needed vacation,” please), helpful, and honest–but not that honest. Vanderkam recommends leaving it up through that catch up period; your coworkers will know you’re available but it will help stem the tidal wave of outside inquiries, or at least lower the expectation of an immediate response.
She and Morgenstern agree that an out-of-office message directed at external parties should include directions for who to contact according to contingencies. Assess who’s going to be emailing you along two or three broad categories and let them know who to reach out to instead or when they might expect a response.
Morgenstern adds that it’s ok to suggest people follow up because you just might not get to their email.
“Everybody who emails understands the volume problem and that things can get lost when someone is away. It’s not really a shock to anybody—you’re just warning people: ‘It may get lost or buried, please feel free to follow up with me.’”
Feeling especially brave? Skip the days of wading through email and nuke your inbox.
The very thought of losing the contents of your inbox likely sends a chill down most spines, but some argue that a post-vacation email purge can be just the thing you need to get back on track without losing an entire day to email maintenance.
“Some people take a quick look at what’s flagged, see what’s interesting, and then delete everything,” says Vanderkam.
You should try to be indispensable–but realizing that you’re not might make you a better employee.
Vanderkam says planning for and returning from a vacation can be a good time for an adjustment of your professional outlook. We’re all striving to be the go-to team member, but believing the company actually can’t function without us can be damaging in the long run.
She describes a five-day vacation she once took where she believed WiFi would be readily available and discovered it was not. Having done all she could to prepare for time away, she realized her only option was to change her outlook on needing to be connected.
“No armies were waiting for my word to invade countries,” says Vanderkam. “I missed a few things, but I could apologize to a few people when I got back. I missed a few opportunities. There will be others.”
Learn to plan ahead, rely on your coworkers, and understand that sometimes, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss out on that last-minute request, and you’ll be that much more productive when you return.
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