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The Three-Day Amsterdam Guide

Some cities were made for the three-day weekend. Nothing beats being able to get a decent feel for a place in such a short space of time. This is the perfect way to leave yourself craving more without exhausting every avenue. And, it’s a cheap way to a vacation you’ll remember.

Of course, some places are better than most. London and Paris are pretty good bets, as is Amsterdam. And, it’s the latter of these we’re going to look at here. The capital of the Netherlands is a hotspot for tourists from across the world. Its bike-based culture and laid back lifestyle mean you’re sure to feel chilled out after the shortest stay here.

That’s where the three-day weekend comes into things. With proper planning and time management, it’s entirely possible to see all the hotspots of a destination in this short space of time. And, to help you do it, we’ve put together a little day-by-day travel guide to ensure you can get around. Keep this handy so that3 you don’t miss out on anything you want to see.

Friday

Friday is your first day, so this is the time you want to do the most strenuous activities. You’re fresh off the plane and ready to rumble, and this is the ideal time to get stuck into bicycles and museums. First stop should, of course, be bike hire. This city is famed for its biking culture, and a trip here wouldn’t be complete without participation. What’s more, this is an easy way to reach near enough anywhere in the city during your stay. So, it’s a step well worth taking. With your bike in hand, it’s time to hit those iconic museums. Amsterdam has a whole host of these babies to keep your brain ticking over during your stay. And, given that you’re freshest on Friday, it’s essential they come first. All the better for absorbing all those facts! Popular options include Anne Frank’s home and the Van Gogh museum. Hitting these on Friday should go some way towards helping you avoid the crowds. And these are by no means your only options. You should also look into the Nemo Science Museum and of course, the sex museum Venustempel. Booking ahead and limiting how long you spend in each should ensure that you can see at least a few on that first day. It’s hard to imagine a better way to start your trip!

Saturday

As is the case in any city, Saturdays can pretty busy in Amsterdam. Hence why this is the ideal time to escape the hustle and bustle. A fantastic option here would be to take your rental bike and make the most of the city’s many bike paths. This could take you right into rural Amsterdam, where you couldn’t be further from the hordes of people. Or, you may want to stick to hidden gems which attract less attention. Few people realise, for instance, that an original Picasso is hiding in Vondelpark. Other parks, such as De Hortus, are sure to feel like a breath of calm in an otherwise manic setting. You could also head to the hidden goat farm, Geitenboerderij Riddammerhoeve, to take time out with the animals. There are plenty of quieter areas like these dotted around the city. All you need to do is research ahead of time so that you can find them with ease during your stay. The further out of the center your explorations take you, the better chance you have of relaxing.

Sunday

Sunday is the day of rest, so what better time to stay in the center for coffee shops and good food? Let’s be honest; no stay in Amsterdam would be complete without at least a few visitations to the iconic coffee shops. These alone have people flocking from all over the world. And, whether you take part or not, they’re a fascinating sight to see. It may be that you just want to order a coffee and watch other people with the funky stuff, and that’s fine. But, this is still an excellent way to spend a Sunday. After all, a lot of effort has gone into these tourist-heavy attractions. Barney’s Coffeeshop, for instance, takes up the first floor of a 16th-century building. Green House United has a large aquarium in its floor. The Bulldog The First is even home to memorabilia about the coffee shop culture. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend your last day in such a unique destination.

How to do New York Without Draining Your Bank Account

New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world but, like many metropolises, it can get expensive and fast. The main problem is that there are so many amazing things that you want to do and so many opportunities to part with your cash.

But luckily, you don’t have to do New York the most expensive way to get the most from your trip.

Prioritize Your Itinerary

The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Broadway shows, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, the Met, the Rockefeller Centre, the New York Knicks, 5th Avenue… your New York bucket list could easily go on for several miles. But if you want to save money, it is definitely a good idea to look at how much everything costs before you go and then prioritize what is most important to you.

However tempting it might be to rush around New York trying to pack everything in, it’s a big city and you will only end up exhausted. Instead, you should look at a map and start putting pins in the activities you want to do and can afford to do. By pinning each location, you can start to figure out what you should do each day by doing the things that are the shortest distance from each other.

Find the Best Deals

Though New York can be expensive, there are some great deals available. Broadway is a real must-do activity but lots of the shows can set you back around $200 per seat! Finding discounted Broadway shows is a good place to start and you would be surprised at the number of great seats you can find at the last minute.

Because New York is so vast, getting a subway pass is a good way to save on your travels. Taking the subway around town is ideal for cramming more things into your itinerary, though you should also be on the lookout for the more scenic walks you can take such 5th Avenue and take any opportunity to walk through Central Park.

Do Free Activities!

While you could easily spend money on absolutely everything, there are still a lot of things you can do without spending any money at all. Just walking the streets and avenues is a great way to see the city and the wide variety of architecture here but if you want a purpose, then tracking down some Friends locations is a lot of fun for fans!

The Staten Island Ferry is another must-do activity in New York and happily, this one is free all the time. It’s a great way to get a bit of perspective on the sprawl of skyscrapers but also a good opportunity to take a few pics of Lady Liberty too. Of course, once you start looking, there are plenty of free things to do including visiting MOMA on a Friday night, wandering along the public beaches and visiting the 9/11 memorial site.

New York might be a thriving, thrilling city but it doesn’t have to be expensive if you know what you are doing.

Safe Journey: The Ultimate Guide To Avoiding Injuries On Your Travels

Travelling is an incredibly popular hobby. There are few things in life that are more exciting and rewarding than taking time out to see the world and spend quality time with the people you love. The trouble is that not all trips pan out as planned. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip, you’re off to sail the seas or you’re jetting off to far-flung lands, it’s wise to be aware of the potential dangers. Here is a guide to help you avoid injuries on your travels and ensure you have a memorable break for all the right reasons.

Road trip safety tips

Road trips are a fantastic way to explore without spending a fortune. There are several countries that lend themselves to road trips, including Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand, and Iceland. If you’re travelling by car, or you plan to hire an RV or a campervan, it’s worth bearing these tips in mind.

Preparing your vehicle

Nobody wants to spend weeks counting down the days until their vacation begins to find themselves stuck on the hard shoulder with the hood up waiting for assistance. It’s not always possible to avoid mechanical problems or unexpected hitches, like a puncture or a blowout, but it’s beneficial to try and minimize the risk by preparing your vehicle before you set off. If you’re hiring a car or an RV, it should be in excellent condition when you pick it up, but it’s a good idea to have a look at the tires and ask about the oil level before you leave. If you’re taking your own car or camper, check your tire pressure, top up your oil and water, and make sure you’ve got a warning triangle and high-visibility clothing in the trunk. If your car has been making unusual noises or you haven’t had it serviced in a while, it’s best to book it into the garage before you take a trip.

Checking your route

Spontaneity is great when you’re on vacation, but you don’t want to take any risks when it comes to navigating your way to your destination. Plan your route in advance, work out where you can stop to top up the gas and stretch your legs, and make sure you have a map with you, just in case you lose signal on your phone or your sat nav. If you’ve got a long journey ahead, mark off points where you can rest and enjoy a bite to eat and a drink.

Driving safely

The last thing you want when you’ve been looking forward to a road trip with family or friends is to be involved in a crash. Sadly, road accidents are common. In Canada, more than 115,000 people were injured on the roads in 2016, and in the US, there are around 30,000 fatal crashes every year. Some accidents are inevitable, but the vast majority are caused by careless or dangerous driving. If you’re out on the roads, stay focused and pay attention to speed restrictions. Take extra care when the roads are busy, or there are lots of trucks on the road. When you get out of the city, you tend to find that trucks and trailers are more commonplace. Keep your distance, reduce your speed on narrow lanes, and drive to the conditions. If it starts to rain, you’ll need to adjust your stopping distance. If you get hit by a truck, and you weren’t at fault, for example, the driver was speeding, contact a commercial truck accident attorney. Driving tired is a common cause of both car and truck accidents. If you find yourself struggling to stay awake, or you feel drowsy, don’t take risks. Pull over in a safe place, get some fresh air, have a coffee, and take a nap if you need to. You may not get to your destination as quickly, but it’s better to make sure you arrive in one piece.

If you’re driving abroad, make sure you understand the rules and restrictions, as laws vary. Go steady if you’ve just picked your hire car up. It may take you a while to get used to the roads, especially if you’re driving on the other side.

Flying tips

If you’re flying to a different city or country, there are lots of steps you can take to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries both before and during your flight. Start by ensuring you have plenty of time to get to the airport, go through security, and walk to the gate. If you’re rushing around, this is going to stress you out, but it will also increase the risk of accidents like slips and trips. Book a cab or airport parking in advance, and give yourself time to grab a drink, relax and get ready for your flight.

When you’re making your way to the airplane, make sure you stick to designated routes on the tarmac, and when you get onto the plane, take care when placing luggage in the overhead lockers. Get comfortable in your seat, fasten your belt, and pay attention to the safety demonstrations. It’s very rare to encounter any issues on a plane, but it’s useful to know what to do just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to adopt the brace position or use a lifejacket.

Once you’re up in the air, stretch your legs out, and try and move them on a regular basis. This will help to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Take a walk up the aisle every couple of hours and straighten and flex your toes while you’re in your seat. If you’re prone to stiffness, or you’re worried about DVT, you may wish to wear flight socks if you’re taking a long-haul flight. If you plan to try and sleep while you’re up in the air, it’s a good idea to pack headphones or earplugs, as other passengers may not have the same idea.

Coping with jet lag

One of the most common side-effects of air travel is jet lag. If you’re changing time zones, you may find that you struggle to stay awake during the day when you reach your destination. Jet lag can make life tough and take the shine off even the most exciting of adventures, so try and prepare in advance by adjusting your sleep routine. If you can try and modify your sleeping patterns to match the new time zone, this should make the transition easier. When you land, try and stay awake until bedtime in your new time zone. If you can’t manage, take a short nap, and make sure you set an alarm.

Staying safe at sea

If you’re off on a sailing holiday, you’ve booked a cruise, or you plan to take a boat trip during your vacation, it’s wise to take safety precautions into consideration.

Rules and regulations

If you’re staying on a cruise ship, or you’re planning to book a boat trip of any kind during your holiday, it’s vital to pay attention to safety briefings, and to ensure you understand the rules and regulations in place. Listen out for warnings or advisory notices, make sure you know where to find life jackets and take great care when walking around the deck or looking out over balconies to enjoy the view. Don’t attempt to climb on fencing, and stick to areas that are designed for public use. Don’t jump into the water unless you’re informed that it’s safe to do so. Slips and trips are very common when you’re surrounded by water, so be careful when walking on the deck, and ensure you have suitable footwear that offers grip.

Planning your own trip

If you plan to take a boat out while on vacation, ensure you use a reputable supplier, read reviews and testimonials before you book, and check the weather forecast. If there are warnings in place, it’s not worth taking any risks. Make sure you know your way around the controls and plan how you’re going to get to your chosen destination. If you like the idea of a boat trip, but you have limited experience when it comes to sailing or driving a speedboat, it may be best to join an organized tour, or to charter a boat with a crew.

General travel tips

Before you embark on any kind of journey, it’s wise to check that you’ve packed everything you need, for example, medication, and to check you have valid travel insurance. Plan in advance to save last-minute stress, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport or complete your drive, and try and relax. Fraud is a common problem for travellers, so be wary of potential risks, such as unsecured wifi networks. Protect phones and tablets with passcodes, and try and avoid posting details of your exact location on social media unless you have a private account. It’s a good idea to scan or photocopy your ID and travel insurance documents before you go and to leave details of your itinerary with your relatives. It’s also wise to ensure that you know the emergency number to use if you need help in a different country.

Are you preparing to take a break? If so, you’re probably hoping for a smooth ride and a hassle-free trip. Hopefully, this guide will come in handy, and you’ll have a fantastic time!

Making The Most Of Your Travels: Pre-Flight Preparations

Going on holiday is one of the things we all look forward to. Nothing can beat that counting down the days feeling, and the excitement we all get. But, sometimes the lead up can also be a bit of a mad rush at the end, as you frantically pack and are certain you have forgotten something. So can you avoid the chaos before you step foot on the plane? I wanted to share with you some of the pre-flight preparations you can indulge in.

Plan how you pack

One of the first things I suggest would be to plan your packing. You only get a certain amount of weight allowance when it comes to flights, and so you won’t always be able to take exactly what your want. A great tip would be to plan your outfits and the clothes you will wear along with the shoes and accessories. It will take a bit of time, but it will certainly help you to pack carefully and stick with any weight allowances and guidelines.

Get currency exchanged in advance

We all like to have a bit of cash for when we arrive, and while it can be convenient to draw money out of the bank whilst away, it is also a good idea to get some exchanged in advance. But, don’t leave it till the airport as that is when you will get the worst possible rate exchange. Instead shop around for currency exchange and see what deals you can get. You may be surprised to see how far your money will go by doing this in advance.

Research things to do on the internet

The next thing to think about would be to research things on the internet ahead of your travels. This might be trips you want to take, sights you want to see or just the things you want to do while you are away. Doing this research will help you to identify things like costs, whether tickets can be bought in advance and how you can get to the location. Making it much more stress free while you are away.

Come up with some sort of itinerary ahead of time

If you can, try and plan an itinerary in advance, especially if you plan on wanting to do things while you are way. You may not have a lot of time, so it could be important to plan meticulously to ensure you make the most of the time you do have on your trip away.

Book any excursions and transfers in advance

Finally, if possible, try and book any excursions in advance. This can sometimes give you a better deal as many people offer discounts for advance or online bookings. You might also want to ensure that you have transfers to and from the airport booked in advance as well.This avoids any hanging around at the airport, and will have you well on your way to enjoying your break away.

I hope that these tips help you make the most of your travels.

The Pros And Cons Of A Life Abroad

If you have ever wanted to live abroad, rather than only experience the joys of foreign climes through the occasional vacation, then the way is open for you to do so. We gave you some advice on our website, http://octoberrain.co/you-want-to-move-overseas/ so give our article a read. But know this! It isn’t all plain sailing (literally, if you are going by boat), and there are some pros and cons you need to consider. You see, while you may regret coming home after a vacation, living abroad isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (probably).

 

The Pros Of Living Abroad

The world is your oyster. There is much to explore beyond your own backyard, so the only question on your lips should be: Where do I go? You might purchase a property in Indonesia – examples here, https://rumahdijual.com/depok/ – one of the most spectacular countries in the world, with its wondrous beaches and vibrant culture. Or you might want to settle down in Paris, with its laid-back vibes and artistic temperaments. Or you may want to travel the world, living the life of a travelling vagabond, free to move around as you please. The choice is yours.

It’s an incredible teaching experience. No matter where you live, you will learn more about the world than you do at present. Taking time to explore the culture, you will increase your knowledge of your chosen destination’s heritage, religious sensibilities, and way of life, much of it being different to what you have become accustomed to at home. Visit the museums, take tours, talk to the locals, live the life, and become part of a place that will vastly expand your worldview.

You will grow as a person. You won’t only learn more about the place you are settling in, as you will also discover more about yourself in the process. No matter how prepared you are, you will face challenges that may seem scary or impossible, but will ultimately enable you to grow as you overcome them. From tasting new foods to learning new customs, you will be out of your comfort zone, but that can only be a good thing. How else do we grow if we don’t push ourselves into doing something that causes us to think and react beyond our usual limits?

The experiences are many. You will explore new regions, see new sights, and take part in activities that may not have been possible in your home country. You will meet new people, make new friends, and develop connections that could boost your life and career. You will eat new foods, experience fresh smells, and possibly live a different lifestyle to what you have become accustomed to. If ever you wanted to broaden your horizons, then moving abroad is the best way to do it, as it will change your life in so many ways. Having made the move, you may never want to return to your home, with the familiarity and stresses that are part and parcel of where you used to live.

The Cons Of Living Abroad

You may become homesick. While you may be glad to get away from your hometown, there are some things you will miss. Family and friends are a biggie, and if you are leaving them behind, you are going to go through a grieving process. Facetime and Skype are poor substitutes for an arm around the shoulder when you need support, or a laugh and a giggle on the sofa with your besties. You may also miss your old way of life. The foods you enjoyed at home may not be readily available in your new destination. You may not be able to access your favourite tv shows, although the advice here, https://www.popsci.com/watch-foreign-tv-at-home, may be useful. Being a stranger in a strange land, you will yearn for familiarity, especially at first, and while life will get easier, you do need to be prepared for a little sadness at the beginning.

You will experience culture shock. Becoming accustomed to a new culture is not easy. The food may not be what you are used to at home, the people may not speak the same language as you, and the lifestyle may be completely alien to anything you have previously been used to. You will adapt in time, but you need to be prepared for a cultural shock to the system. And while you may decide to bring your cultural sensibilities with you, know that you may wind up in trouble if you break the laws of the country you are in. Take a look at these laws, for example;

https://www.cosmopolitan.com//illegal-activity-behaviour-that-could-get-you-arrested, as you may end up in serious trouble with the police if you break them. Our advice: find out as much as you can about the country before you pack your bags, and once there, immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible to alleviate your culture shock.

You are the new kid on the block. Did you ever go to a school or college where you knew nobody else? Did you get lost trying to find the classroom? Did you make an embarrassing faux pas by putting your hand up at an inappropriate moment? Imagine those feelings but on a much grander scale. Unless you have moved abroad with family and friends, you are going to know nobody. You are going to get lost regularly. And if you are moving to any of the countries here, http://guyanachronicle.com/cultural-dos-and-taboos-manners, you may embarrass yourself by falling foul of the social graces found within the article. You will get used to the way of life eventually, and you will stop getting lost after a while. You will make friends, and you will escape the ‘new kid’ syndrome, but it will take a few months (at least) before you fully feel a part of the place you are living in.

And so…

After weighing up the pros and cons, what do you think? Is a life abroad for you? The experience could be fantastic, but you do need to be prepared for all of the expected downsides. Let us know what you think, and if you have already made the move, share your experiences, for good and bad, with us. Thanks for reading!

Flying Soon? Here’s The Secret To Enjoying It

When you think about flying, does it freak you out? Maybe not so much before you’re afraid of flying, but just because it can be such a drag! Because we all know that sometimes, it can be stressful to get yourself organized before you fly! But, if you know that you are flying soon, then you’re going to want to make sure that you can make it as enjoyable as possible. So here are some tips to help you.

  1. Be On Time

So first of all, it’s so important that you can get your timings right. If you know that you’re always rushing to the airport, backtrack a little bit. Think about what time you need to leave, then set your alarms, make sure that you’ve packed well in advance, and that you know that you can get ready early – especially if you are leaving early!

  1. Pack Snacks

And always have your snacks with you! Pack food and water, but also games, books, load podcasts to your device – just so you can enjoy the flight.

  1. In Flight Sleep

The lastly, you’re going to want to work on some in-flight sleep if you need it. Whether you’re flying at night, or you’re going to be on the plane for a long time, make sure that you do get the sleep that you need. This can help with jet lag, include the hacks in the infographic below that can help you to adjust your sleep and avoid too much exhaustion.


Infographic Design By Courtesy of Mattress Advisor