Must Have Travel Gadgets

  1. Universal (all-in-one) Plug Adapter:
    Carrying around so many chargers is hard enough but then carrying an adapter for each one is worse. International travel requires some extra care of your electronic gadgets. You have to make sure you have a matching adapter for each device so that it gets the correct voltage. There’s nothing worse than plugging your phone charger directly in a 220V switch and then seeing your device blow up. However, the good new is that one universal adapter will work with all different chargers!
  2. Noise-Cancelling Headphones:
    Whether it’s the baby in the next row crying his ears out or the couple in your neighboring hotel room having a yelling match, this gadget will save your ears (and sanity!) each time. Noise-cancelling headphones will block out the world around you so you can listen to some soothing music or just sweet silence! Trust me, when you’re stuck in a traffic jam in a third world country and your bus driver won’t stop honking, you’ll be grateful you had these! It’s also a great signal to say you’re not in the mood to socialize.
  3. Protection Case For Your Smartphone:
    Since you’ll be using your phone a lot for navigation, it’s best to get a protection case. It’s hard to keep your phone in your hand when you have so much luggage to carry. You’ll be dropping your phone a lot so better get a shock-proof case! These days, waterproof and dustproof cases are available as well.

Visit to Konya (Turkey)

The ancient city of Konya is the second most visited city of Turkey after Istanbul. Apart from its historic significance, Konya has become a pilgrimage city not only for Muslims but also for people of other religions who seek spiritual guidance from Rumi’s poetry and treat Rumi as their spiritual leader. Rumi spent most of his life in Konya and was buried there. In 1927, his monastery was converted into a museum named as Mevlana Meuseze or the Maulana Museum. Maulana is a religious title for respect. In the west Maulana is known as Rumi and the museum named after him as Rumi Museum.

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi was born in Balkh (now Afghanistan) in 1207 and came to Konya alongwith his parents when he was only 12 years old. Rumi became a great religious scholar of his time and started teaching Koran and Islamic Sharia to his students. After meeting with Shams Tabriz at the age of 37 his whole life changed. He became a whirling dervish and followed the footsteps of his Murshed Shams.

Shams Tabriz filled Rumi’s heart with Divine spiritual enlightenment and taught him the knowledge what he could not learn from the books. After that Rumi started writing poetry. He wrote 70,000 verses in a period of 25 years. Rumi’s poetry, written in the Persian language, has been translated in all the prominent languages of the world, and thus Rumi has become the best known, most respected and the most read poet of the world.

Rumi Museum is opened daily from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm and the admission is free. Before entering the Rumi’s shrine, everyone is required to wear thin plastic covers on shoes as respect for the holy place. In the main room there are many tombs of Rumi’s family and followers. Rumi’s tomb is covered with a large thick cloth embroidered in gold with a big green turban placed on it. Besides his tomb there is the tomb of Rumi’s father, Maulana Bahauddin Valed.

In the next room, placed in the glass cases are the hand written books of Rumi’s poetry written in Persian language, hand written Holy Quran in various periods, clothing belonging to Rumi and his son Sultan Veled, caps belonging to Rumi and his Murshed Shams Tebriz, etc. The next is the prayer room for men and women. The main shrine was built by Seljuk emperors while the rooms in front of the main shrine were added in the times of Ottoman Sultans and became a part of the Rumi Museum.

Rumi left this world on 17 December 1273. This day is remembered every year as his leaving this world and “wedding with God”. Every year, on 17 December, pilgrims from all over the world come to Konya to pay their respects to the 13th century great poet and Sufi saint. They participate in religious ceremonies and witness the whirling dervishes performing live in front of the pilgrims.

Finding Where to Stay in Fredericksburg

The city of Fredericksburg was established in 1846, so it has a very long history into the early days of the Lone Star State. What’s more, this city, which boasts a population of about 11,000 people, has gained popularity over the years for all it has to offer to visitors looking for a unique, yet thoroughly Texan, experience.

It’s important to know that Fredericksburg, TX is seen as a gem in the central area of Texas known as the Hill Country. As time has passed, the city has remained small, but it certainly packs a punch in terms of what it offers to visitors, and herein lies the issue with deciding where to put your boots up, so to speak, when in town.

Here are secrets to choosing the best place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg:

  • Plan Your Travel – This seems relatively easy as most people plan their travel, but specifically, understand on what roadways you’ll be traveling. If you happen to be on I-10, you’re a little south of Fredericksburg. While not too far, if you’re not keen on straying from I-10, you might want to look elsewhere. If you happen to be traveling Highway 290, however, it goes right through town, which presents more options. Also, if you plan on using Fredericksburg as your home base when taking day trips to either Austin or San Antonio, know that you’re fairly equidistant from both, which means you’ll likely save money by staying outside of the big cities.
  • Define Your Lodging Needs – Whether it’s one night, a weekend, or an entire week, staying in historic Fredericksburg provides many lodging options in the way of inns & suites, hotels, and B&Bs. Each has its own set of amenities and offerings for visitors, so it pays to know what you want out of your lodging.
  • Pets – More and more people are starting to travel with their pets rather than leave them with a neighbor or board them. It may be nice to travel with your furry buddy, but the options for finding a place to stay that is pet-friendly are greatly reduced. You may also be one of the many people who travel with a service animal. Though it’s easy to get online & check policies, a quick online search of Fredericksburg pet-friendly lodging gives you very inconsistent results. Calling ahead is your best bet.
  • Wineries – Fredericksburg is known across the country & abroad for its amazing wine. If you’re traveling to the area to check out any number of the fifteen wineries associated with Wine Road 290, you may want to consider how you plan on moving back & forth. Since you’ll be interacting with alcohol, these wineries take care to maintain safe environments. There are a few wineries that have attached lodging available, but you’ll have to call ahead of time to find out about availability (if applicable).
  • Know Your Map – Regular travelers know that when trying to secure a deal on a room, businesses offering a place to stay will advertise about their proximity to various landmarks & places of interest. Fredericksburg is no different. For example, a hotel may indicate that they are right off Main Street, which cuts right through the city. That sounds more appealing than staying off of U.S. Highway 290 until you realize that it’s the same road.

Fun With the Seals at Duiker Island

Sightseeing charter boats typically collect passengers from the small fishing village of Hout Bay Harbor and brings them to the famous island. But before you set sail to meet the seals from Hout Bay, take the time to admire the scenic harbor views that includes the Sentinel – the appropriately named steep side cliff that acts like a gatekeeper to the bay. Although it is called an island, Duiker is more accurately described as a small cluster of rocks that barely rises from the sea water. This spot has been the home of an unbelievable number of Cape fur seals. Thus, it is not a surprise that Duiker is usually referred to as the Seal Island.

Once you reach the shores of the island, you will be greeted by the sight of over 10,000 seals. But it is important to remember that the boat ride is not as smooth as cruising into the calm lake. The waters around the area frequently generate choppy waves. If you can overcome sea sickness, then it promises to be an adventure that’s hard to forget. Animal Ocean and Drumbeat Charters are just some of the established companies that offer guided boat tours to Duiker Island.

Some companies will have open boats, which accommodate around 60 passengers, while others have the bigger flagship vessels that hold around 120 passengers. It only takes about 20 minutes to reach the island from Hour Bay Harbor but the cruises can take more than an hour. Longer cruises usually choose to go back to Hout Bay Harbor via the Kabonkelberg mountain range or the Chapman’s Peak, which is home to a collection of fascinating caves and cliffs.

Once you get to Duiker Island, you don’t have to admire the thousands of seals just from distance, although it is an incredible sight and worth taking several photos. A number of tours also give passengers the opportunity to snorkel and swim with the seals. If you are a qualified diver in open waters, you can also arrange to dive and discover Duiker’s rich underwater world! Make sure to check if your guide can provide you with all the necessary gear. The Atlantic waters can be cold, so request thick neoprene wetsuits to keep your body warm. Some outfitters also rent GoPro cameras so you can take videos and pictures of your time with the playful seals in their own wild habitat.

The Breeding period for Cape Fur seals takes place around November/December but Duiker Island is not a breeding colony because of the rough waters. Trips to Duiker Island are usually scheduled from September to April as this is the time for the most favorable weather conditions. Nevertheless, take note that trips can be delayed, postponed or cancelled depending on daily weather conditions. But on a nice sunny day, you are guaranteed to enjoy your trip to the marvelous Seal Island!

Nairobi

In this period of time, Nairobi was a center for the trading of coffee, tea, and some other herbs. With time passing by, many new establishments were founded in the city and it flourished to reach this stage travellers who spend their vacations in Kenya view and admire today.

Nairobi is one of the biggest and most important cities in the continent. Many flights that travel towards various destinations in Africa often take a transit in the city. With a population that is now around 4 million inhabitants and a surface area of around 700 square kilometers, Nairobi welcomes hundreds of travelers who enjoy their vacations in Kenya.

Despite the fact that Nairobi is quite a significant hub, most tourists who travel to Kenya visit Nairobi as a starting point to move towards other destinations in the country including national parks and safari trips. However, there are a number of attractions in Nairobi that some travelers might be interested to explore.

One of the most remarkable attractions of Nairobi is surely the Nairobi National Park. Established in 1946 by British colonists, the park is one of the largest and oldest national parks in the whole world. Situated near the center of the city, many tourists who travel to Kenya pay the park a visit for a half-a-day or a full-day trip during their stay in Nairobi.

The Nairobi National Park is featured for hosting a large number of wild animals in their natural habitat. The wide collection of animals includes lions, unicorns, tigers, many reptiles, and a huge number of trees and rare plants. With a surface area of more than 2200 square meters, Nairobi National Park is a must visit for travelers who spend their vacations in Kenya and visit Nairobi.

If tourists who visit Kenya only have a few hours to enjoy the natural beauty of the capital, the best advice is to visit the Uhura National Park. Situated near the commercial hub of the city, the park would be an amazing place for picnics and hanging out. Featured with its greenery and natural sceneries, tourists have fun for a couple of hours before they go on with their tour in Kenya.

There is also the Nairobi National Museum that is the largest in the country. The museum illustrates the history of Kenya through several displays including handcrafts, fossils of extinct animals, some portraits, and many other exhibits. The museum would be an interesting visit to any history fans who spend their vacations in Kenya.

Another remarkable museum located only 10 kilometers away from Nairobi is that of Karen Blixen, the famous Danish writer that lived in Kenya for a long period of her life. She lived in this house since it was first constructed in 1921, during her stay and experience in Africa, and until she went back to her homeland in Denmark in 1931. Today, the museum welcomes many travellers who enjoy their holidays in Kenya. The museum displays the belongings of Karen Blixen, her furniture, and some of the tools she used.

Ways to Boost Safety at Hotels

Never leave for the day in sight of others

This can be tricky to coordinate and even feel a little awkward, but it’s never a good idea to be seen by others walking out of your room with a fresh coat of zing sunscreen on the nose and a bag of supplies for a day trip to the beach. The signal you’re sending to everyone whether potential thieves or innocent fellow tourists is “I’m heading out and won’t be in my room for at least the next few hours.” If you step out of your room to head out for the day and see others standing around observing you, even in a casual manner, go back inside your room and wait for the coast to clear. If it makes it easier, pretend you forgot something.

Keep the TV and lights on at all times

Granted this isn’t very “energy efficient” and the hotel probably dislikes it because it runs up their operating costs, but it’s arguably the best security measure you have apart from your door’s actual lock when it comes to keeping your room safe while you’re away. Most hotel rooms these days require a room key be inserted into an activation device for the room’s electricity, so you’ll need to leave a key behind. Fortunately, hotels are usually willing to give you at least two keys for your room. Leave one in the room keeping the electricity on and turn the TV volume up so that it’s at least capable of being heard lightly from outside your door if someone were to check.

Don’t answer unexpected knocks, even from staff

No respectable hotel randomly send staff members to your room without you requesting it. Apart from the morning room cleaning service, there’s no reason why a good hotel would needlessly bother you without forewarning. Even if there appears to be a legitimate staff member on the other side of the door when looking through the peephole, it’s a good idea to let the knock go unanswered. Call the front desk and ask if they sent a staff member to your room for some reason. If not, you know there might be something amiss and can ask for security.

Request a higher floor when possible

Some people don’t like to be on the upper floors of a hotel, but there’s a few reasons why the upper half should be your preference. For starters, the view is usually better and it tends to be quieter. But for purposes of security, they’re also just a little safer from thieves. Every hotel has a staircase and some are less secure than keycard-activated elevators. So, thieves will sometimes use the staircase either to avoid being noticed or simply to get around the keycard issue and are more likely to stick to casing the lower floors. Even thieves don’t like climbing stairs…

Don’t let hotel staff in on your plans

Your hotel concierge can be a great resource when it comes to planning what to do in a new city. But they’re also in a position of great power with the knowledge of where guests will be and when. It’s not unheard of for disgruntled or less ethical staff members to accept money from thieves in exchange for information about certain guests’ daily plans. If you need to use the hotel concierge, don’t get too specific about when and where you’ll be going and try to keep your interaction limited to simple information gathering. Wait until you’re back in your private room to make decisions about where to go and when.

Story in Milan

For me is seeing or being approach by beggars,

Although I love traveling alone, mostly for my last minute changes, today I felt a little vulnerable being alone and the target, in the Central Milán train station, this lady was probably 55 or 60 perhaps not Italian, I was seating in front of Juice Bar restaurant eating a delicious and warm sandwich, after 2 bites, this lady approached begging for a piece of bread, to me and to the other group of people eating right beside me. she would not move and kept asking for a piece of bread, she kept saying “a piece of bread please, please ” needless to say I couldn’t swallow any more bites, Also due to the fact that her finger pointing my sandwich was about 1 cm away from it, I decided to offer her the bread, so I lifted my 4″ long sandwich and offered to her, she looked at it, and to my surprise she doesn’t accept it and say:: is that fish?

I go no, just take it, is not fish.

She put her fingers on it and would not take the bloody sandwich!!

The girl next tAble starts to talk to her, in despite all her friends told her not to,

So this kind lady tells her, there is no fish sandwich, beggar insisted, yes yes fish sandwich. Kind lady grab her purse, stand up and say “I will buy you the sandwich” and then the moment of truth, the beggar said, no no I’ll buy it, give one euro please please!

By then I have already left the sandwich. Grab my bags and Star walking away.

I felt deceived, angry, aggravated and what is worse hungry!

How can we read through the people that reach out for help?

How do we know if they are really hungry?

Aren’t we supposed to help the needy?

My journey at the station did not finished there, but I manage to continue my train journey back to my next hotel.

I totally believe that we must work to earn every euro/dollar, I gladly help someone selling flowers or water because at least they are making the effort instead of just extending a hand. And the truth is that I swear every dime I earn.

I know this is not a singular story perhaps happens to you all the time, but I can’t stop wondering How should I react next time?

Situations like this are the reason most people just ignored them?

What would you do?

Expedia Hotel Deals Guide

It’s one of the largest and most respected discount travel sites, and has been for several years. The search engine allows you to comb through hundreds of thousands of properties, nearly 500 airlines, and several car rental agencies to find affordable rates. You can also keep up with the latest deals on vacation packages and cruises.

Here are a few tips for saving as much money as possible:

  • One way you can get Expedia hotel deals is to sign up for the mobile app. You can receive notifications through the app about deals that aren’t advertised on the website. It’s also very convenient and keeps your itineraries stored even when you don’t have Wi-Fi.
  • Consider booking a package deal. If you’re going to need airfare anyway, you might as well combine the cost of the hotel and flight together in one package. For additional savings, book the car rental too. Expedia’s search engine allow for all three to be searched at the same time. This strategy may lead to you accessing deep savings to help bring down the overall cost of your trip.
  • Use coupons. If you’re an internet coupon “clipper”, then you’ll be glad to know that there are Expedia coupons you can use for enticing savings. Just read the terms and conditions to make sure you can use a particular coupon for your hotel booking.
  • Keep an eye on the “Deals” section. The company is constantly updating this part of the site. It has a variety of categories, including last-minute deals and cheapest hotel prices. There are deals popping up all the time for hotels in popular tourist hotspots, both domestic and international.
  • If you’re a regular traveler and plan on booking a lot of hotels in the future, it might be worth it to join Expedia+. This membership program offers exclusive discounts that regular users don’t get access to as well as points and hotel VIP benefits.

Whether you become a Plus member or not, you’ll still find some Expedia hotel deals and affordable airfare.

An American Heritage

If supporting local businesses and preserving local heritage is important to you, staying at a historical hotel may be the perfect choice for you. Though they may not have a 65-inch flat screen in every room, historical hotels can take you on an exciting cultural and architectural journey through time. They may even teach you a thing or two about the history of the area that you’re visiting. Amenities are usually tastefully updated so that you can enjoy total comfort while still preserving the classic American experience.

Many historic hotels are accompanied by exhibits that outline the history of the hotel and the role it played in the local community or nation as a whole. Historical hotels are usually on the National Register of Historic Places and have their own unique place in history. Inquisitive minds can find themselves learning about local and national events while studying their surroundings. It can also help you plan day trips to local points of interest or historical sites. Furthermore, the staff can often shed additional light on the history of the building itself and the surrounding area in general. Many of these hotels are former private homes, transferred to family ownership or trusts. As a result, the staff plays a dual role of curator and caretaker. You won’t find that at the chain hotel off the interstate.

Many of these historic hotels were the pinnacle of luxury during their heyday, and they preserve that tradition through excellent service. They are characterized by fine dining, knowledgeable staff members, and rooms decorated by top-notch designers. Built for luxury in another time, they retain the refinements that made them so relaxing. Quiet conversation, newspapers, rocking chairs, roaring fireplaces, and wrap-around porches encourage everyone to slow their pace.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai

The staff quickly escorted us to our suite on the 20th floor, which had a perfect view of the 7 star luxury hotel Burj-al-Arab and the ocean. One of the elevators moved slowly, but it had the view of the ocean, so it was worth the slow move up and down. Every room has beautiful views of the Marina and The Burj Al-Arab Hotel. Lying on your bed looking out at the changing colors of the Burj Dubai Hotel at night is an experience in itself.

The room service, reception and concierge were excellent and were very helpful. Guess the staff must be undergoing a rigorous and continuous training program in delightful customer service. We believe this is what separates the good, from the bad and ugly, and creates a lasting impression of excellence.

The private beach was lovely with plenty of sun beds. The cabanas cost a 1000 Dirhams to use, so we avoided them. The warm water on the golden sandy beach, with a great view to the Burj is worth the money you spend to come all the way here from England. They have well-trained butlers to help you with the beach chairs and towels. They also provide you with lollies, cold towels and juices (if that’s in your package or, charged otherwise). The views from the beach, out in front of the Jumeirah Beach hotel in Dubai, early in the morning, probably near sunrise time overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Burj Al Arab are also simply astounding.

The facilities were phenomenal from the many swimming pools to the outstanding service to the food. And to top it all, they sent us a cake, flower bouquets and chocolates on the night of our choice, to celebrate our honeymoon in style.

We booked our stay with half-board, wherein we had a fantastic spread at breakfast and lunch (or dinner). We usually went out into the city for dinner because Dubai is so beautiful at night. The lights on Sheikh Zayed Road, on the various buildings, are another great sight to see and believe. The hotel has a free shuttle to the Mall of Emirates, where you can catch the Metro to The Palm or the Dubai Mall.

We had booked under the “Club Executive” class, where one gets access to some exclusive amenities like your own lounge for booking-in which serves free drinks from 5pm – 7pm, your own pool table & terrace on the ground floor where they serve you drinks, afternoon tea, happy hour and also have your own swimming pool.