Category Archives: Travel

Update Could Save Your Life With Apple Watch

A water resistant phone is cool, but this feature could save your life in a crisis.

Apple’s much-anticipated product launch has finally arrived, and buried in the buzz about the waterproof iPhone 7 is the release date of WatchOS 3 software, available to anyone who owns a first-generation Apple Watch or buys the upcoming Apple Watch 2.

With the WatchOS 3 update, Apple Watches will be instantly equipped with a potentially life-saving SOS feature.

By pressing and holding the side button of your Apple Watch for six seconds, the wearer can initiate a crisis call to 911 or local emergency services across the globe.

Watch users will be placed on a live call with an emergency service, and, where available, their location will be automatically sent to the dispatcher. After the call concludes, a message containing a map to their location will be sent to anyone on the emergency contacts list.

Any crucial medical information you opt to share in advance—allergies, age, blood type—will be displayed as part of a new Medical ID also enabled with WatchOS 3.

Notifications about location change will continue to be sent, and the Apple Watch will continue to present health information for medical personnel, until the emergency is resolved.

You wouldn’t use this feature as often as you could be using Bluetooth headphones, and hopefully you’ll never use the SOS program at all. But if you’re traveling anywhere in the world, it’s the thing that maysave your life in an emergency.

Let’s Learn About When The Best Time To Book Thanksgiving Travel

Labor Day weekend may have just ended, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your next trip.

The week of September 12 is your earliest opportunity to score savings on Thanksgiving travel, according to travel search engineSkyscanner. But the best savings are available no more than four weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.

Skyscanner analyzed historical data from more than 50 million users to estimate the best time to book Thanksgiving holiday flights.

The week of September 12, travelers could save as much as 4.42 percent on Thanksgiving travel (flights departing between November 20 and November 26 and returning between November 27 and November 29), compared to average prices last year. But the very best deals are likely to be available the week of October 31, when savings may be as high as 7.73 percent.

Travelers still not ready to book a flight at that point could still find modest last-minute savings of 1.98 percent.

This year’s predictions are in contrast to previous airfare saleguidance.

“We uncovered that the week of August 10 was the best time to book Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve travel in 2015,” Randi Wolfson, Skyscanner’s head of communications for the Americas, told Travel + Leisure.

And it’s not just the week of the year that’s changed. In 2015, travelers could only hope for Thanksgiving travel savings of up to 5.5 percent. After having reviewed all of last year’s data, the Skyscanner team says that flights from the United States to destinations around the world are “overall below the average ticket cost,” and thataverage prices are likely to remain low until the second or third week of December.

Tips To Have MOre Energy While Traveling

It’s time to stop wasting vacation days being jetlagged.

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, making the most of your time away is essential. Below, 10 hacks for keeping your energy levels high—starting before takeoff.

Know what time you land.

Sounds obvious, but it’s too important not to include. Calibrating your temporal reality as soon as you board the plane is the key to easing your body into your destination’s time zone. Will it be morning when you land? Then mentally tuck yourself in after dinner in an effort to sleep as much as possible. Will it be nighttime when you land? Then do just the opposite—keep yourself awake with upbeat music or movies so you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep when the plane touches tarmac.

Settle in for the ride.

Do whatever you can to make your seat as comfortable as possible. Wear shoes that easily slide off and on and bring cozy socks or slippers to wear instead. Always travel with a favorite fuzzy neck pillow, earplugs, and an eye mask. Wear layers so you can add and remove them according to the in-flight temperature. Want more comfy travel outfit ideas? Right this way.

Use sleep-aids wisely.

Melatonin, a hormone excreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is a natural supplement that helps some users ease into sleep—and wake up without grogginess. Others swear by a glass or two of wine with dinner. But mixing the two is not advised, as alcohol can decrease (or even reverse) the effects of the melatonin.

BYO healthy food.

Skip the carb- and sodium-laden airplane food and pack a salad or wrap for your in-flight meal. And if you’re traveling to a remote or unfamiliar region, research the food of the area beforehand, particularly if you have specific dietary restrictions, to make sure you’ll have enough to eat. Always keep a few energy bars in your backpack, especially if your trip includes hiking, biking and other activities that require higher energy levels.

Create your personal soundtrack.

Make a two playlists before you leave town, especially if you are traveling across several time zones. One should feature soothing, relaxing tracks to help you ease into sleep even when your body thinks it’s daytime. The other should be filled with get-up-and-go tracks to get your morning started or give you a lift in the afternoon.

Drink plenty of water.

It’s very easy to feel dehydrated (and thus fatigued) during and immediately after traveling by plane, so drink more water the day of your flight and pack your own water bottle. Every time water is offered on the plane, take it.

Pack good shoes … and day-to-night clothing.

Leave the cute-but-painful platforms at home and opt instead of comfortable shoes that can easily handle hours of treading around town. (We’ve got tons of recommendations for walking shoes, winter boots, and travel sandals.) Likewise, pack outfits that can easily transition from day to night. Not only will you be able to do and see more that way, but you won’t need to factor in time to run back to your hotel and change each day.

Leave your work at home.

There’s no quicker way to fizzle out than by burning the candle at both ends.

Stay active.

Resistance bands and jump ropes easily slip into a suitcase and can be used anywhere. Websites like Physique 57 and Yogis Anonymousoffer streaming fitness classes that can turn any location into your personal gym. Or try a new challenge, like kayaking, surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding. A good way to get a feel for the lay of the land is with a morning jog around town. Getting the blood pumping first thing in the morning is the way to go. It ensures a thorough wake-up and helps make sure you’ll fall asleep the right away the next time your head hits the pillow.

Schedule in down time.

As exciting it is to be a new place, don’t burn yourself out with an overloaded itinerary. Be sure to schedule in time for relaxing (poolside, with yoga, or just by lounging at your hotel with a book). An hour of rest will give you more energy (and renewed excitement) to check everything off your to-do list.

The Biggest Travel Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

Whether it’s your first trip abroad or you travel several times a year, we all make mistakes that can cause headaches or possibly even ruin your trip. The good news is that with a little planning, it’s easy enough to avoid some of the most common travel mistakes so you can spend your time enjoying your vacation.

10 BIGGEST TRAVEL MISTAKES & HOW TO AVOID THEM

1. OVERPACKING

It’s tempting to bring outfits for every possible occasion, but it makes it difficult to haul your luggage around, and you may get stuck with high baggage fees for accidentally exceeding the weight limit. Instead, pack your bag as usual, then take out half the clothes you originally planned. You won’t wear all of them, you don’t have to sacrifice style, and you can always do some laundry on the road.

2. NOT CHECKING YOUR CELL PHONE PLAN

It’s important to know what your plan covers to avoid data roaming fees. Not covered? Turn off your data before you get on the plane and leave your phone in airplane mode (you’ll still be able to connect to wi-fi). If data is important to you, look into buying an international plan or buying a local SIM card once you arrive.

Alternatively, for Americans, consider T-Mobile as your carrier. We now get free data in 200 countries and it has literally changed the way we travel. (Note: We have no affiliation with T-Mobile and we pay for our own monthly plans.)

3. NOT BOOKING ENOUGH TIME IN BETWEEN FLIGHTS

Flight conditions can be unpredictable. If one gets delayed, you might be forced to rush through an unfamiliar airport to make your connecting flight, and you might not make it in time. It’s best to book them with a safe buffer in between. If you are traveling through Heathrow in London, plan for at least a two-hour layover here since you have to go through security just to get from one flight to another.

NOT GRABBING SOME LOCAL CURRENCY AT THE AIRPORT

As soon as you leave the airport, you’ll need local currency to take public transportation or cab rides in many countries. Taking out money from the airport’s ATMs gives you better exchange rates, so get what you need there, and maybe a little extra for emergencies.

We use our credit card whenever possible, but we always keep cash on hand. Visiting local markets is a must when we travel — and many of these places don’t accept credit cards.

5. NOT INFORMING YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY OF YOUR TRAVEL PLANS

Credit card companies flag foreign transactions in case of credit card fraud and may freeze your account, so be sure you inform your company ahead of time. While you’re at it, find out if they charge a foreign transaction fee, so there are no surprises.

6. NOT BUYING TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance covers cancellation fees, so if you unexpectedly can’t make your vacation or business trip, you won’t be out hundreds of dollars. Some plans also cover emergency medical expenses if your own health insurance plan doesn’t cover you outside your country.

7. NOT CHECKING VISA REQUIREMENTS

Being turned away at a foreign checkpoint will be expensive, time-consuming, and possibly put an end to your trip. There are several websites that list visa requirements for different countries, like this one, so find out ahead of time. For more tips for traveling abroad, visit our checklist for overseas travel.

8. PACKING TOO MANY ACTIVITIES OR COUNTRIES INTO ONE TRIP

This limits your opportunities. You’ll be too busy to find hidden gems or follow up on tips from locals, and the hassle of so much travel can be stressful. Make sure you give yourself some time to relax and soak up the best of what each destination has to offer.

9. NOT KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR RESERVATION DETAILS

It’s an unnecessary hassle to have to rummage through your bags for your itinerary, and you might not have access to a printer for another copy if you lose it. If you can, keep your itinerary in its own pocket of a bag or keep an electronic copy on your phone.

10. NOT KEEPING YOUR VALUABLES SAFE

Theft is the last thing you want to deal with, so avoid having your cash, electronics, or other valuables stolen by purchasing anti-theft bags and by keeping them with you whenever possible.

Know More About Change Your Name On Your Passport

Here is everything you’ll need to know about government requirements for passport name changes.

La, di, da, you got hitched, and you want to use your fancy new legal name on your passport! Cool. Unfortunately, though, it’s not as easy as choosing colors for the big day, although the United States government makes the process relatively simple.

The same is true if your passport name is mistaken because of a government error, and instead of “Jason Bourne” your passport comes back with “Jayson Born.” (How embarrassing!)

Either way, this is the State Department website you want to visit. If the government made the error, the replacement passport is on Uncle Sam himself (although you still have to send them form DS-5504, a color passport photo, and evidence of their error.)

If your name has legally changed through marriage, and you happened to snag a new passport less than a year ago, that was some smart advance planning, because your replacement passport is free (aside from those visits to Kinkos). If it’s more than a year old but less than 15 years old, you’ll still able to replace your passport—but you’ll have to pay the applicable fees (probably about $110 if you just need a passport book sent to you via regular mail; more if you need expedited service). The government even has a handy-dandy fee calculator so you know what you’re getting into! You shouldn’t have to visit a passport office.

However! If you lost your passport or it got otherwise mangled (skydiving, perhaps, or on safari?), can’t provide the proper marriage paperwork (damn, you, Vegas!), can’t locate your most recent passport, or any other stipulation on form DS-82, not to worry: form DS-11 is right up your alley (although it will entail waiting in line at an actual passport office or acceptance facility). Definitely triple-check that you have all the identification paperwork you need before leaving home, and bring a color photo of yourself taken within the last six months.

And were you a mere babe on your last trip abroad? Fifteen in Paris? How fabulous! But sadly, you’ll have to trek to the passport office, too: Anyone who snagged her last passport under the age of 16 has to fill out DS-11 and apply in person, so bring a croissant to eat while you wait. Same goes for anyone whose last trip was 15 years ago; DS-11 is for you. At least you can think about how grand your long-awaited trip will be…while you wait some more.