Category Archives: Travel Advice

Professional Beauty Tips For Frequent Flyers

A jet-setting agenda can take its toll on your looks – find out how the likes of A-list celebrities overcome the dry skin, tired eyes, blemishes, and bloating associated with frequent flying.

Image by silviarita CC0

Dehydration is the enemy – both inside and out! Make sure you up your water intake, remembering to reduce caffeine and alcohol while you are at it, and use a hydrating moisturiser or mist for your skin.

“Many people underestimate how delicate the skin under our eyes is. Using a specialised cleanser for eyecare is the best way to protect our delicate skin. Tea tree oil is one of the best cleansing and healing ingredients that loves delicate skin! It also has natural antimicrobial properties which makes it a great part of any skincare regime.” Beauty expert at OPTASE® developers of Tea Tree Oil Lid Wipes, a handy travel-size pack suited to frequent flyers.

Travel sans makeup – wearing makeup while you travel will just tire and dehydrate your skin further.

Detox before you go – having a cleansed system will mean that your body is performing as efficiently as possible at ridding itself of toxins and more resistant to the stress of travel.

“The recycled air on aeroplanes can cause dry eyes, which on a long-haul flight can really ruin the excitement of going away and leave us with red, sore and puffy faces!One solution is to use preservative-free eye drops, rather than ones that include preservatives because these have actually been shown to increase irritation if used repeatedly.” Beauty expert at Hycosan Fresh. Most preservative-free eye drops are single dose mini pipettes – not so convenient for travelling but Hycosan Fresh is totally preservative free, remain sterile for 6 months, and come in a 7.5ml bottle totally suited to travel.

Exfoliate before you go – freshly exfoliated skin is essential if you are travelling without makeup, plus your hydrating beauty products will work better.

Exercise before you go – a good workout boosts circulation and helps deliver nutrients to your skin, a key way to get that “glowing” look and does of course boost your immune system.

Vapour Balm is great for use during air travel to help feign off airborne bacterial and illness. Beware of petroleum based products that can inhibit your skin’s ability to breathe and rebalance, and are known to clog pores. Instead opt for a product free of palm oil, petrochemicals and other nasties such as P’URE Papayacare Vapour Balm, a blend of Australian essential oils and herbs with zero menthol, petroleum or mineral oil.

Travel well rested – flying is tiring, so make sure you have at least one day down-time before you go. Stress is known to raise cortisol levels which in turns creates bloating, especially around the mid-rift, and is associated with lack of sleep.

Pack an oxygenating face mask – for use at your destination, this type of masks bubbles upon application cleaning all the gunk from your pores that is inevitable after a few hours travel.

How To Stay Stylish On A Longstay Adventure

Insider tips on what to pack, and how to wear it, to make sure you don’t look like you’re living out of a backpack on your next longstay adventure.

Image by LUM3N CC0

  • Choose clothes that are resistant to creasing.
  • Go for dark clothes that are more forgiving when it comes to signs of wear and stains.
  • Resist packing clothes with bold patterns, they are harder to mix and match. Keep the patterns to key pieces, or accessories.
  • Roll your clothes when you pack – not only will it minimise creasing but also you’ll be able to get more items in your backpack!
  • Get a day bag that is on-trend. Just one simple stylish accessory that you can take out day or night while you leave your backpack safely at a hostel or hotel, will make a world of difference to your style status!
  • Pack some accessories that are designed to “transform” an outfit – or even better, pick up key pieces during your travels.
  • Keep comfort in mind – you’ll be clocking up a lot of hours on planes, trains, and buses so comfort is key to your happiness.

PROFESSIONAL STYLIST ADVICE FOR THE LADIES: “Packing can be really tough when you plan to be away for some time, because you don’t want to end up looking scruffy and letting your style down, just because you’re living out of a suitcase/backpack.

My top tip would be to pack a good amount of staple dresses because unlike other wardrobe items, dresses can be styled up and down. You can pair a dress with a cropped jumper and tights for when the weather is a little chilly, or opt for bare legs when the sun is out.”Katie Derrick, of bespoke luxury travel agent AfricaTravel.com.

“Choose clothing that’s versatile, imagine what you’re packing to work as your very own capsule wardrobe. Choose dresses that work both as a dress, and as a skirt, by layering and tying a t-shirt or light-weight knit over the top. Choosing pieces that can be styled in different ways is the easiest way to ensure you aren’t sick of your clothes a week into your trip!” Stylist at Elvie.com

Jumpsuit – it’s great for countries where a conservative look is a must for ladies and it can easily be dressed up or down making it a versatile item in your backpack!

Leggings – Wear on their own or under a dress, or even under shorts – versatile, comfortable, and easy to wear.

Dresses – slip dresses that can be worn with a t-shirt underneath or jumper over the top, are ideal – easily taking your look from day to night with ease. Don’t forget the LBD, easy to wear and can be dressed up for any occasion!

Vests and tees – they take up very little room, are great for layering and can be worn with jumpsuits, dresses, leggings, trousers or shorts.

Flat shoes – ones that you are happy to walk all day in that will also cut the mustard if you decide to treat yourself to a fine dining experience.

Sarong – the holy grail of accessories. Did you know there are at least 30 ways you could use a sarong? It can be a dress, a bag, a skirt, a shawl… pick a classy print and you are done!

PROFESSIONAL STYLIST ADVICE FOR THE GENTS: “Venturing away on a long trip requires packing sensibly, but that shouldn’t mean compromising on fashion. Be sure to pack a practical, stylish and foldable jacket, so that you can prepare for all weather forecasts, while also still looking the part. Pack miniature grooming products, too, including mini shaving foam, scented body wash and moisturiser, to keep you smelling good, as well as looking good during your travels.” Steve Pritchard, of men’s fashion retailer Ben Sherman.

Wondering what such a wonderfully useful jacket could be like? Well,

the classic Ben Sherman Four Pocket Jacket is just the ticket. It’s smart-casual, and it exudes style and class; it’s waterproof, and leaves enough room to layer up with warm and stylish jumpers and t-shirts – essential when venturing somewhere new and travelling to countries with varying weather and climates in one trip.

Don’t forget your travel insurance! Longstay insurance for backpackers from worldwideinsure.com can cover from 3 to 18 months, and it can be renewed if you are still travelling when your policy is coming to an end. Plus, if you have already left home without travel insurance, we can cover that too.

Please note, policies, terms and conditions may change – all information published in this blog pertaining to travel insurance from worldwideinsure.com is only deemed valid at the time of publication.

 

Workfrom App Review – Travel App of the Month December 2018

If you are fortunate enough to be able to freelance while you travel the world, you are probably hampered by the need for a productive work environment. Let us introduce Workfrom, a handy tool for digital nomad types who need somewhere to sit, work and probably enjoy a cup of coffee or two!

What is the Workfrom App?

At a fundamental level Workfrom is a Wi-Fi finder app, but it has all the bells and whistles “free range” workers need to be able to find their personal workspace paradise. If the best coffee is essential, you can search for that, if you need a handy charging station, you can search for that too, and if you need somewhere that late night snacks in a place that offers super-fast Wi-Fi with comfy seats and is quiet before closing… you can probably find that too.

What does the Workfrom App do?

It provides an online space for the remote working community to get-together and a range of filters that makes it easy to find a personal workspace that meets personal preferences either nearby, or at an upcoming destination in over 12,000 cities worldwide. The basic filters cover Wi-Fi speeds, power availability, and opening times, and the rest help you choose which of the available establishements meets what you are looking for at the time.

Who is the Workfrom App good for?

It is great for digital nomads – freelancers who want to travel the world while they work, it’s also great for those who are travelling on business and want to turn it into a bleisure trip (business and leisure mixed together), and it is also ideal for business owners, managers and the like who have taken a holiday and just know that they are going to have to pick up the laptop and put in a few hours while away.

What do the Workfrom App Reviews say?

By all accounts, it could be better, but it seems to be the best thing out there so far thanks to the many filters that help personalise the search.

Get Workfrom on iTunes

Get Workfrom on Google Play

 

Life as a Digital Nomad in Chiang Mai, Thailand: Insider Tips

Image by Dong719 CC0

Chiang Mai, Thailand’s fourth-biggest city, is arguably South-east Asia’s most desirable digital nomad location. Just as tourists find that the city covers most (if not all) bases, nomads have been similarly delighted: Cheap rents, great food, fantastic nightlife, rich culture, plenty of sunshine and, naturally, fast Wi-Fi – are among the top draws.

Wi-Fi and work locations

First up, if you need fast, reliable internet, Chiang Mai has you covered. Plus, if you prefer not to work in the same place as you live, there are lots of co-working spaces and Internet cafés where you can put in those long hours. Indeed, you’ll feel as if they’ve been expecting you!

Accommodation in Chiang Mai 

Chiang Mai has hostels, guest houses and hotels in abundance, ranging from £5-a-night dorm beds, to £10-a-night basic rooms, to £100-a-night top-end hotels. You can rent a room for as little as £80 a month, or your own small out-of-town house or condominium for £150-£200. If you want luxuries like swimming pool and gym access, you’ll of course pay more. You could also rent a large, modern house for £600-£800 a month and find a few fellow nomads to share the rent.

Social life

While many people come to Chiang Mai to enjoy Thai culture and the laid-back ‘sabai sabai’ way of life, you’ll doubtless meet plenty of other entrepreneurial Westerners while living here (many Brits among them). Locals, tourists and ex-pats mingle ardently of an evening, with a wide choice of bars and nightclubs to enjoy.

Healthcare

Thailand offers excellent private healthcare and decent public hospitals. Reputable private organisations such as the Bangkok Hospital operate locations across the country, including Chiang Mai. Much cheaper than say, Singapore, but with similarly high standards, it’s no wonder people from across South-East Asia come to Thailand to have their healthcare needs met. Many medicines which require prescriptions in the UK can be bought over the counter.

Getting around Chiang Mai 

While tuk-tuks and songthaews (modified pick-up trucks with covered seating) are great when you first arrive, you may soon want the freedom of your own wheels. You can rent a scooter for £40-£60 a month. Just make sure you have an up-to-date International Driving Licence and never be tempted to leave your helmet at home (as many locals do). Also be aware that Thais like to merge with traffic without even a glance at their mirrors, and love nothing more than to get out of their cars without checking for approaching traffic!

Food

From low-cost, tasty street food to excellent Western dishes – your tummy will always be happy in Chiang Mai. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for, but meat lovers won’t be disappointed either. You could cut your food bills by cooking for yourself, but eating like a local – i.e. in the street – will keep you comfortably on-budget.

Culture and things to do in Chiang Mai 

You’ll probably explore the main temples in your first few weeks, but there’s plenty more to see. Enjoy a swim in the ‘Grand Canyon’ – a flooded former limestone quarry – just out of town, or, further afield you might explore the hippy-hangout of Pai, with its numerous hot springs, or take a motorcycle trip up to Mai Hong Son. And if you ever feel the need for a weekend in the Big Smoke, you can jet down to Bangkok in 75 minutes – before deciding that life in laid-back Chiang Mai will do you just fine, thank you very much!

Visas for Chiang Mai 

As a UK citizen, you can apply for a two month tourist visa (£25) in the UK, and extend it for another month (about £45) in Thailand. You could then apply for another tourist visa in a neighbouring country. Most nomads can repeat this process several times before Immigration officials start asking questions.

 

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE! With worldwideinsure.com you can get longstay travel insurance to suit your digital nomad lifestyle, including insurance while you are already travelling.  Get a quick online quote or speak to one of our advisors.

Sun Seeker App Review – Travel App of The Month November 2018

Take travel photos that will make your friends green with envy with the help of a sun-tracking app, the easy way to make sure you don’t miss those precious golden hours!

What is the Sun Seeker App?

It is sun tracking app – a slice of magic that shows the solar path in all its 3D augmented reality glory. It also has a flat-compass view and comes with a whole heap of data to show what the sun is up to at any point in the world.

What does the Sun Seeker App do?

It provides sunlight data that enables professionals of all types to see when the sun is in an optimal position for their needs. This data is also useful for everyday decision making that involves wanting or needing to know where the sun is, or isn’t, e.g:

  • Planoptimal light conditions, sunrise/sunset directions, golden and blue hour times.
  • Find where to camp or sit, in or out of the sun.
  • Find optimal planting locations and seasonal sunlight hours.
  • Visualise the spatial variability of the solar angle throughout the year in a building.

Main Features

  • Uses GPS, magnetometer and gyroscope to find solar position and path.
  • Flat compass view showing current solar position, diurnal solar angle and elevation, shadow length ratio, atmospheric path thickness.
  • 3D augmented reality camera overlay view showing the sun’s current position, its path with hour points marked.
  • Map view showing solar direction arrows and elevations for each hour of the day.
  • Choose any date and location and view solar path for that day.
  • Notifications for sun-related events, such as golden or blue hours.

Why is the Sun Seeker App good as a travel app?

This app is an invaluable tool for the travel photographer, and is also jolly useful if you are on an adventure holiday and want to know when and where you are at risk of strong sun or need to know the best place to camp in terms of shade.

What do the Sun Seeker App reviews say?

Photographers say it helps with framing and time-lapse, and iOS users love the app’s accuracy. The Android users however don’t rate it as highly, highlighting accuracy problems. The developers have responded saying that the compass in the Android device could be to blame, and suggests calibrating before use.

Get it on iTunes

Get it on GooglePlay

 

 

 

Top Tips For Adventure Holiday Landscape Photography

Don’t come back from your next trip with a bunch of smartphone pics and the excuse “you had to be there really”. Instead, bag some envy-inducing shots worthy of National Geographic with these simple tips.

Alaska Image by 12019 CC0

 Take a decent camera.

Go old school Single Lens Reflex, or take it up a notch with a DSLR. Whatever you do, don’t use a smartphone, use a camera where you can adjust light settings and aperture to get the aesthetic you are looking for.

Use a tripod.

The best way to get the perfect frame for your shot, and the only way to wait for the right moment without ruining the image with camera shake. A tripod is also essential for taking long exposures.

Pack a cable release.

The hands off approach will ensure you don’t jog the camera when releasing the shutter, or cause any movement during long exposure photography.

Take a variety of lenses

Take a wide-angle, super-wide angle and a telephoto lens at the very least. This image of Seljalandsfoss, one of the most-photographed waterfalls in south Iceland, was taken with a 10mm fish-eye lens by Geraldine Westrupp of Wild Photography Holidays.

© GERALDINE WESTRUPP

Photographer tip: Try an unusual perspective

“Taking this picture from the path to the back of Seljalandsfoss gives an unusual perspective, and the use of a 10mm fish-eye lens gives remarkable results. The setting sun lights up the wall behind this stunning cascade only a few times in the year. October, when this shot was taken, is a good time to try.” 

Photographer tip: Get up early

“Getting up early ensures that you have time to get to your chosen location and set up your equipment before the action starts. On Iceland’s Diamond Beach (pictured below) the sun rises over the sea and it lights up the water and sparkling ice that graces the black sand.  The actual appearance of the sun in this case is not important; the effect that it has on the ice is where the drama is. It’s a good idea to pinpoint the perfect time to shoot by using a smartphone app such as Sun Seeker to determine sunrise and sunset times for your exact location.” 

© GERALDINE WESTRUPP

Pack your filters.

A UV filter will really make the image crisp and the colours pop, and a polarising filter will give extra colour saturation as well as reducing glare off highly reflective surfaces. An ND filter is awesome for daytime long exposures, resulting in an ephemeral aesthetic when photographing waves or fast moving clouds in the sky.

© Fortythree Photography

 

© Fortythree Photography

 

Circa App Review – Travel App of the Month October 2018

It is hard enough to know when you are awake when hopping from one country to the next in a blur of time zone changes. So how are you meant to know when friends, family, and business contacts are around? We have found the answer!

What is the Circa App?

It is a thing of beauty. A well designed time zone tracking app that allows you to see what time it is where you are, as well as the time it is where you are heading, and anywhere else you like too. But that’s not all…

What Does the Circa App do?

It has some clever features such as allowing you to add “office time” for example, so you know when a contact in another country will be available. The app also lets you do this for multiple time zones and locations which makes it possible to create meeting invitations that work for everyone.

  • Visually compare time across multiple locations
  • Quickly see working hour overlaps
  • Connect your calendars to check your schedule
  • Personal, organise in your own way
  • Create one-touch meeting invitations

It is also Apple Watch ready, which looks pretty neat.

Who is the Circa App for?

It has been built with busy business people in mind. “Stop wondering when your colleagues are available and start using circa.” However, we think it is a pretty neat app for anyone who has friends and family around the world, which includes long-term travellers trying to keep in contact with friends they have made on their way as well as family back home.

What do the Circa App reviews say?

It looks nice. It is simple. It does what it says on the tin, and very well it does it too.

Get Circa on iTunes.

What Really Happens When You Miss A Flight?

Image by JESHOOTScom CC0

You’ll feel stressed, confused, embarrassed and have “why did it happen to me?” doing loop da loops in your head until you finally get to your destination. For slightly more helpful information, read on…

1. It depends on the reason you missed your flight

Missing your flight because you got the date wrong or because your passport is out of date when you show up – this is your error, totally avoidable and you should have noticed. In this instance you will have to reschedule your flight and bear whatever costs that involves!

If you spent too long browsing duty free or fell asleep and missed the call for your gate, you have the added inconvenience that your luggage may well be on its way but you are not! In this awful situation find a relevant member of staff and see if your bags got booted off the plane, then work out how you get on the next flight. In many cases you won’t be charged, or you may have to pay a small fee to change your ticket, whereas some will charge you the difference in flight fee.

If you missed your flight in a wave of abject panic from being stuck in traffic, dealing with a broken down car, or train services were unexpectedly not running then you may be able to get on the next available flight at no extra cost. This is down to an unofficial “flat tire” rule. As it’s unofficial it is never definitely a choice, and it varies between airlines. General rules of it are:

  • The reason for missing your flight must be out of your control e.g. like having a flat tire.
  • You must arrive at the airport within 2 hours of your original flight departure.
  • You must have notified your airline of your unfortunate predicament so your probably vacant seat could be offered to some other poor soul that missed their own flight if you don’t turn up in time.

2. It could depend on your travel insurance

 If you have travel insurance, which really you should, you may be able to recover some unexpected costs as a result of missing your flight. Please note that this is different from costs incurred due to a flight being delayed or cancelled! Your policy will outline if you are covered in the event of a missed flight, and also what qualifying circumstances are required to be eligible to claim. You may be able to book any ongoing flight to get you to your destination at the soonest opportunity rather than wait for a standby slot – but as always, please read the terms of your own policy for clarification!

3. The terms of your ticket may play a role

Not all tickets are equal, and if you are on a budget airline, or have a super-economy ticket, or booked a special deal, you may find that if you miss your flight then that’s just tough luck and you will need to pay out for another.

4. It depends on what other flights are available

Usually your airline will put you on standby for the next available flight, but that might not be until the next day. You can always opt to book an entirely new flight if you are happy to accept losing your original fare to get to your destination sooner.

5. It definitely depends on how you handle it

As with anything, politeness will get you a long way, as will being pro active! If you think you are going to miss your flight, let the airline know – you will have more chance of getting on the next flight and may well be able to without much extra cost. If you are at the airport and have missed a connection or it took longer than expected to get through security, remain calm, go to your nearest desk or representative and ask how they can help in this situation. If you have already checked out your options during the mayhem sharing them with the helpdesk may well make the whole process quicker and get you on a flight sooner.

 

Jetcost Flights Comparison Review – Travel App of the Month September 2018

Everyone loves a bargain, especially if it means having more spending money for holiday! People also want finding that bargain to be super easy. Enter an app that makes it a cinch to find competitively priced flights, favourite searches, and works offline….

What is the Jetcost App?

It is a free flight comparison app and the new updated version has a range of features that makes it really easy to use.

What does the Jetcost App do?

Jetcost offers the usual comparison service and adds a customised search experience by allowing users access to their search history and bookmarked results. Users can do this EVEN WHILE THEY ARE OFFLINE! This makes it perfect for browsing your travel itinerary while still on a plane, or in your remote destination that has no signal or wi-fi.

  • Access flight information – departure and arrival locations, times, duration, number of stops, waiting times, etc.
  • Filter results by flight duration, airlines, stops, travel class, departure and arrival times, smart time intervals, etc.
  • View search history and favourite
  • Continue searches where you left off.
  • Access search history at anytime, anywhere.
  • Swipe to either delete an itinerary, or add it to bookmarks.

Who is the Jetcost App good for?

Thrifty travellers, frequent travellers, business travellers, backpackers, bargain hunters, savvy travellers, busy travellers.

What do the Jetcost App Reviews say?

Reviews focus on the ease of use and lack of ads – not bad for a free app! Links to less than reputable travel agents has been mentioned, but Jetcost only claims to offer users the info, not recommend which bookings to make.

Jetcost Comparison App is available on iTunes

Filling The Void: 10 Ways To Kill Time Before Checking In

Image by StockSnap CC0

Ever been stuck in that post-check-out, pre-check-in void while travelling, or even just arrived earlier than scheduled and can’t book in for four hours? It sucks, especially when you just want to enjoy a holiday vibe! Here are a few ways to pass that time without feeling like you are waiting.

First, ask to stash your luggage so you are free to explore – you could even take this opportunity to find out if there is a different room already free and avoid waiting around altogether!

  1. Ask to use the hotel facilities – whether it is a lounge, lobby, or leisure area they’ll probably let you in before you check in.
  2. Head to a local spa – it will be relaxing, refreshing and will wash away the dreaded travel grime.
  3. Seek out a nearby gym – a burst of exercise will hopefully leave you feeling energised, plus you can get cleaned up with a well-deserved shower after.
  4. Go for a leisurely brunch – enjoying a bellyful of food while watching the local life pass by will soon get you in the holiday vibe.
  5. Take the opportunity to exchange currency – or do any other tedious tasks that need doing just to get them out of the way.
  6. Go to a local museum or gallery – not only will you fit in something that might not be on your itinerary, but you’ll also learn heaps about the local culture during your visit.
  7. Go for a walk – by exploring the local area you’ll find out what you’d like to see and experience more of during your stay. It is also a great way to scope out hidden gems that you’d otherwise miss with a set itinerary.
  8. Journal – whether you head to a nearby open space, a café or bar, finding somewhere to journal is a great idea for whiling away time.
  9. Revise your itinerary – this is the best time to take a look at your ideas because you can pick up local literature for lesser known attractions and excursions, and you can also ask the locals, and other holiday makers what they would (and would not) recommend.
  10. Ask for early check-in – if you know you are going to be early, ask in advance about an early check-in. In most cases hotels and hosts are able to accommodate given enough notice, but may charge for the service.

 

Arriving way before your check-in time is a pain, but not as bad as missing your flight or connection and missing out on holiday time! Make sure your travel insurance covers you for missed departures!