I went on my first holiday to the tropics recently. I was afraid of catching a disease, so I did a bit of research, and took some precautions. Here are some tips I found useful. 1. Get your shots.I spent a short time in areas relatively free of mosquito-borne disease. The key word is 'relatively'. A two week holiday in an urban area is probably alright. If you're staying for months, or in an area flagged as dangerous, get your shots well in advance. Don't leave it until the last minute, as by then it'll be too late! The drugs need some time to 'kick in', and your doctor may have to order them in advance.2. Get an insect repellent.I made one for mosquitoes by mixing citronella with olive oil. Citronella is an essential oil (an essence). I rubbed the mixture on all exposed areas morning and night, and after washing. Seemed to do the trick. I put too much oil in, I think, so it smelled a bit. Better that, than being bitten, I say!3. Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers.I also wore socks in bed. Give pests no purchase! Mosquitoes are just doing what comes naturally; they need your blood to live. It's just unfortunate that they can pass on parasites when they bite. Deny them a meal, and the only things you'll bring back from your holiday are a silly hat and some souvenir photos. To wear long sleeved garments in bed, you'll need a room with a fan and air conditioning. No need to set them to freezing; just cool, with a slight breeze.4. Air conditioning.Air conditioning and fans are supposed to deflect mosquitoes, which is good. Avoid 'going native', and thinking you're as hardy as the locals. They get malaria and dengue as well, be sure of that.5. Use mosquito nets.Do what you can to keep them at bay. Paranoia is good!6. Avoid ice and saladsIce can have faecal coliforms. It depends on what water it's been made from. Salads can be prepared by low-paid workers who've forgotten to wash their hands. In Muslim countries, they often don't use toilet paper, just a hose, so if the staff haven't been scrupulous about their personal hygiene ...You may feel self-conscious about refusing. Would you like your holiday to be spoiled by a spell in hospital, in a Third-world country, just for the sake of avoiding embarrassment? People like people who are forthright, so stick to your guns.7. Don't drink the water.A country can have a veneer of modernity, but what separates the men from the boys is the sewage system. The tap water may not be filtered properly. Drink bottled water, or water you've boiled yourself. Get a kettle, and boil it up every day, then put the water in your water bottle in the morning. Easy.8. Drink plenty of water.A few sips every so often, rather than a litre in one go. You'll save on trips to the lavatory! 9. Stay out of the sun.There's a reason the locals are laid back; it's too hot to run around like you do at home. Sun tanning is actually skin damage. Due to ozone layer depletion, you may be getting more than a golden tan. Who cares if you don't come back home bronzed? Ladies especially will appreciate this in later years, when their sisters have leathery skin from roasting on the beach. Nothing less 'cool' than a white man with sunstroke, either.When travelling in the tropics, it's best to be paranoid. I hope you can still enjoy your holiday!
From sustainable means of transport, to local breweries, from flea markets, to jazz club, this article has been useful to many backpackers heading to Berlin! First of all we start suggesting other very useful tools (magazine) you need to get once in town: the 030 or the Zitty, Tip, Prinz or the main English language paper, the ExBerliner. A funny way to cherish the urban life, as a citizen would do, is renting a bike. And dont worry, cycling in this City is a pleasure! For about 15 per day or 50 per week you can rent your bike at Berlin-by-bike in many Fahrradstation centres spreading all over Berlin. Visit the website of Fahrradstation or go to: Hackesche Hofe, Hof 7; Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Sat and Sun 10 am-4pm; ph +49 (030) 28384848; or in Auguststr. 29A (Mitte) from Mon-Fri 8 am-8pm; Sat and Sun 10 am-4pm; ph +49 (030) 2859 9661; or in Leipziger Str. 56, from Mon- Fri 8 am-8 pm; Sat and Sun from 10am to 4pm; ph:+39 (030) 666 49 180; or at Bergmanstr. 9, Kreuzberg from Mon- Fri 8am-8pm; Sat and Sun from 10 am-4pm; ph +49 (030) 21515 66). If you like the idea, you can count also on the silver CallBikes (+49/ 0700/ 05 22 55 22) available in different corners of the cities. Basically you can take the bike and leave it in every corner of the city simply using your mobile phone to connect to the central booking system! For as cheap as 0,06 per minute or 15 per day, all you need to do is call the company, give them credit card details and get a code to unlock the padlock. Better if you pre-register one week in advance. Then get cycling maps, information and assistance at Das Radlerzentrum (ADFC: Brunnenstrasse 28; ph: +49 (030) 448 4724; Mon- Fri 1200-8pm and Sat10am-4pm). With your bike now you can really reach every corner of West and East Berlin.In springtime a good place to be is the Tiergarten Park. Get a beer at Caf am Neuen See, a Bavarian beer house: its the ideal place to cool down with fresh beverages and small appetizers close to the pond. You can also indulge on boat trips, for a romantic afternoon. (Lichtensteinallee, 2; ph. +49 (0) 30 254 4930; all days 10am-1pm). To end the light meal with something sweet, get a special cake at the park Caf Buchwald, since 1852 an institution! (Bartningallee, 29; ph.+49 (0)30 391 5931; all days Mar-Oct 11am-11pm; Nov-Feb 11am-6.30pm)For vintage second hand shopping dont miss the Flohmarkt am Ankonaplatz where you can get anything from 60s and 70s. (Prenzlauer Berg: U-Bahn Bernauer Strasse; Sun 11am-6pm) or the Flohmarkt Schnenberg, right in front of the homonym Municipal hall (U- Bahn Rathaus Schnenberg; Sat-Sun 8am-4pm). If USSR still plays a role in your imagination, youd better go to the small, students-run market at Boxhagener Platz (Friedrichshain; U/S Bahn Warschauer Str.; Sun 9am-4pm). The evening is best spent in a Jazz club. Have a look at the berlinjazz where you can surely find a list of popular spots. Quasimodo is renowned among jazz lovers for sessions of jazz, blues, folk, funk, soul. You find it in Kantstrae, 12 in Charlottenburg. Or at Quasimodo. It is open daily from 9pm; live music from 10pm.If you want to combine dinner and music then you have to try Soultrane, the elegant side house of the A Trane: after dinner, first class jazz is being served. (Stilwerk, Kantstrae 17, Charlottenburg; ph: +40 (0) 30 315 18 60).
Despite rising travel costs, global circumnavigation continues to be a lifetime dream for many Americans. In fact, according to a 2004 National Geographic Traveler/Yahoo Travel poll, two out of three people voted a round-the-world (RTW) trip as the "ultimate travel experience." RTW travel includes stopping in at least three regions and traveling in one direction without backtracking. From college graduates looking for one last adventure before hitting the workforce to families and retired individuals looking to expand their horizons, RTW travel has broad appeal. All you need is some time off and a strong desire to meet new people, learn about other cultures and discover more about yourself. Whether you're currently planning a RTW voyage or are one of the many Americans dreaming of seeing the world some day, below are a few tips for making the journey hassle-free:• Hit the Web to design your dream route. With so many potential places to visit, deciding where to go can be challenging. Luckily, there is a wealth of resources available online to help. A good place to start is perpetualtravel.com, where you'll find a good "RTW 101" travel guide. For a more comprehensive search, check out BootsnAll.com, a leading online RTW resource for independent travelers, offering everything from practical advice and travel deals to inspiration for first-time travelers.• Travel against the clock and arrive at night to fight jet lag. When traveling around the world, you can go clockwise or counterclockwise. Word from the wise-head counterclockwise. Doing so helps alleviate jet lag by tacking on additional hours to the day, ensuring that you'll be better rested to enjoy your journey. Additionally, try to schedule flights that arrive after 8 p.m. local time. People tend to be exhausted when they get off a plane, so you'll be more likely to sleep. • Make sure your fare is fair. When gauging costs, keep in mind that an average 29,000-mile ticket in economy class should cost approximately $0.10 per mile. That means an average fare should run anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000.• Know what you're getting. Traveling via airline alliance partners is the most convenient way to book. However, with multiple carriers for each leg of the trip, you never really know what you're going to get. The good news is that as of October, Air New Zealand will be the only airline to offer RTW service exclusively on its own planes. Not only will the new service provide globe-trotters with RTW travel options at affordable prices, but also ensure they will enjoy consistent quality along the way.• When packing, less is more. Believe it or not, as a general rule of thumb, the longer the trip, the less you should pack. In fact, many travel guides suggest making a list of everything you need and cutting it in half. Bring the basics, including mix-and-match clothes you can layer, and plan on picking things up along the way as you need them. Packing only the necessities will also save room for souvenirs and purchases you accumulate on the journey.
StockholmThe capital city of Sweden is also the most enchanting. The attractive city offers waterways, parks, gardens, fairytale castles, churches and palaces. The maritime feel to the city also makes it a lively, energetic place to visit.Transport: how to get there and aroundBy air, you can travel to Arlanda airport. Stockholms airport is located about 30 miles from the city centre. By land you have the option of long distance bus or train. The main bus station is Cityterminalen, which is nearby the train station Centralstationen. If coming from Helsinki or Turku, the ferry is also an option.ClimateFrom May to July you can enjoy the Swedish summer which brings around nine hours of bright sun each day. The winter however dark and very chilly with frequent snow. The temperature in July and August averages 16 C and below freezing in the winter.Accommodation: Luxury to budget staysThe internet can offer some of the best information on the cost, range and location of hotels in Stockholm.Attractions & Events*From May to August there are theatre performances at Drottingholms Court for the Summer Music Festival.*For great food, drink and entertainment head to Kungstradgarden for the Taste of Stockholm event in early June.* The Jazz Festival is held mid July, in early August you can experience the lesbian and gay Stockholm Pride event. *Film lovers can watch 24 hours of films at the November International Film Festival.OsloOslo the capital of beautiful rugged Norway has plenty to keep the visitor interested. Fo one thing, the city boasts 50 museums and many art galleries. Highlights are the Viking Ship Museum, the Munch Museum and Holmenkollen. A new attraction is the Nobel Peace Centre.Transport: how to get there and aroundThe International airport in Gardermoen serves Europe and North America well.The train can link you as far as London, and the bus serves Russia, Germany and other Scandinavian countries. Ferries also run to Germany and the UK.Oslo city is compact enough to walk around, although you could spoil yourself with a ferry trip on the fjord. There is also a choice of buses, subway system and taxis. WeatherOslo weather is fairly tame in comparison to other Scandinavian locations. Temperatures are around 16 C upwards during the long days of the summer. However being coastal there is frequent rain. Winter is snowy and there isnt much daylight, so can be quite gloomy.Accommodation: Luxury to budget staysThe internet can offer some of the best information on the cost, range and location of hotels in Oslo.Attractions & Events*An important day in the Norwegian calendar is 17 May. Constitution Day is a traditional day is widely celebrated with dressing in folk costume.*Beach bonfires are lit on Midsummers Eve, another big celebration in Oslo.HelsinkiThe city with its waterways and parks feels the fresh air from the nearby sea. With influences of Russia and Sweden, the Finnish capital has a bustling market square enveloped by classic architecture and al fresco cafes make if a great place to hang out on long summer nights.Transport: how to get there and aroundVantaa International Airport, 12 miles away from the city serves flights from Russia and other European countries. The ferry connects Sweden, Estonia and Germany. The train also has international connections.Traveling around the city is made easy by a single ticket which serves all public transport including the tram, metro, ferry and bus. You can also conveniently rent a cycle from a coin machine and try one of the citys cycle trails. WeatherThe winter months can get as cold as -5 C in Helsinki, where as the summer averages 25 C. If you are looking for some sunshine, the best months to visit are June to September. Accommodation: Luxury to budget staysThe internet can offer some of the best information on the cost, range and location of hotels in Helsinki.Attractions & Events*If you like a tipple, the event where most drinkers overindulge is the May Day Festical, Vappu.*Kaivopuisto Park holds weekly concerts each Sunday throughout the summer.The Arts Festival at the end of August to September is a popular time for celebrations in the city.
Vacationing in exotic locations all over the world can be enjoyable, but the best way to guarantee that you get the most out of your vacation is to plan properly and to make sure that you bring everything you need and are prepared for a number of situations. Are you planning a vacation to Mexico? Here are five things that you need to keep in mind to guarantee that your vacation is enjoyable and safe.1. Choose a list of the destinations that interest you beforehand, so that you can plan accordingly. Once you have planned out your ideal destinations, you can map them out for the efficiency of your trip. If you do some planning beforehand, you will be better prepared to enjoy your vacation from beginning to end.2. Do your research beforehand. There's enough information on the internet that you can get any of the resources and answers that you need to plan a great vacation to Mexico. Plan ahead in order to decide how you will travel, where you will stay, how you will get around within the country, where you will eat, and what attractions you will visit during your vacation. Your vacation does not have to follow a strict regimen, but if you are prepared, you can worry less during your vacation when you should be enjoying yourself.3. Pack as early as you can. Before you take off on your vacation, you should plan what you are bringing with you. Unless there is laundry service, you should plan to have a set of clothing for each day that you will be on vacation. There are three main things that you need to plan for when packing: Clothing, valuable legal documents like your passport, and any medicines that you need. By packing ahead of time, you can make sure that you do not leave anything out at the last minute.4. Plan for emergencies. There is a good chance your cell phone isn't going to work in Mexico, and even if it does, can you imagine the roaming charges? One of the best ways that you can prepare yourself for emergencies, as well as keep in touch with your family and friends, is to pack a phone card. http://www.iTravelKit.com offers great deals on phone cards for travelers. The call charges in Mexico are expensive, and packing a good phone card will ensure that if you need to make a call, you can, no matter how much it costs to do so in Mexico, or any one of 100+ other countries supported by the card. Their card works on Telmax payphones, as well. You may not want to think about the possibility of emergencies occurring, but it is still vital that you travel prepared.5. Plan to bring back souvenirs. If you want to bring anything back from your vacation trip to Mexico, you need to make sure you've packed to accommodate any souvenirs that you may want to bring home. Do not pack your bags too full of stuff, but rather make sure that at least one piece of carry-on luggage has space for smaller souvenirs, and that there is some space in larger luggage to accommodate larger souvenir items.