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Getting ready for a trip? Check out travel tips and advices
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How to Acclimate Yourself for a High Altitude Vacation

How to Acclimate Yourself for a High Altitude Vacation | Travel Advice |
Learn how to acclimate yourself for high altitudes so you can enjoy that skiing or hiking vacation in the high country.



How to acclimate yourself to high altitudes:

Following these simple precautions should help you avoid or minimize the effects of high altitude.


Stay a day at a lower elevation. I know that when you’re on vacation time is limited and you want to get right at it. If possible stay at a lower elevation for a day or two to get your body used to higher altitudes. For example, staying in Denver or Salt

Lake City for a day and a night would be very helpful. If that isn’t possible, stay at the main resort for a day and a night before heading up higher.


Even when you get up to higher elevations to start the skiing or hiking, take it easy the first couple of days, don’t over do it and you can enjoy the entire trip.


Stay away from alcohol. Having just one drink at higher altitudes is the equivalent of several drinks at sea level. The air is much drier at higher altitudes and alcohol is dehydrating making the mildest of symptoms worse.


Drink a lot of water. More then 1 gallon per day. This helps your kidneys flush out the bicarbonates that accumulate due to a higher respiratory rate. You need to stay hydrated at higher altitudes.


Eating lighter, increase the carbohydrates and eat less protein and fats.


Avoid any medication that interferes with your normal sleeping habits such as sleeping pills.


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9 Useful Airport Tips for Travelers « Ipatrol Travel Tips « iPatrol Travel Advice

9 Useful Airport Tips for Travelers « Ipatrol Travel Tips « iPatrol Travel Advice | Travel Advice |
The long awaited holiday or an urgent business trip abroad usually starts with an airport. Traveling can be quite exhausting and stressful, especially if very little time spent planning it. Being late, getting lost, forgetting passport at home are the most common troubles travelers go through every day.

There are a number of useful tips which can help you make the trip smooth and hassle free.


Before Leaving for Airport

1. TICKET: If you bought your ticket online, make sure you print out your booking or boarding pass to be able to present it at the check-in. Some airlines don’t require a print-out, but it is better to have some proof of your booking on hands as technology as great as it is sometimes can fail, and this just might ruin your trip (i.e. system can’t find your booking as if you never bought a ticket).

2. LUGGAGE: Before you leave the house, find out what you CANT take to the airport or carry on the plane. The most common restricted items are liquid and gel containers that are too large (for hand luggage), as well as anything that can start a fire, explode or be used as a weapon or allowed only in checked-in bags. It’s always such a pity to look at those huge trash bins at the security points at the airport full of travelers prohibited items.

Make sure you know what the luggage allowance for checked-in bags and carry-on bags is. Every airline is different. If you don’t know this and go over the limit you will have to pay for the extra kilograms and usually it’s quite costly.

3. TERMINAL: A lot of airports have more than one terminal and sometimes they can be a distance away from each other. Make sure you know which terminal you should be flying from and have enough time to get to it.

4. THINGS TO CHECK: Besides luggage with whatever you might need on your trip there are three main things that you need to make sure you have with you before you are out the door: wallet, ticket and passport....

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What to Check When you Check-in a Hotel Room

What to Check When you Check-in a Hotel Room | Travel Advice |

1. Under the bed, behind the drapes, in the closet and bathroom. When I first became a flight attendant I was taught to search my room, with my luggage holding the door open, to ensure no one was hiding in my room. Flight attendants and pilots have been targeted in hotel crimes so most airlines (but not all) insist crew members ensure everyone’s room is “clear” before retiring for the evening. You should do the same.


2. Dresser drawers. If your room is occupied by someone and there aren’t any obvious signs…this is where you find out for sure since some bags can be stored in a dresser drawer. You may also find a toiletry bag hanging on the bathroom door.

3. Alarm clock. This little piece of equipment can cause quite a bit of pain if it goes off at 4 am while you’re on vacation. Make sure the alarm is “off” every night of your stay since a housekeeper could accidentally set it to “on” while cleaning.

4. Toilet, sink and shower. During another family trip my son used the bathroom not long after arriving in our hotel room only to find the toilet didn’t flush. We had already unpacked and had to welcome a plumber into our room for an hour. But that’s not all, also check to make sure you have hot water. I’ve encountered rooms with cold water only which doesn’t make for a pleasant morning shower. And while you’re at it, ensure the drains actually drain. Standing in five inches of shower water is disgusting, especially when it’s not your own shower.

5. Door locks. The connecting room and balcony door need to be checked for two reasons: first you don’t want any intruders and, second, if you have young kids you don’t want them wandering out of the room when you’re not looking.

6. Phone. Another experience I’ve had was a phone that didn’t work. People were trying to call me and I wasn’t answering. This can be a bummer if you’re awaiting a phone call or relying on a wake-up call. Tip: Always have two or three options for wake-up calls.

7. TV and remote control. And finally, if you’re a television watcher, check to make sure your TV and remotes works. I don’t need to explain this if you watch TV before bed. I don’t, but I know there are some people who have to have the TV on to fall asleep. If this is you, press that button!

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Top 10 spots to pop a cork in France - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet

Top 10 spots to pop a cork in France - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet | Travel Advice |

Wines in France are generally named after the location of the vineyard rather than the grape varietal, and there are strict regulations governing where, how and under what conditions grapes are grown.


Burgundy developed its reputation for viticulture during the reign of Charlemagne, when monks first began to make wine here. The vignerons of Burgundy generally only have small vineyards and produce small quantities of wine. Burgundy reds are produced with pinot noir grapes; the best vintages need 10 to 20 years to age. White wine is made from the chardonnay grape. The five main wine-growing areas are Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâcon and Beaujolais, which alone produces 13 different types of light gamay-based red wine.


Britons have had a taste for the full-bodied wines of Bordeaux, known as clarets in the UK, since the mid-12th century when King Henry II, who controlled the region through marriage, tried to gain the favour of the locals by granting them tax-free trade status with England. Thus began a roaring business in wine exporting that continues to this day.


Champagne, northeast of Paris, has been the centre for what is arguably France’s best-known wine since the 17th century when the innovative monk Dom Pierre Pérignon perfected a technique for making sparkling wine.
Champagne is made from the red pinot noir, the black pinot meunier or the white chardonnay grape. Each vine is vigorously pruned and trained to produce a small quantity of high-quality grapes. Indeed, to maintain exclusivity (and price), the designated areas where grapes used for Champagne can be grown and the amount of wine produced each year is limited. In 2008 the borders that confine the Champagne label were extended to include another 40 villages, increasing the value of their vineyards and its produce by tens of millions of euros.


The Loire Valley
The Loire’s 700 sq km of vineyards rank it as the third-largest area in France for the production of quality wines. Although sunny, the climate here is humid and not all grape varieties thrive. Still, the Loire produces the greatest variety of wines of any region in the country (a particular speciality of the region is rosé). The most common grapes are the Muscadet, cabernet franc and chenin blanc varieties. Wines tend to be light and delicate. The most celebrated areas are Pouilly-Fumé, Vouvray, Sancerre, Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur.


This is the country’s most productive wine-growing region, with up to 40% of France’s wine – mainly cheap red table wine – produced here. About 2,500 sq km of the region is “under vine”, which represents just over a third of France’s total.


Alsace produces almost exclusively white wines – mostly varieties produced nowhere else in France – that are known for their clean, fresh taste and compatibility with the often heavy local cuisine. Unusually, some of the fruity Alsatian whites also go well with red meat. The vineyards closest to Strasbourg produce light red wines from pinot noir that are similar to rosé and are best served chilled.
Alsace’s four most important varietal wines are riesling, known for its subtlety; the more pungent and highly regarded gewürztraminer; the robust pinot gris, which is high in alcohol; and muscat d’Alsace, which is not as sweet as that made with muscat grapes grown further south.


Rhône region
There are dramatic differences in the wines produced by the north and south regions. The northern vineyards produce red wines exclusively from the ruby-red syrah (shiraz) grape; the aromatic viognier grape is the most popular for white wines. The south is better known for quantity rather than quality. The vineyards are also more spread out and interspersed with fields of lavender and orchards of olives, pears and almonds. The grenache grape, which ages well when blended, is used in the reds, while the whites use the ugni blanc grape.


The bière de la pression (draught beer) served by the demi (about 33cL) in bars and cafes across the land is usually one of the national brands such as Kronenbourg or Heineken-owned Pelforth and totally forgettable.
Alsace, with its close cultural ties to Germany, produces some excellent local beers (eg Bière de Scharrach, Schutzenberger Jubilator and Fischer d’Alsace, a hoppy brew from Schiltigheim). Northern France, close to Belgium and the Netherlands, has its own great beers as well, including St-Sylvestre Trois Monts, Terken Brune and the barley-based Grain d’Orge.


Apple cider is made in many parts of France, including Savoy, Picardy and the Basque Country, but its real home is Normandy and Brittany. You’ll also find pear-based poire (perry) here.


Apertifs & digestifs
Meals in France are often preceded by an appetite-stirring aperitif such as kir (white wine sweetened with cassis or blackcurrant syrup). Pastis, a 90-proof, anise-flavoured alcoholic drink that turns cloudy when water is added, is especially popular at cafes during the warmer months.


After-dinner drinks are often ordered with coffee. France’s most famous brandies are Cognac and Armagnac, both of which are made from grapes in regions bearing the same name.


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Copenhagen, probably the best city in the world

Copenhagen, probably the best city in the world | Travel Advice |
For many it conjures up little more than beer and Lego, but Copenhagen has been crowned the best city in the world in a survey of global urban treasures.



Best cities for quality of life
1 Copenhagen
2 Munich
3 Tokyo
4 Zürich
5 Helsinki
6 Vienna
7 Stockholm
8 Vancouver
9 Melbourne
10 Paris
11 Sydney
12 Honolulu
13 Madrid
14 Berlin
15 Barcelona
16 Montreal
17 Fukuoka
18 Amsterdam
19 Minneapolis
20 Kyoto
*Best global city : Paris
*Best business city: Madrid
*Best cultural city: Berlin
*Best design city: Copenhagen
*Best retail city: Fukuoka

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5 Tips on Getting Ready for a Trip

5 Tips on Getting Ready for a Trip | Travel Advice |
Excited about the upcoming vacation abroad? Before starting to pack consider these 5 tips on getting ready for a trip.


1. Know Airline’s Limits and Regulations

Research the airlines regulations about the maximum weight of the hold luggage. Keep in mind that although some companies allow to check-in more than one suitcase, their total weight cannot exceed a certain amount. The usual weight range is from 20 to 25 kg. If your baggage is heavier than the allowed maximum you will need to pay extra for every kg; the price often is a hefty one.

If you know it’s difficult for you to keep your luggage light, you might want to consider buying a very light suitcase. The case like that will give you several extra kilos.

If you plan shopping while on a trip, make sure to leave enough space in your case for the items you’ll purchase. We suggest to reserve 3+ kg in your luggage.

If you decided to buy something really big you might need to use special delivery services. It won’t be cheap, but still less expensive if you would pay for extra kilos at the check-in.
Some upmarket hotels offer such services too. They can collect your luggage from the hotel room and deliver it to your home and vice versa.

Find out in advance what are the regulations for hand luggage. Make sure you know how to carry creams, gels and other liquids and how many of them you are allowed to take in your handbag.

Most likely you won’t be allowed to take a half a litre bottle of water through security, but you can easily buy one in the waiting area after you passed the security check.


2. Spread Your Clothes Between the Bags

Sometimes airlines lose luggage. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it can spoil your vacation. If you travel with someone, or alone but with several suitcases, divide the clothing between different bags. This way if one piece of luggage won’t arrive at the destination you still will have necessary clothes available.

Mark the bags that you will check-in with your name, address and contact phone number (put the notes inside and out the bag). Avoid putting anything especially valuable (like photo camera or laptop) in the checked-in luggage.


3. Travel Light

When preparing for a trip never pack for the worst scenario. If something extraordinary happens you can always buy a necessary item at the destination.

Instead of packing things that could potentially be handy, examine every item and ask yourself if you can manage without it.

If you plan on visiting operas or theatres avoid taking formal clothes that can be only worn once. Instead take a decent pair of trousers or/and skirt and a good looking shirt/blouse or blazer. Choose clothes with color coordination in mind (use mix and match approach).

If you will travel for more than 3 weeks, plan to wash the clothes on the road.


4. Check The Weather at Your Destination

Always pack accordingly to the season and climate at the destination. Before arranging your bag, see what the weather will be and really take the forecast into consideration. Take only what you know you will use for sure.

For winter travel avoid taking heavy coats, better bring a lot of layers. Wear warm, waterproof shoes. Remember to take a winter hat, gloves or mittens and a warm scarf.

When you are going on a summer vacation keep in mind that shorts are uncommon in many countries and are used only as beachwear. If you want to blend in when sightseeing and still feel comfortable during hot day wear linen summer pants instead.


5. Take Care of Your Gadgets

Keep in mind that depending on the country electronic devices can run on different volts. For example, while European appliances run on 220 volts, American appliances do so on 110 volts. Some older devices aren’t equipped to deal with the voltage difference. If that’s the case with some of your gadgets, you need to buy a separate converter.

Another thing to consider is the plug. You might want to buy a small adapter that will allow to fit continental European outlets (that have 2 small, round prongs) into British (three rectangular prongs) or American-style plugs (two flat prongs). 

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20 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Vacation

20 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Vacation | Travel Advice |

1. Be flexible with both time and place
You’ll save the most if you keep your vacation options open – and that includes both travel times and locations. For times, book in the off-peak seasons when popular destinations are cheaper – like booking a cruise in July.
For locations, you’ll pay less year-round for less popular destinations. We list six money-saving spots in Cheap-But-Fun Travel Destinations for 2012.
And if you’re set on visiting a popular destination, you should still consider more than one. If you’re fixated on Disney World, you might miss a great deal on Universal Studios. Before you lock in New York, consider Chicago.

2. Compare transportation options
Don’t limit your transportation options to just flying or driving. Depending on the distance, day of the week, and time of year, it may be more cost-effective to take a train.
For example, the travel costs for a trip I’m planning from New Orleans to Chicago breaks down like this:
Estimated driving cost: $554
Cost on American Airlines: $394
Cost on Amtrak: $234
Then there’s the new breed of luxury buses that operate in several states: cheaper than an airline, but with more legroom, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities. See what one looks like and learn more in Can a Bus Beat a Plane?

3. Book and fly midweek
If you do decide to fly, tickets are typically cheaper midweek. As Stacy mentioned in the video, most airline sales start on Tuesday and end on Thursday, and the two cheapest days of the week to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday.

4. Travel light
Some airlines – like Jet Blue and Southwest – allow you to check one or two bags for free, but most charge an additional fee for your luggage. Airfarewatchdog has compiled a list of airline luggage fees (they can cost as much as $38 for the first bag.) If you’re flying on an airline that charges, downgrade your suitcase to a carry-on. Not only is it cheaper, it’s easier to handle and there’s less risk of loss or damage.
Can’t carry enough clothes? That’s what laundromats are for.

5. Have a checklist
Make a checklist of everything you need before you pack and double-check it before you leave. If you get to your hotel and realize you forgot something important – like your cell phone charger or the SD card for your digital camera – you’ll waste money buying another.

6. Check your insurance
Travelers insurance and rental car insurance can save you a fortune if something goes wrong, but you don’t have to buy it independently. Both types of insurance are often covered by credit card companies, homeowners insurance providers, or auto clubs. Check what you already have before purchasing more.

7. Stay outside popular areas
Having a hotel room in the center of everything is convenient, but staying a few miles outside the city is often cheaper. For example, next weekend I could book a room at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas, for $149 a night through – or I could stay a few miles away in Las Colinas, Texas, at the Wyndham for $64 a night. I’d save $85 a night staying in the suburbs.
And no matter where you stay, stay for less. Before you check in, check out our post 8 Tips to Save at Any Hotel – Even the Nation’s Trendiest.

8. Find cheaper lodging with vacation homes
Vacation homes cost the same (or even less) than hotels, but offer more than most standard hotel rooms – like full-service kitchens, washers and dryers, and bigger living spaces. So you can eat out less, stay in more, and never have to worry about a late-night trip to a laundromat. 

9. Sleep in a hostel
I’ve always stayed in hotels, but my friends prefer hostels when they’re traveling. Why? Because a hostel is dirt-cheap compared to most hotel prices. You’ll only get the basics, namely a bed and linens, but you’ll save a ton this way. For example, a private room in the India House hostel in New Orleans would cost $23 a night, or you could stay at the Best Western French Quarter Landmark Hotel for $180 a night.
Hostels aren’t listed on most travel sites. Instead, use a site like to find the going rates.

10. Consider house-swapping
Another lodging alternative – stay for free. If you’re willing to swap homes (temporarily) with someone else, you can stay in their house for free during your vacation.
Several sites allow you to view ads for available homes, and post your own, such as:
The Vacation Exchange Network
Don’t assume that because you don’t live in a vacation destination, nobody would want to stay at your house. People choose their destinations for lots of reasons, from business to visiting grandma. 

11. Dine out less
Dining out is my single biggest “extra” when I travel. During a three-day weekend in Austin, Texas, I spent more than $150 on food. Don’t do that. Instead, book a hotel room with an in-room kitchen, rent a vacation home, or do a housing swap and cook most of your meals.

12. Use discount food apps
If you do dine out during your vacation, use a restaurant-locating app to find special deals and the best prices. Some of my favorite apps include:
Yelp Check-Ins
When you get there, split your meal in half, ask the waiter to box it up, and use the hotel’s mini fridge to store your to-go box. That way, you just got two meals for the price of one.

13. Turn your vacation into a tax deduction
Turn your vacation into a business trip and you can write off some of your expenses, including transportation, lodging, dining out, and even some cruises. Check out 8 Tips to Turn Your Vacation Into a Tax Deduction for a how-to.

14. Take an alternative vacation
No one says your vacation has to include a pricey tourist destination. There are plenty of cheaper ways to get some down time. For example:
Take a staycation in your own city and live like a tourist for a few days
Go camping in a national park
Visit your state’s capital for the weekend
Visit friends or family (especially those with guest rooms)

15. Plan cruises carefully
The listed price of a cruise includes food, lodging, and on-ship entertainment. It doesn’t include tips, the cost of onshore excursions, or airfare – and those costs add up. Research all the associated costs before you book a cruise. If you’re not sure how to find the best deal, let a travel agent handle the arrangements for you.

16. Sightsee free
Popular tourist attractions are pricey, but there are plenty of places you can sightsee free. For example, in Louisiana, admission to the popular plantation homes costs up to $18 per adult, but the National Park Service hosts free walking tours of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Look for cheaper options before you start booking those pricey tickets.

17. Use multiple travel sites
Travel sites save you a ton of money but they don’t all have the same deals. Check multiple travel sites before you book. Like:

18. Take public transit
Rental cars and cab rides are expensive but public transportation is a steal. For example, in New Orleans a cab ride across town runs about $22, but a streetcar will take you the same distance for $1.25. Major cities post their public transportation routes online and many have integrated with Google Maps so you can look up routes from your phone on the go.

19. Ask a local
Want the real scoop on the best cheap food, fun and free entertainment ideas, or which souvenir shops aren’t a total rip-off? Ask a local. As a local living in a popular tourist destination, I can promise you, many of us are happy to help you have a good (and cheap) time.

20. Don’t pay for overseas phone service
If you’re traveling overseas, plan your calls before you leave. While the hotel will let you use their phone to call internationally, you’ll pay a hefty premium for it. If you’ll have Internet access in your hotel room, set up a Skype or Google Voice account before you go. If not, ask your wireless provider if they offer temporary international calling. Many providers offer global SIM cards or rent overseas-capable phones for a small fee.

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