How to Plan Your Visit to Greece

With the numerous vacation opportunities that the country offers tourists, Greece is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The country is home to idyllic beaches, sixty inhabited islands, various historical sites and towering mountain ranges. Despite the current economic challenges that Greece faces, it remains the popular tourist destination it has always been.

To have an exciting and memorable stay in Greece, it is important to plan effectively for the vacation. This will help you to get the most from your trip in the amazingly beautiful country.

Traveling to Greece

The first thing you will have to plan for is how you will get there. Depending on how you plan to travel, there are various ways to get to Greece and then get around the country. Tourists from different parts of the world take direct flights since this makes it possible to travel quickly. However, traveling to Greece by boat will give you a great opportunity to see the beautiful Greece islands. Once you are in the country, you can enjoy the reliable, fast rail service to move from the city to the spectacular countryside.

Where to stay

Another thing to consider is to find a good place to stay. There are a collection of luxury villas in Santorini where tourists can enjoy a great stay. Santorini villas will offer you a scenic view of the surroundings and provide easy access to a variety of attraction sites. You’ll also be able to book your stay in a villa in Mykonos, Crete, Paros and other areas of the Greek islands.

Seeing everything

While the country does not cover a large geographical area, there are tons of things you will want to see and do when you get there. From exploring the mainland to visiting the islands, seeing ancient Greek sights to enjoying the beaches, your stay is likely to keep you occupied. Each of these locations has something special to offer, giving you a chance to learn the rich history of the country. You will have to set aside enough time for each of these activities if you want to see and do as much as possible.

Vacation packages in Greece

Choosing vacation packages as a way to explore Greece can make for an enjoyable time in the country. This will give you ample time to relax while leaving the planning to others. Vacation packages will also introduce you to locations and activities you may not have been aware of. For instance, when traveling with kids, these packages will include special activities for them. In areas where it may be difficult for a visitor to get the necessary planning on their own, companies that offer travel to Greece will come in handy. Get a great chance to attend festivals, visit vacation spots and see the historic landmarks in the country.

Weather and seasons

Mainland Greece experiences Mediterranean climate. The winter season is mild and is characterised by rains while summers are warm and dry. The country enjoys extended periods of sunshine for a good part of the year. Depending on the time of the year you plan to travel to Greece, you should ensure that you keep the weather in mind. Be sure to pack suitable outfits for the prevailing weather conditions.

Other considerations

As much as a good number of Greeks study English and can hold a conversation, it is advisable to learn some Greek and memorise some of the letters of the Greek alphabet. This will make it easier for you to get assistance if you get lost in the country. You will also find it easy to read the street signs and find your way around major cities. A little knowledge of the language will also make it possible for you to buy essentials such as cold drinks, sunscreens, and drugs from the pharmacy. Remember to carry a map of the country in your pockets just in case you need to find directions.

How to avoid getting sick on a cruise

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There are many people out there who want to go on a cruise, as their decadence has put it on their bucket lists.

However, they often hesitate on making it happen because they are afraid they will get sick en route, turning a dream come true into a horrific nightmare.

Don’t let this prospect scare you away from having the time of your life, as there are ways of greatly reducing your risk of contracting a serious infection on board.

There are plenty of high performers that treat themselves to these types of holiday on a regular basis; for example, elite business advisor John Bradberry plays just as hard as he works, meaning when it is time to go on holiday, he doesn’t hold back.

An avid cruiser, he has sailed the waters of the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Pacific in the past – all without succumbing to illness.

It isn’t an accident that he comes back refreshed and recharged, instead of sick and withered like many others do.

If you want to enjoy the best a cruise has to offer, follow our suggestions below and we’re sure you’ll get through the whole trip as fit as a fiddle.

1) See a travel doctor before departure

When it comes to staying healthy on the road, taking steps to defend oneself against exotic ailments is the first step any traveler should take.

A visit to a travel doctor will do just that, as they will give you immunizations against hepatitis, typhoid, and other bugs, and they will provide useful advice to guard against those for which there is no vaccine.

2) Pack a pocket-sized bottle of disinfectant

We might come off as being paranoid to suggest such a thing, and we don’t advise doing this in the course of your daily life (super bugs have risen in large part due to the overuse of antiseptic washes), but if you are looking to stay healthy during a cruise, using disinfectant is wholly pragmatic.

Simply put, cruise ships are petri dishes, and many surfaces could be infected with a wide variety of germs. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.

3) Take special care around self-serve buffets

These dining options are often available at all times, which opens up the possibility that some items might spoil if they aren’t being monitored adequately.

Additionally, sick passengers may touch common utensils inappropriately, opening up another vector of infection.

4) Avoid uncooked foods

Actually, it’s fine to eat from the salad bar on board the ship, as hygiene should be up to first-world standards. It’s when you are in port where you need to be careful.

Avoid uncooked dishes when you are eating on land in developing countries, as there is a decent chance they might be harboring microbes to which you aren’t habituated.

5) Drink plenty of water and sleep well

Don’t think that you can follow all the tips above, only to neglect basic principles of wellness. Make sure that you are maintaining adequate hydration (especially in tropical climates), and don’t try to make your life work on five hours of sleep.

While partying is something you should do at least once on this journey, doing it repeatedly will stretch your immune system to the breaking point, so take it easy some nights.

Things to Remember When Travelling with Friends

If you are a travel enthusiast like Mack Prioleau, the chances are good that you will at some point find yourself traveling with friends.  No matter how tight your group, the stresses of traveling can put pressure on friendships unless everyone is on their best behavior.  Here are some tips to help make sure that your gang stays on good terms during and after the trip!

Who Made You Boss?

Try to remember that everyone will have things that they want to do and see on a trip, and while there will probably be some overlap between everyone’s wish list, there will likely be things that other want to do that just don’t do it for you.  Maybe your gang is willing to break up to spend the day doing their own thing – this can be great because it gives everyone something to share when you convene for dinner.  But if there is a reluctance to break up, try to make sure that you are respecting the interests of your friends.  Rolling your eyes when a friend says they want to check out the vegan restaurant across town is something that you should try to avoid.  Don’t be the person who always needs to call the shots, choose the restaurant, lead the tour, or generally act like you are only one with a plan or a clue.

Don’t be a Debbie Downer

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.  It rains on your beach day, the internet is terrible, and the food made you sick.  Chances are that you are not the only person who notices such things, but maybe your friends don’t see the value of dwelling on the negative.  Resist the temptation to point out everything bad that happens, or everything that you should have done but didn’t.    no one wants to be brought down on a trip, so try instead to find the humor in the things that don’t quite work out as planned. If others in the group are feeling down-hearted, be the person who helps them to see the bright side rather than the person who talk about how bad things are.

Don’t Get Stupid Drunk

Without question, an exotic cocktail on a roof top bar at sunset in an exotic city might be a great way to spend the evening with friends.  But when a few drinks turn into a few too many it can create some real problems for your travelling buddies.  When you are in your home town it is bad enough to have to deal with a friend who has had too much to drink, but in a foreign country it can be especially challenging.  In many countries there are laws about being drunk in public, and if anything were to go wrong – for example, if you found yourself with alcohol poisoning – your friends might not have an idea about what to do in a foreign country, especially if they don’t speak the language.

These are just a few things that you should avoid if you want to keep your friends after you return from your trip!

What you Should Know About Listing Your Home as a Vacation Rental

If you have a property that you are considering offering as a vacation rental, you have more options than ever.  Between Airbnb, VRBO and similar “do it yourself” platforms to arrange rentals, many owners find that they are able to find suitable renters and to earn additional income.  However, these options can be fairly time-consuming as they involve making all the arrangements with guests, cleaners, service and tradespeople, and also being on hand to solve problems.   For this reason some owners prefer to work with professionals like the team at Elan Vacations who can provide property management services.  If you do decide to use your apartment or house as a vacation rental, here are some things to consider.

Be a Good Neighbor

Many owners of vacation rentals overlook the ways in which the process can cause problems for their neighbors, even when the guests themselves are perfectly behaved and respectful of the space.  Common complaints include the constant flow of people dragging suitcases through the halls, especially at night, or always finding rental vehicles taking up the guest parking in the building or regular street parking.  In gated communities or controlled-entry buildings, neighbors may raise legitimate concerns about security when it seems that half the world now knows the security access code. You can try to minimize the potential that your vacation home is causing problems for your neighbors by being sure to have clear rules in place for your guests, and to respond immediately, fully and respectfully to any concerns that your neighbors might bring to your attention.

Know the Law

For various reasons, some cities or municipalities are beginning to ban short-term rentals.  In some cases, it is because neighbors complain about the disruptions, and in others it argued that the trend among owners to rent their apartments or homes out short time is having a negative effect on the local rental market as people find it more difficult to rent apartments in which they plan to live.  Reports have been shared online about city officials posing as vacationers looking for a rental as a way to try to “catch” owners who are breaking these bans, and even using images shared online rental sites to try to identity the apartment.  If you are renting your space in violation of local regulations, your guests could find themselves turned out in the middle of the night.

Check Your Lease

In some instances, renters of an apartment have been tempted to place their apartment on a vacation rental site when they themselves are planning a vacation.  Be very cautious about this as most leases will have clauses preventing subletting, and tenants have been successfully evicted as a result.

Of course, there are many other things that you should consider before making the decision to put your home on the vacation rental market.  Be sure to do your homework and make sure that you are prepared in order to have a positive experience.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel

f you have never been traveling before then I cannot tell you what you are missing out and how urgently you need to hit the road. A few years ago my friend Judd Feldman and I went to Europe for 2 months and had the time of our lives. When I talk about traveling I am not talking about a week on a beach, basking in the sunshine, I am talking about hitting the road and touring around a part of the World, exploring all that you can and here are 10 reasons why you should be traveling.

Experiences

Travel gives you incredible experiences, from seeing sights that you have only ever seen on TV to meeting amazing people. When you travel you are far more open to these experiences and you will have a trip that you will never forget.

Education

Learning about different cultures and ways of life really enhances your own existence and when you get back home you will look at the World with a new set of eyes. We can often be guilty of thinking that the World is no bigger than our own little bubble, traveling will change that opinion.

Healthy

It has been scientifically proven that this who travel, live longer and if you want to add a few more years to your life then it is time to hit the road. Whilst you are traveling you will become healthier too as you seek more new adventures and activities than if you were at home.

Meeting People

As you travel you will meet people form all over the World, people with different stories to yours, people who you like, people who you love and even people who you like. Once you have left school it can be difficult to meet new people unless you change your job or your ZIP code, when you hit the road and travel however, you will meet more new people than yo ever thought possible.

Learn Who You Are

When you get away from your daily life and travel, you will find out who you really are. You will be tested on the road, you will need to embrace fears which you have and you will be forced to confront who you are. When you get away from everything you know ad travel, you can be whoever you want, nobody knows you, you can be the confident, charming individual that you have always dreamed of and essentially create a who new personality for yourself which is a far accurate picture of who you truly are.

Storyteller

Even traveling for just a couple of months will give you so many stories to tell when you get back home and it will add a different chapter to your life. Some people spend their whole lives trapped in the rat race and become far less interesting people as a result of it, if you hit the road and travel then you will become far more interesting and have a great deal more stories to recount to people.

Soak Up the British Countryside on your Train Journey through the UK

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Great Britain is infused with beauty, culture and history. It ranks high on every globetrotter’s list and the sublime landscape of this island is best explored through trains. Breath-taking views, comfort, convenience and connectivity are the essential elements of an epic rail journey. Great Britain’s extensive rail network and scenic routes along with International Rail’s Britrail Pass guarantee a memorable experience.

Your Britrail passes give you the freedom to travel in and around Scotland, Wales and England without any hassle. International Rail also offers Britrail passes at discounted rates to senior citizens, children and young travelers under the age of 28.

The Best Rail Journeys

Trains give you the opportunity to explore parts of the country that you might never have seen otherwise. Exploring small towns, scenic villages, or simply watching the landscape pass your window is an experience no other means of transport can provide. A train ride through Dawlish on the south coast of Devon in England is a unique experience. With sea waves splashing the tracks and railway tunnels through cliffs, this journey is nothing less than thrilling. Do you have a soft spot for isolated and remote towns? If so, then the scenic journey from Glasgow to Mallaig will fill your heart with pleasure. Some of the other rail journeys worth a mention are St Erth to St Ives, London to Fort William, Settle to Carlisle, and Durham to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

History, Culture, Scenic Beauty

Great Britain is a place where 3 nationalities that speak over 20 languages live harmoniously. Therefore, be prepared for unique travel experiences to fill up pages and pages of your diary.

For lessons in history, tradition and archaeology, visit Scotland. The expansive coastlines, gigantic castles, rolling hills and frosty meadows will take your breath away. The list of must-visit places in Scotland includes Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Loch Ness, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Edinburgh Castle.

Wales is perfect for active travelers who love walking, trekking, adventure sports and all kinds of outdoor activities. Visit Snowdania, the Welsh mountain region with a national park.

England is the cultural hub and melting pot of Great Britain, where modern meets traditional. Windsor Castle, Tower of London, Stonehenge and North York Moors are just some of the many amazing places you must see.

8 Travel Tips to Avoid Overspending on your Trip

If this year’s holiday is looming, and you are looking to cut some corners to bring the budget down a little, there are ways you can save money that won’t bring down the holiday experience. We all have a budget to stick to, but with some careful planning and wise choices, it is possible to keep costs manageable. Here are a few tips to keep spending to a minimum.

  1. Renting a Vehicle– Most people wish to have a car at their disposal while on holiday as it gives you total freedom. Car hire rates vary greatly, and if you happen to be in Western Australia, you can obtain cheap car rental in Perth from Ace Rent A Car, who can arrange for the vehicle to be waiting at the airport.
  1. Prepare your Own Food– This is a great way to keep costs down, and with airtight plastic containers, your sandwiches will always be fresh. You would be surprised at how much eating out can cost, even in cheaper establishments, and with a little help from the family, self-catering can make all the difference to a tight budget.
  1. Plan your Route– It is easy to get lost in an unfamiliar region, and this can cost both time and money, neither of which you want to waste, so plan your trip carefully, and don’t forget to include a few stopovers.
  1. Campingis not only great fun, it also knocks off a huge chunk of your accommodation bill, so if you are feeling a bit adventurous, consider taking the family on a camping holiday.
  1. Brush Up on your Bartering Skills– All tourist regions will have many local vendors selling anything from souvenirs to cold drinks, and it is usual to try to ask for a higher price than normal. If you know how to bargain, you can save a significant amount, especially on more expensive items. In some countries, tourists will pay double the local price, and don’t be afraid to walk away when haggling, as you can always come back later if you have set your heart on something.
  1. Stock Up on Essentials– Toothpaste, soap, and shampoo should all be purchased before you leave home, and don’t forget an ample supply of sunscreen. If you buy this kind of product at a resort, you will pay top prices, so plan ahead and save some money on essentials.
  1. Large Groupscan make a further saving by renting a minivan rather than two cars, and with the right rental company, you can definitely get a bargain. You might want to take your holiday with another family, and by travelling together, you will keep to budget.
  1. Create a Daily Budgetfor each member of your party, and make sure everyone sticks to that. We can all do without those ice creams and amusement rides, and by having a daily amount to spend, you can control things.

A family holiday is a time for rest and relaxation, and if you keep your eye on the outgoings, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

2017 Gift Guide For Female Travellers

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It’s coming up to summer in the northern hemisphere and this is the time of year that most people start to think about heading out on the road again to far flung, magical places away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, leaving behind their lives in favour of the unknown. It can be difficult to know what to get the avid traveller as a gift, either for their birthday or for a farewell soiree put on by their nearest and dearest to say “happy trails”, so we have put together a small list of some of the best things to get someone who has a habit of hitting the road.

Passport Holders

Useful and sometimes fun, passport holders keep your passport and other associated important bits together in one place where they can be safe and protected. This could include your other ID cards, any loose visas and even money. Some passport holders can double as wallets, featuring spots to hold your debit and credit cards which makes it easy if you need to keep everything on you at all times. There are a whole host of cute, colourful options available both online and in high street shops, usually available year round. Why not get your best friend an adorable one that suits her personality well, such as a kitten face one, or one that says ‘crazy cat lady’ if she likes cats for example?

Functional Bits and Bobs

Things like wind up clocks and flashlights, travel pillow, power adapters, earplugs, eye masks and even toiletries or medicine for medicine kits can be a great gift – presented similarly to a nice hamper basket like you’d give someone at Christmas just swapping the wine and crackers for paracetamol and Band-Aids. Never underestimate the usefulness of these types of things for a traveller, especially if they like to do a couple of adventurous things like renting scooters to go off exploring by themselves and the like. There are ways you can add a feminine twist to these as well – travel pillows can come in all colours and patterns, and bandages as well. Maybe throw in some feminine hygiene products as once you’re overseas you realise just how quickly you will miss your usual brand! You can even swap this for a Moon or Diva cup as well – a reusable feminine hygiene product that acts as a type of tampon that you empty every 8 hours – an absolute lifesaver on the road.

Vouchers for Shops

Undoubtedly your travelling friend or family member will need a couple of things before they head off – new shoes, waterproof coat, and even a tent or other equipment such as backpacks and such. A voucher for an outdoors type of shop or even just their favourite outfitter of things like shoes and clothes in general can be useful for them to get a new swimsuit or a new sweater before they head off on their adventure.

Scratch off World Map

If your friend intends on returning eventually, a scratch off world map can be a great way for them to relive their journey. A scratch off world map is a great way for your friend to visibly show where they have been in map form, by scratching off each country. If they are planning to own their own home eventually this can be a great keepsake of all their adventures which they can frame.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions for great gifts for the traveller in your life. These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of possible gifts – in truth there are numerous things you could entertain purchasing, it just depends on your friends’ tastes and needs, so keep your eyes open, there’s tons out there!

Five Tips For Feeling Fresh On A Long Haul Flight

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Let’s face it – travelling is amazing and an unforgettable experience, but those long flights that are sometimes upwards of eleven (or more!) hours in length can really pack a punch on your ability to stay feeling fresh as a daisy. Read ahead for a couple of fantastic top tips to keep you feeling fresh, even on the longest of the trips you will take.

Keep The Face Clean and Clear

In order to keep feeling fresh, it can be a great idea to keep your skin free of make up, or to go light on it. You aren’t trying to impress anyone on the plane anyway and truthfully a lot of people come looking more like they’re at a pyjama party than they’re going on a trip somewhere. If you’re wanting to be looking your best when you land, take your make up in your carry on and apply it shortly before landing after having wiped your face off with a face wipe of some kind. This will stop your make up from taking on that “been wearing it for sixteen hours” kind of look.

Water, Water, Water (and no alcohol)

Water is a great thing to consume if you want to stay feeling fresh on the plane. Hydration is always key to looking and feeling your best, so it stands to reason that staying hydrated is also key to feeling great on a flight too. The airline probably won’t provide adequate water to keep you hydrated so it’s a good idea to bring a bottle with you when you get on board. Most kiosks in the airport will have bottled water in varying sizes to purchase for the plane, but taking your own favourite water bottle and filling it up before boarding is a good idea to help save plastic.

Wipes and Anti-Bacterial

Taking face or body wipes of some kind can help you do a quick wipe down in the bathroom when you are feeling a bit less than fantastic which goes a long way to making you feel fresher than before. Having a shower of course isn’t possible, but having a wipe down is and can really help freshen you up.

Fresh Clothes

Having a change of clothes you can hop into at some point in the flight can really help you stay feeling fresh and great. If you’re heading somewhere hot and humid it can be a good idea to take your summery clothes in your carry on to change into before you get to your destination so you can hit the ground running and not be walking around in your bulky jeans and t-shirts or sweaters.

Getting Some Beauty Rest

Perhaps the best way to stay fresh on a flight of any length is to get some rest. While this is a difficult task for some, taking some sedating antihistamines will help you nod off as well as keep your sinuses cleared which can be an issue for some people on air planes as well. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, try to time your sleeping in the day or two previous to your flight depending on the time of the flight itself so that you will be tired enough to sleep easier. Sleeping on flights can be incredibly useful to keeping fresh and energetic, especially when you get to your destination.

So there you have five great suggestions on how to stay feeling fresh on a long haul flight. Most of these are common sense, but for first time fliers they can be incredibly useful tips. Always remember to stay hydrated and rested – both on and off the plane. It’s the best way to always feel in tip top shape. Enjoy!