5 common pitfalls that can ruin your travel experience in a hurry

This year, it seems likely that the travel industry should see a noticeable uptick. Some people are still a bit nervous about flying, but as the pandemic dies down and more people have received the vaccine, that should change. Indeed, many individuals look forward to the vacations and family visits they could not take in 2020.

If you are going to hit the road this year, you’re likely to have a good time if you can avoid some potentially unpleasant situations. Let’s talk about a few of those so that you can try to prevent them.

Getting in a Car Accident

If you’re driving to go on vacation or to visit family instead of flying, it might well be cheaper, but it will probably take you longer to get where you are going. You may be okay with that. The prospect of taking a car ride with your family to Disneyland or some other fun vacation spot might sound great to you at the moment.

Your family can bond during this special time together. Car accidents such as fender benders, though, are one thing you should go out of your way to try to avoid.

Fender benders or more severe car accidents are never pleasant, but if you get in one when you’re far from home, there’s an extra added annoyance element. That’s because you’re in unfamiliar territory, and the police might call you later for a court date that’s hundreds or thousands of miles from home.

To avoid car accidents, don’t speed, try not to let anything distract you when it’s your turn to drive, and don’t tailgate the cars in front of you. If you follow all traffic laws while you’re out of town, a car wreck is much less likely.

Sunburns and heat stroke

Maybe you’re headed to the beach in Florida, California, the Carolinas, or elsewhere. America has some gorgeous beaches that are just waiting for you to explore.

While you’re staying with the family at a lovely seaside resort, make sure to wear plenty of sunblock. Even if you are not very fair-skinned, you need to watch out for the sun’s powerful rays, especially as we approach the hottest time of the year.

Climate change means that each year, we’re seeing record-breaking temperatures around the country, and that is likely to continue. Try to do what you can to avoid a painful sunburn by slathering on the sunscreen when you hit the beach, and make sure your kids use it as well.

Overindulging

You might also decide that vacation is the perfect time to cut loose a little bit. You may even want to party more than usual because you have been stuck in the house quarantining for months, and this is your first opportunity to go bar hopping or order room service in more than a year.

Even if you’re old enough to drink legally, you shouldn’t overindulge with alcohol. If you do, you might risk a painful hangover, and that’s not pleasant anywhere or anytime.

If you drink too much, you might also lose your room key, wallet, or phone. You might hook up with someone and then regret it later. Too much alcohol almost always ends in a bad situation, so know your limit and when to call it a night.

Using Unmarked Taxis

You might reach your destination city and start looking for a way to get around. There might be public transportation, or you may have a rental car.

You might also use taxis to get around. If you do, though, make sure that they are real taxis and have markings indicating their status. You should see the taxi company’s name on the vehicle, as well as a phone number.

If a driver says they’re operating a taxi, but it doesn’t look like one, that’s a strong sign that you should stay away. It might be a taxi, but it may be an opportunistic robber waiting for a chance to snatch up an unsuspecting tourist.

Eating Unsafe Foods

You should also be careful and watch what you eat when you’re on vacation. If you’re going to indulge in some seafood, it’s best that you only consume it if it’s fully cooked. There’s nothing with sampling the local food, but the fact is all countries have different types of food bacteria that are used to be the locals but might cause… problems for visitors. Some people like raw bars, but that’s a great way to get food poisoning. It’s better not to live life on the edge since you don’t want to end up confined to your hotel room, hugging the toilet the rest of the time you’re there.

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Woohoo! Citi Bike improves ‘Bike Angels’ loyalty program so you can earn free e-bike minutes coupons

The Bike Angels program – Citi Bike’s loyalty program – started a few years ago and allows Citi Bike member to earn points by redistributing bikes to stations running low across the city.

By doing so, Bike Angels can earn members a week extension on their membership and redeem those points toward a limited number of Citi Bike branded items like a white Citi Bike FOB key or helmet. Needless to say, there’s a lack of motivation to get excited with the program.

Bike Angels refreshed and ready to ride

While you’ve been riding up, down, and around, Citi Bike has been putting in work behind the scenes. The good news is that the recently refreshed app also came with changes to the Bike Angels program. To show their appreciation for sticking with Bike Angels, they’ve made some exciting improvements to the program.

What’s changed:

  1. Opportunities to earn e-bike minutes every month Earn 10 ebike minutes at 10 points each month, and a minute for every point between 80 and 200 for more than 2 hours of free ebikes every month!
  2. All new swag there is a lot more options in the swag store including collectible pins for each lifetime reward.
  3. See your points in the new Citi Bike app The new Citi Bike app shows your monthly and lifetime points totals. See points across the app, including mid-ride or when planning a trip. High-value stations are highlighted in pink.

Earning free e-bike minutes is the incentive we need

Since Citi Bike has brought so many more e-bikes to their system, they’ve become incredibly useful in getting to your destination 50% faster especially during months with extreme weather.

So with the announcement that Citi Bike is allowing points earned via the Bike Angels program to be redeemed for e-bike minutes is exactly the incentive that I need to more proactively participate in the program.

When you hit 10 Bike Angel points, you’ll earn a coupon for 10 free ebike minutes that you can find in your account. If you have multiple ebike minute coupons, you can redeem as many as you need for that ride you’ve been dreaming about.

With as much as I use e-bikes during the colder months, those free e-bike minutes will come in handy.

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What everyone should research and prepare for before visiting a new city or country

Are you thinking of taking a trip soon? It’s not just important to pack enough socks and underwear, but there are a lot of different considerations one should review before stepping foot in different continent, country, region, city or village.

Know a destination before visiting

Whether you’re planning to visit Florida to tour some of the Fort Lauderdale houses for sale, heading to any new city on vacation, or for any reason, there are a so many things you’ll definitely want to know before you go. And these best practices are good to review before any trip — domestic or international.

Entry Requirements

If you’re traveling to a foreign city, one of the first things to check is the entry requirements. A valid passport with an expiration date three to six months after the date you plan to exit is required by most countries. Some also require a visa, meaning you’ll need to submit an application, photo, and other documents, so you’ll need plenty of time to get that taken care of.

Plan around local holidays

Check to see what and when the public holidays are for the destination you’re traveling to to avoid disappointment or worse. Holidays can mean many things will be closed, from attractions to banks, and there may not be any public transportation running either. If there is a special event celebrating a holiday, it could mean sold-out accommodations or traffic problems.

Know the weather

You’ll want to at least have an idea of what the weather might be like in the city you plan to visit so you’ll know what to pack, but there are other reasons too. For example, if you plan to travel in an area subject to hurricanes, it becomes even more important to know when to visit to avoid that risk. In some places, winter might be dry and sunny, while others experience frequent blizzards, which means bringing that heavy coat and snow boots.

If you’re heading to a city in the Southern Hemisphere like Sydney or Auckland, remember that the seasons are the opposite of what they are in the Northern Hemisphere, so you could leave home with snow on the ground and land where temperatures are sizzling.

Research Top Attractions and Hidden Gems

While you don’t have to plan out your entire itinerary, do some research ahead of time to get an idea of the top attractions, as well as places locals recommend that are likely to be more hidden gems most visitors miss.

Electricity (want to charge your phone?)

Depending on your destination, you may need adaptors or converters to use your electronic gadgets, from phone chargers to hairdryers, laptops, and so on. The voltage and type of outlet are the same throughout the Americas, but if you’re traveling elsewhere, you’ll want to find out what the standard voltage is for electrical outlets in your destination as well as the kind of outlet used. An adaptor will allow you to plug in your device, while a converter makes it work without blowing it up. If either are necessary and you don’t have them with you won’t be able to use your electronics.

The overall culture

At the basic level, travel is said to increase cultural understanding. The idea there is being simply being exposed to something new expands the mind.

However it’s best to do some research ahead of time to find out about the local customs and beliefs beforehand so you’re respecting the norms and values of that country.

It’s important to respect the culture – for example, in Muslim countries, women should wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the legs, chest, and arms, while both sexes should avoid t-shirts. While in nations like Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, and others, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering a home, and a major faux-pas to walk through a house with them on.

Almost all the traditional customs are a product of that country’s unique locale, history and religion so don’t pick and choose which customs you want to adhere to, but respecting all of their customs and values by being aware of them and culturally sensitive. You’re the visitor after all.

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United Airline’s statement regarding refunds, flight changes in the face of the coronavirus

The world is freaking out about the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses and economies are being impacted on all sides, and perhaps no bigger impact is being felt than by the travel industry in particular, the airline industry where travelers are canceling their plans and airlines are canceling flights left and right. Continue reading “United Airline’s statement regarding refunds, flight changes in the face of the coronavirus”

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The Shockingly Delicious Truth about the 7 Best NFL Stadium Foods

The game day offerings at NFL stadium concession stands sure aren’t what they used to be. Sure, you can still find a hot dog and popcorn if you’re old school, but you might be surprised by the artisanal gourmet sausage and craft Gruyere cheese popcorn. Continue reading “The Shockingly Delicious Truth about the 7 Best NFL Stadium Foods”

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Hidden, unusual countries and cities worth traveling to in 2018

Booking the summer holiday can be a bit of a minefield. If you’re uninspired by the same-old (and crowded) beach resorts of Spain, Greece and Portugal, then a holiday to somewhere a bit more exotic or interesting may sound appealing. Continue reading “Hidden, unusual countries and cities worth traveling to in 2018”

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5 undiscovered gambling destinations, surprising countries with casinos

For the uninitiated, you could be forgiven for thinking that major casinos are only found in a few cities in the world, like Las Vegas, Macau and Monaco. Continue reading “5 undiscovered gambling destinations, surprising countries with casinos”

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Here’s why the Thai man punched a 72-year old elderly Aussie man in Pattaya (Video)

In a video that’s making the social media rounds, a young Thai man is caught sucker punching a 72-year old Aussie man when he isn’t looking in what seems like a road rage incident. Continue reading “Here’s why the Thai man punched a 72-year old elderly Aussie man in Pattaya (Video)”

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How to contact family and friends in Vieques after Hurricane Maria?

Five days ago, we created this post about the damage done in Vieques after Hurricane Maria. Little did we know that it would be relied on as one of the few ways to get into touch with the island community of approximately 9,000 people.  Continue reading “How to contact family and friends in Vieques after Hurricane Maria?”

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The first photos of Vieques have emerged after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rican island

As you know by now, Puerto Rico was recently battered by Hurricane Maria — in particular, the island of Vieques bore the brunt of the Category 5 hurricane. In some of the first photos that have come out since the hurricane made landfall a few days ago, you’ll see images giving partial-view into the wreckage and destruction that the storm caused to the island community. Continue reading “The first photos of Vieques have emerged after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rican island”

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Why won’t Virgin America’s website allow me to make a payment or add a credit card?

I’ve run into a consistent problem not being able to pay for my ticket on Virgin America’s website. Have you gotten to the payment screen and wasn’t able to move on? If so, we think we know what’s happening. Continue reading “Why won’t Virgin America’s website allow me to make a payment or add a credit card?”

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31 Bangkok Taxi Tips: Tuk tuks, tipping, tolls and scams to avoid in Thailand

Bangkok is HUGE. I live in New York and am used to walking everywhere, but Bangkok is no joke. Continue reading “31 Bangkok Taxi Tips: Tuk tuks, tipping, tolls and scams to avoid in Thailand”

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#deleteuber: Boycott Uber’s support of Donald Trump by using Lyft or Sidecar

If you didn’t know, now you know: Uber sucks. And they’ve sucked for a while. . Continue reading “#deleteuber: Boycott Uber’s support of Donald Trump by using Lyft or Sidecar”

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Review: Bell Travel Services shuttle bus service from Bangkok to Pattaya

The trip to Pattaya from Bangkok should take anywhere from 1.5 – 2 hours from Bangkok. Booking a car from Bangkok to Pattaya is the quickest method of transportation, but it will cost you between 1,000 baht (at best) to $1,800 all depending on your luck. Continue reading “Review: Bell Travel Services shuttle bus service from Bangkok to Pattaya”

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How many days in Macau? 1-2 days should be enough for most

Who I am as a traveler, I prefer a good mix of culture and history, food and shopping, as well as being a little touristy. I’m also decently traveled, and though not willing to spend a ton of money on hotels, I’m open to spending on new experiences and adventures. Continue reading “How many days in Macau? 1-2 days should be enough for most”

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How Many Bicyclist Deaths/Fatalities in New York City by Year (since 1996)

New York City has added miles and miles of protected bike lanes over the last couple decades as ridership has increased many-fold. Continue reading “How Many Bicyclist Deaths/Fatalities in New York City by Year (since 1996)”

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The Orleans Hotel & Casino: When are check-in and checkout times?

Staying at The Orleans? The published check-in time for the hotel and casino is at 3PM, but depending on how full this huge hotel is, you can probably get into your room earlier. Of course, early check-in is at the discretion of the hotel.  Continue reading “The Orleans Hotel & Casino: When are check-in and checkout times?”

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Lyft in Baltimore: Save $50 on your first Lyft ride in Baltimore

Lyft, launched in 2012 in San Francisco, CA, currently provide services to 195 cities across the US. From San Francisco to NYC, it covers a lot of major cities, one of which is Baltimore. Continue reading “Lyft in Baltimore: Save $50 on your first Lyft ride in Baltimore”

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How to use Lyft in Detroit and using it to DTW (Detroit’s airport)

Lyft brands itself as your friendly neighborhood ride-sharing service and it’s grown significantly in Detroit. Launched as a mobile app in the summer of 2012 as a service of Zimride, it has grown exponentially ever since. Continue reading “How to use Lyft in Detroit and using it to DTW (Detroit’s airport)”

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