Simple Tips To Improve And Simplify Your Travel Packing

No matter if you are packing for a long or short trip, whether for business or pleasure, a time-saving way to begin is to make and use a list. Using a list, it will be easy to check off all items to ensure nothing is left behind and all items are absolutely necessary. Include the list in your luggage as a handy guide for not forgetting things when repacking.

When deciding on items of clothing to pack, mixing and matching clothing saves space and tends to reduce the number of outfits actually needed. If possible, select one or two pairs of shoes which coordinate with the majority of outfits.

Another important rule is don’t be fooled by the myriad of travel gadgets out there. Not only do many of these not perform properly they take up packing space. A simple rule to consider is: if it’s not a smaller version of something you absolutely can’t live without while on the road, then don’t pack it. One travel item that is of utmost importance though are clear and unique baggage tags. A unique tag makes it easier to spot your luggage on busy, fast-moving carousels when tired after a long haul flight.

Scanning important data such as passport, ID photos, paper tickets and other travel documents into an email account like Yahoo or Hotmail can be very useful and easily accessible should the need arise. It is also helpful to include the numbers to report loss for mobile phones, credit cards, travelers checks and your travel insurance policy. When packing these items distribute them between bags and do not include all of them, especially cash, in your carry-on bag.

Packing clothing in plastic easy-to-open bags organizing either by outfit, or item such as socks, underwear, etc. optimizes space and affords ease in the event of luggage inspection. If traveling with others, distributing one bagged outfit for each person among your party’s bags avoids luggage-arrival mishaps. Plastic bags should be used for personal care items with these items contained in small regulation-size containers and clearly labeled. Purchasing many of these items in travel size, will save inspection time as well as valuable space.

Travel and health insurance is definitely a must-take item. Some companies include some medical coverage with the travel insurance to provide for emergency medical care, physician consulting, treatment and prescription drug reference access. Travel insurance also offers protection for ticket loss, flight delay and any accidents while aboard public transportation. Ensure that you find the most acceptable coverage required for your requirements and have a great trip.

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Flight and Travel Tips

Plan in advance: If you have a plan to visit out of your country, start your plan at least three to six month prior to your visit. Know the country and destination where you are planning to visit. Know more about the climatic condition of that country and find out the travel advices for the country. Select best time of travel for that particular country or city.

Book air tickets in advance: If you have finalized your tour program, book air tickets in advance as many airlines offer a discount for tickets booked in advance. Now get your passport, visa and other travel documents ready.

Learn the local expenses: You might not know whether you are paying the right amount for taxi, hotel and other commodities in the particular city, therefore it is better to search for the basic information about the city and you will get plenty of information on Internet. You should also have the fair knowledge of exchange rate, as this will help you in converting your currency.

Visit local shops: We all do shopping whenever we are on tour and you should try to do shopping from the local shops instead of big malls. In local store, you will find things cheaper and affordable.

Keep essential medicine: You should have a fair idea of the medicines that may be required to you while you are on tour. In addition to your daily medicine, you should also carry away with you some common medicines such as medicines for cough, cold and fever. You should also see that if immunization is required for a particular city or country.

Keep Traveler’s checks: Instead of taking a lot of money with you, it is better to take traveler’s check or credit card with you. In case if you miss these, you should immediately report to the banks or credit card providers. You should also avoid bringing valuables with you.

Dress casually: Your dress sometimes indicates about yourself to thieves and that is a risk for you, so you should dress casually. It is better to stay alert while you are in another city or country. If you see something wrong in your neighborhood, keep yourself in safe position.

Travel Insurance: Many insurance providers are also offering travel insurance and you should ensure a suitable insurance policy for you and your family.

Stay in medium to large Hotels: Never stay in very small hotels, as the security arrangement in these hotels is insufficient. Try to take a medium to large hotel. In most of such hotels adequate arrangement of security are made. Do not go out alone or with your family out of the hotel especially during nighttime and if you have to go, ask hotel staff to provide taxi.

African Travel Tips When Visiting Zambia

In Zambia a third of the country devoted to conservation, Zambia offers the visitor some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas in Africa. A wide range of action adventures, from the legendary walking safari to river rafting on the mighty Zambezi, allows the enjoyment of nature at its wildest and most exhilirating.

A birder and angler’s paradise, Zambia has recorded more than 740 bird species in areas of great scenic beauty and has some of the best fresh water fishing available including excellent Tiger fishing. Best of all though, Zambia is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with 73 tribes living in harmony.

People are very friendly and display a rich cultural heritage during their vivid traditional ceremonies, which is open to Westerners to witness their ancient and timeless mystique.

CAPITAL:

Lusaka

CLIMATE:

There are three distinct seasons: Aug-Oct is warm to hot and dry offering the best time for game viewing as water is scarce; Nov-Mar is hot with thundershowers, but excellent bird watching season as migrants come from the north; and Apr-Jul when days are dry and warm and evenings and early mornings are cold – also good for game viewing.

CURRENCY:

1 Kwacha = 100 Ngwee. Foreign exchange is at authorized banks and bureaux de change. American Express is widely used, with more limited use of Access/MasterCard, Diners Club and Visa. US dollar traveller’s cheques are recommended.

ELECTRICITY:

220volts, 50Hz. Plugs are 3-pin square.

HEALTH:

You are advised to take pre-arrival precautions against hepatitis A, polio, typhoid, malaria (risk throughout the year in the whole country) and yellow fever. Other health concerns are dysentery, diarrhoeal diseases, cholera (avoid street vendors; filter and boil water), influenza (risk extends throughout year), limited medical facilities and AIDS. The climate aggravates chronic sinusitis. Dust in the dry season, molds in the rainy season and pollens much of the year can affect allergies.

LANGUAGE:

English is the official language and all media and business is conducted in it. There are over 73 tribal dialects of which the main languages are Bemba, Nyanja, Tonga, Luvale, Lozi, Mambwe and Tumbuka.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

New Years’ Day (1 Jan); Youth Day (12 Mar); Good Friday (9Apr); Easter Monday (12 Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Africa Day (25 May); Heroes Day (5 Jul); Unity Day (6 Jul); Farmers’ Day (2 Aug); Defence Day (12 Aug); Independence Day (24 Oct); All Saint’s Day (1 Nov); Christmas Day (25 Dec)

SHOPPING:

ebony carvings; woven baskets; copper, brass and malachite objets d’art; printed cloth; masks; drums; thumb pianos; xylophones; conical fishtraps; clay pots. Souvenirs may be exported without restriction, but game trophies e.g. tooth, bone, skin, feather, etc. are subject to export permits.

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS:

The majority follow traditional animist beliefs and this is reflected in their social culture and customs. Hand shaking is the common form of greeting.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

GMT+2

TIPPING:

Tipping in hotels has been abolished by law, but a 10 percent tip may be expected or included in bills elsewhere.

TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS DESCRIPTION:

South Luangwa:

Zambia’s premier game park noted for its dense concentrations of game, with over 50 mammal and 400 bird species; the Luangwa river boasts more hippos and crocodiles than any other river in Africa.

Liuwa Plains:

Scene of dramatic blue wildebeest migrations with the attendant predators lion, leopard, cheetah and the endangered wild dog.

Kafue:

One of Africa’s biggest parks, with huge herds of antelope and superb lion sightings in the northern Busanga Plains; high concentrations of water birds occur on the flats.

Bangweulu Swamps:

The floodplains are renowned for high concentrations of water birds, of which millions feed in the nutrient rich shallows; it also attracts the endemic acquatic black lechwe antelope by the thousands.

Lochinvar National Park:

Regarded as holding the world record for the highest diversity of bird species (428 in only 410 square kilometres); over 30,000 Kafue lechwe antelope, found nowhere else in the world, roam here.

Lusaka:

In the capital, don’t miss the colourful markets, Munda Wanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Kalimba Reptile Park, Kabwata Cultural Village, Lusaka Museum, Zintu Community Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Copper Art Centre.

Livingstone:

In town, see the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoo, the Livingstone Museum, the Railway Museum, Maramba Cultural Village, Mukuni tribal village, traditional ceremonies and markets. Nearby canoe or cruise on a boat along the upper Zambezi, go white water rafting, bungi jump off Vic Falls bridge, micro-light over the Falls and Batoka Gorge or go on horse riding, hiking or birding trails.

Lake Kariba:

Offers prime fishing, water sports, houseboating and lake camping.

Lake Tanganyika:

Africa’s deepest and longest lake offers great scuba diving and hiking to the top of Kalambo falls, the second highest in Africa at 220 m; other water sports, fishing and game viewing can be enjoyed at Sumbu park on the shore.

Lower Zambezi:

Excellent game viewing by boat or canoe; home to one of the largest remaining elephant herds in the world; also see buffalo and hippo at close range and birds in abundance.

Traveling in the Tropics – Safe Travel Tips

When you leave familiar shores behind and travel in the tropics, the first thing that strikes you is the extreme contrast in almost everything. People, climate, sights, sounds, streets, and even the sky and the moon look different. Next stop, Mars? First timers can take considerable time to unbefuddle their senses. And then it becomes a race to take in as much of the new experiences as possible in the comparatively short time at hand. In this mad rush make sure you don’t fall victim to a range of hazards that may easily be avoided with a little bit of common sense and some precautions.

First and foremost, travel in the tropics means you’re basking under the glorious warmth of a stronger sun than you’re used to. As you revel in that gorgeous tan you’re developing, it is worth remembering to take precautions against sun burn and dehydration. Carry your sun block and drinking water around wherever you go, and not just when you’re at the beach. Dress in cool cottons to keep the humidity at bay, and wear a hat and sunglasses.

While swimming in the sea, watch out for jelly fish stings and other similar hazards that can put a damper on your holiday cheer. If you discover a seemingly idyllic and deserted beach where the sea appears calm, think twice, thrice or more before you dive in. Some areas have strong undercurrents that just might send you on your last vacation in the sky. Always get enough information from local authorities about the best and safest places to bathe before deciding to strike out on your own, whether it’s for a swim or a hike.

Eating out is an exciting adventure when travelling in the tropics. Strange cuisines ranging from fragrant to the grotesque tempt and dare your palate into trying things you normally would beat away with a stick. Well, you’re on holiday and it’s only natural to want to try anything once. This could result in anything from irritable bowel syndrome to Delhi belly. Well, now would be a good time to remind you to carry toilet tissue with you if you intend to be away from your hotel for a long time. Most toilets, especially in rural areas, do not stock tissue and you can save yourself tonnes of embarrassment if you have some with you!

You don’t have to have something exotic to upset your stomach; even a mundane salad or iced drink can make you double over from bacteria in contaminated water. Avoid salads and ice unless you’re sure of the source. Wash all fresh fruits thoroughly or better yet, eat only what you can peel. Make sure you carry medication for holiday tummy or food poisoning recommended by your doctor at home. Drinking from the tap is not an option in most countries. It’s safer to carry your trusty brand of bottled water with you from your hotel if you intend to be out all day.

Mosquito repellents and bug sprays are a must when travelling in the tropics. Consult your doctor about the need for malaria vaccinations before you set out. While in the tropics try and stay indoors during late evenings when the mosquitoes swarm around. Shut doors and windows or use screens if they are available. You’ll be better off in the hilly areas where you get to enjoy all the benefits of tropical countries without the hassle of blood sucking insects.

Before travelling to the tropics, discuss with your travel agent and your doctor, the need for certain immunizations such as yellow fever, depending on the area you’re travelling to and general ones such as tetanus shots. Some countries require mandatory shots, while others don’t seem to stress the need for any. Consult your doctor about the need for rabies shots if you intend to travel to remote areas or be in contact with animals. It would be in your interests, especially if travelling with kids, to check what applies to you.

Carry your own stock of first aid supplies including pain killers, band aids, disinfectants and even sterile disposable needles in case you need an injection are a good idea if you intend visiting remote areas. Make sure you get up to date information about seasonal viruses that are about at your tropical destination. Get authentic information about occasional health hazards such as bird flu, dengue fever, or other epidemics that may be making the rounds.

Read up on the place you intend to visit. Having an idea of what to expect, local customs, and food habits will smooth your transition and help you relax into your vacation more quickly. Getting to know the local people and gaining an understanding of their way of life and culture enriches your vacation in many ways, giving you a far deeper perspective of the place you are visiting. But don’t abandon your native caution entirely as you relax, as touts or scammers can be rampant around tourist spots anywhere in the world. Watch out for pick pockets and petty crime. Never pull out a wad of notes in public. Always keep small change in separate pockets for easy access.

Travel broadens the mind they say. But if it’s to the tropics it does things to your soul as well. It’s an energising experience that brings people back again and again, to the extent that some go native and decide to stay on. Make sure that your experience of the tropics is a dream rather than a nightmare by following these basic and common sense safe travel tips.