Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Travel Packing Tips For Carry-On Only Traveling

1. Find Out The Largest-Size Carry-On Luggage You're Aloud and Buy It
Although you want to significantly cut down on the amount of luggage you take, you should still take advantage of the maximum size carry on luggage you can take. Find out what the average carry on allowance is and buy an new bag to fit those dimensions. 

2. Wear Your Heaviest/Bulkiest Items
Ok, so it's an obvious point, but if you're taking some bulky items, such as a thick coat, or walking boots, wear them on the plane and free up as much valuable space in your carry on luggage as possible. 

3. Create A Packing List -- And Ruthlessly Edit It
This is something you can perfect over time. Basically, every time you go abroad create a packing list. Then, when you come home and unpack make a note of everything you didn't use. Then cross them off the list for next time! 

4. Plan To Buy Things At Your Destination
Remember, most destinations will have places you can buy the basics you need to get you by. Need a smarter shirt for an unplanned trip to a fancy restaurant, just buy one at a local store. You'll also be able to discard these items if you need to before you leave. 

5. Decant Toiletries Into Smaller Bottles
For your essential toiletries, do away with the bumper family size bottles and decant rations into smaller bottles. Not only will you save space, but also a lot of weight. And remember the point above -- if you run out you can always buy some more. 

6. Roll Your Clothes
It's an old trick but an effective one. Rolling your clothes makes them easier to pack down into the corners of your carry on, plus it can help you avoid the creases created by folding. 

7. Wear Clothing With Lots Of Pockets
Remember, you don't need to carry everything in your luggage. Wearing clothing with extra pockets, such as cargo pants, or those vests that professional photographers wear, you can carry many smaller items and leave space for the bigger stuff in your luggage. 

8. Buy Speciality Travel Clothing That Converts
Now you can buy items of clothing specifically designed for travelers. Usually travel clothing has features such as being light-weight, breathable and none-creasing and quick drying, but you can also find clothing that is convertible. Trousers that turn into shorts, or long sleeved items that become short sleeved. By making your clothing work twice as hard, you can save twice as much space. 

9. Buy Speciality Travel Products Designed To Be Compact
Aswell as clothing designed for traveling, you can find all manner of accessories that have been designed for traveling and to be compact. For example a travel towel can be a quarter of the size of a traditional towel. 

10. Ask Others Their Tips
If you see someone breezing through check in with just one bag, stop them and ask them how they do it. Most people love to show off how clever and travel-savvy they are, so they'll be happy to share their wisdom with you!

These handy tips have been taken from the full 225-page Packing Secrets -- The Ultimate Packing Guide For Travelers. This guide was created by interviewing 100s of travelers, from business travelers to family vacationers. You can discover more using this link: http://www.packingsecrets.com

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How safe is Mexico for Women Travelers?

Women are seeking fun girlfriend getaways or inspiring solo travel more and more these days but our closest international destination is getting a bad rep for drug cartel wars and crime. Safety is a legitimate concern anywhere you go but this could be especially daunting if you are not familiar with the geography of the country.

Lucky for us, Mexico is still very much an open option for enjoying a blissful beach getaway with your best girl friend or a cultural culinary trip in a colonial gem of a town. There is so much diversity here and a memorable trip is just waiting to happen if only you know where to go.

Lets look at what the fuss is all about, where its happening and what this means to you as a traveler.

I'm sure you've heard the headlines this past year about Mexico being in the midst of a major drug war. Army soldiers patrol streets in border towns. Journalists have been murdered. Cartel members shoot at each other in the streets and supermarkets. People get kidnapped. It is certainly ugly in the border cities otherwise known as the frontera. But did you know most of Mexico is as safe as ever?

The travel warnings issued by our government are actually advising against visiting very specific places where drug cartels are waging their war. Unfortunately, after hearing "warning" and "Mexico," many Americans perceive the advisory for the country as a whole, which it definitely is not the case. The State Department listed several cities as not advisable to visit, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros. The worst of the bunch being Ciudad Juarez which is across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The news media have focused their news reports on the negative rather the reporting the reality. Mexico is still a very safe country, with the exception of Juarez and the other border towns. The rest of the country enjoys low crime rates in comparison to any large U.S. city.

So where should you go and how safe are these places? Below is a list I have compiled of fantastic destinations within Mexico, that you wont hear about in the news (they are too busy drumming in the bad news). 

CANCUN AND THE MAYAN RIVIERA
Cancun is the most popular beach resort in Mexico by far and for good reason. Their beaches are stunning, the resorts amazing, the attractions are many and on safety scale....It is extremely safe. Exercising common sense is the most important thing here or any destination for that matter. For example, don't stray from the tourist areas, don't drink too much, avoid walking alone at night, only take public transportation or drive on the highways during daylight, don't deck yourself out in expensive jewelry. It just common sense ladies! 

MERIDA AND THE YUCATAN
When people think about the Yucatan region of Mexico, they usually think about the Mayan archeological site of Chichen Itza, but Merida is a beautiful colonial city that can serve as home base for exploring other Mayan ruins, cenotes, haciendas and cathedrals. It is an extremely charming city with well organized tours for its visitors. Beyond that, it is known as the safest and most peaceful in Mexico. Many American and Canadian expats have taken notice and are retiring here for this reason. 

CENTRAL MEXICO COLONIAL CITIES
San Miguel de Allende has been a popular destination for wealthy Americans for several decades now. This is a bohemian town in the mountains known for its slow paced life, cobbled stones streets, beautiful architecture and many art galleries. The nearby cities of Guanjuato, Queretaro and Zacatecas are other colonials town that are as safe as they are charming. 

OAXACA
Oaxaca has much to offer its visitors. It has a thriving art scene and boasts some of the best food in the country. There are the nearby ruins of Monte Alban and artisan towns like Teotitlan del valle, which are very beautiful and safe. Oaxaca also has amazing beaches and resort towns like Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. 

PUERTO VALLARTA
Think beautiful colonial city by the beach. This wonderful former fishing village on a hill side is now filled with swanky hotels, restaurants, art galleries and bars. Puerto Vallarta is safe but exercising common sense here is advised. Do stay in tourist areas and dont walk alone at night. 

LOS CABOS
The region is very safe, with good highways and bustling down towns. Many Americans visit here each year while others have even made it their home. Fancy resorts have sprawled through its stretch of beaches offering all inclusive vacations. There is also a popular artsy town called Todos Santos about 45 minutes away from the popular destination of Cabo San Lucas.

If you are considering a trip soon, the best thing to do is determine what kind of vacation you are seeking. Mexico is an expansive country with many regions and varied destinations to suit every interest. It is a matter of knowing a bit of geography and packing in a sense of adventure mixed in with some common sense. Buen Viaje!

Claudette Elizondo is founder of MexicaChica Getaways, a group travel company for women. Her company offers week long, luxury learning vacations focused on art, culinary and Spanish immersion trips. This American expat now enjoys life in Merida, Yucatan Mexico along with her husband Lars and her young children, Sophia and Paulo. Please visit http://www.mexicachica.com to learn more. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Claudette_Elizondo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cruise in style without breaking your budget

Planning for that perfect cruise you always wanted to experience? Friends of the Reef will let you vacation in style without breaking your budget.
Following are 3 outfits you can wear in the daytime or the evening that will get you noticed:

Be ready for the day expedition ! Wear our cute Cotton Camisole, Light Nylon Cargo Pant & Microfiber Bucket Hat in classic nautical colors.
Perfect for afternoon cocktails! Our Nautical Flags Polo and ALine Cotton Skirt Set is both classic and comfortable.


An evening in white! Our Crossed VNeck Sleeveless Top and Basic Nylon Pant Set  is elegant and will fit any silhouette.

All 3 Sets are available for $52 US at www.friendsofthereef.com and will ship for free until January 31st (USA & Canada only). We also ship internationally.

Have a great time!

Basic Tips On What People Should Wear On A Caribbean Cruise

One basic and important aspect which many travelers find a bit annoying is what to wear on a certain cruise. The travelers out there who are taking into consideration a Caribbean cruise holiday will have to know what they have to take with them when they will have to pack a suitcase for such a cruise. Travel wardrobe will always be an essential aspect to be considered for a vacation, and not actually packing all the necessities for a certain trip might ruin it.

Various thoughts for a Caribbean trip might very often create you the vision of shorts or bathing suits. While those certain items are most definitely necessary for such a travel when making a visit in such a warm climate, even Caribbean cruises will most likely have formal nights where proper attire is essential. Long dresses are not always necessary, but it will be a good idea that cruisers will dress as though they will have to attend an important social event. A cocktail dress will most likely be the right choice for women, and a blazer, shirt and tie will be also the right decision for men. Those certain people who do not feel like dressing up will most likely be able to take the advantage of their room service on those formal nights.

Light-weight cotton clothing is also always a good choice for the warm Caribbean climate. Additionally, even if might seem a little strange, a light sweater could most definitely be very useful for those cold restaurants or breezy night near the ocean. And if we are talking about footwear, a nice pair of sandals, a comfortable pair of dress shoes or some tennis sneakers are more than everyone will ever need on a certain regular Caribbean cruise.
Many people consider that cruise wear is pretty similar to "country club casual", which will mean that the clothing is not overly dressy and not to casual as well. Keep in mind that you are going to be travel to a climate zone which is pretty tropical, so take lightweight clothing into consideration first.

Women clothing to such as cruise should include sundresses and shorts, jeans and T-shirts. As a woman, try to always dress casual and not necessarily sloppy. The eveningwear should be somewhere between casual and a bit dressy, with more thoughts to pants suits than dresses. Men should consider somehow similar guidelines for daywear. The casual wear for men should include T-shirts and jeans and for nighttime, a sport jacket and slacks should be more than enough.

There are some cruises out there which have very strict dress rules in regard to what passengers should wear. Consulting the literature that the cruise line will send you would be the smart thing to do.

Paul D. Stricker is a freelance writer since 2006, living in United States and he writes about he enjoys the most...insurance policies. If you want to read more information about San Diego Cruises and also read more reviews about Cruises From Florida, you can check out his websites.