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Blue Zones: The Healthiest Places on Earth and What You Can Learn from Them3 min read

People live longer in Blue Zones like Okinawa, Japan

Ever wondered what it takes to live longer? Certain populations around the world dedicate their lifestyles to doing just that. Known as “Blue Zones,” these communities have some of the healthiest people who live the longest. They focus on values that reinforce healthy behaviors, like taking time to de-stress and spending time with their families. These Blue Zones are found in Japan, Italy, Costa Rica, Greece and even the United States.

Here’s what you can learn from the Blue Zones around the world.

Okinawa, Japan

The islands of Okinawa are a tropical getaway with beautiful beaches and great weather. As if living in a place like Okinawa isn’t enough, the islands also have a highest ratio of centenarians, or people who are 100+ years old. The secret to their long lives? A low-fat, low-salt diet that includes lots of vegetables, legumes, and seaweed. Okinawans also form regular moais, community social gatherings where they offer each other financial and emotional support to help combat everyday stress.

Sardinia, Italy

On this island in middle of the Mediterranean Sea, the ratio of centenarian men and women is one to one. This is unique compared to the rest of the world, where five times as women live to 100. The Sardinians credit their longevity to clean air and locally-produced wine. However, a key factor for Sardinia being a Blue Zone is their ancient tradition of shepherding livestock from mountains to the plains. These shepherds consume roughly 15 pounds of goat’s milk and sheep’s cheese a year. Sardinians balance out these heavy dairy products with moderate carbs and plenty of fennel, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, almonds.

Nicoya, Costa Rica

For Blue Zoners in Nicoya, the secret to a long-life life is their diet, which focuses on what is known as the “three sisters” of Mesoamerican agriculture—beans, corn, and squash. Eating these three staples along with papayas, yams, bananas and peach palms are just some of the ways the peninsula produces long living citizens. While this diet may not sound the most enticing, adding in some of these foods to your diet couldn’t hurt for a healthier—and maybe longer—life!

Ikaria, Greece

The key to a long, healthy life on the small island of Ikaria is preparing the right foods in the right way. This may not sound like much, but the people of this island stick closely to a Mediterranean diet, which promotes brain and physical health while keeping diseases at bay. People of Ikaria also eat potatoes, goat’s milk, beans, lentils, honey, wild greens, and small amounts of fish.

Loma Linda, California

Loma Linda is home to a number of Seventh Day Adventists who take some of their lifestyle choices from the Bible. They take time to focus on their faith and avoid activities like smoking, drinking, and watching TV. They also follow a “biblical diet” that focuses on eating nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables and drinking only water. Some people also eat small amounts of meats and fish. When it comes to sugar, the community relies on only natural sources like fruits for their diet. Top choice foods in the community are avocados, oatmeal, nuts, beans, soy milk and whole wheat bread.

Each Blue Zone has something unique to offer. Whether you are looking to change up your current lifestyle and make healthier strides or if you want to live a longer life, taking tips from the cultures of Blue Zones is can be a great starting point.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - October 4, 2017 at 20:19

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Four Places to See Before They Disappear from Earth Forever

Gecko

The world is filled with spectacular sights just waiting for you to discover them. But don’t delay too long before taking that trip, since some of the most impressive natural wonders are in danger of disappearing forever. Global warming, deforestation and the ever-expanding human population are changing the face of the earth. Coastlines are slowly eroding, rainforests are shrinking, and the underwater world is dying off. If you’re a healthy traveler with a passion for the environment, add these destinations to your must-see list.

The Great Barrier Reef

Last year, Outside Magazine posted an obituary for The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, lamenting the death of this natural wonder after more than 25 million years. And in fact, the reef does seem to be on life support after suffering at the hands of global warming and ocean acidification that has killed off almost half of the corals that make up the reef. Sadly, over 60 percent of the coral deaths have happened in the last 20 years. However, there is still hope for the reef and the Australian and Queensland governments have dedicated $ 2 billion toward the recovery effort. If you visit, choose tour operators who are eco-certified. They’ll help you enjoy the reef responsibly.
Great Barrier Reef

The Maldives

The Maldives in the Indian Ocean are known for their pristine beaches and spectacularly colorful coral reefs. The reefs themselves are suffering from many of the same problems plaguing The Great Barrier Reef. However, the bigger problem is that most of the country’s 200 inhabited islands may soon be underwater due to rising sea levels caused by global warming. It’s gotten so bad that the president of The Maldives has announced plans to buy land in neighboring India, Sri Lanka, and Australia where residents can live if their homes become uninhabitable. Visiting The Maldives helps, since your tourist dollars go into a fund to purchase this new land.

The Maldives

Madagascar Rain Forest

Ring-tailed lemurs, flying foxes, geckos and tomato frogs – the Madagascar rain forest off the coast of Africa are flying, crawling and swimming with species found nowhere else on the planet. In fact, 75 percent of the animals found here are unique to Madagascar. Unfortunately, they are quickly disappearing, many before they’re even discovered. These rainforests have dwindled from 120,000 square miles to about 20,000 square miles due to deforestation, wood burning and logging.

Madagascar Rainforest

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is where the Mojave and Colorado desert ecosystems meet. It’s filled with coyotes and jackrabbits, pitch-black night skies perfect for stargazing, and of course the eponymous Joshua tree. This unique tree thrives here – and only here – or at least it used to. The recent California drought, which is finally easing, and decades of higher-than-normal average temperatures have taken their toll on the Joshua tree. Ecologists predict that the area where they are able to grow will be reduced by 90 percent in the coming century. Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is a great way to learn about the area and conservation effort. If you go, follow the Leave No Trace principles to reduce the impact of your visit.

Joshua Tree National Park

If you’re looking to explore a destination that may not be around forever, book your trip now. It may inspire you to join the fight to save these natural resources.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - February 7, 2017 at 21:20

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Your Second Honeymoon: The Best Places to Get Away from It All

Stand Up Paddle

A second honeymoon is the perfect way to rekindle your romance. Whether you’re celebrating a big anniversary, a promotion at work or your last child just left for college, it’s a milestone in your marriage and a way to strengthen your bond with your spouse. If you’re looking for a vacation idea as unique as your relationship, consider the following international destinations and activities. They’ll get you off the beaten path and beyond the typical resort-vacation experience.

Skip the All-Inclusive: Plan Your Own Trip in Bermuda
Bermuda cottageMexico and the Caribbean islands are rife with opportunities for all-inclusive vacations. Although it’s convenient to have everything taken care of, you’ll have the same experience as every other tourist sitting on the deck chair next to you at the overcrowded resort pool.

For a different experience, try Bermuda. Many residents with large estates all over the island advertise their guest houses for rent on websites such as VRBO. These well-appointed cottages are perfect for a romantic, secluded vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts. Many have beach access, cable TV, and kitchens or grills for cooking meals. Or if you’d rather let someone else do the cooking during your trip, you’re just a short moped ride away from a delicious meal at local restaurants and hotels.

Get Active: Hike, Paddle and Dive in Bali
Bali SnorkelingLazing around on the beach for a week or two is an ideal trip for some people. But if you’re more of a get-up-and-go couple, the thought of basking motionless in the sun for days on end may not be for you.

Instead, head to the Indonesian island of Bali for limitless opportunities to indulge your active side. Bali is dotted with black sand beaches and surrounded by coral reefs, making it a hotspot for scuba divers and snorkelers. It’s also one of the best year-round destinations for paddle boarders, with spots suitable for beginners and experts alike. When you’re tired of the ocean, hike or climb the mountains throughout Bali – including the nearly 10,000-foot-high active volcano known as Mount Agung.

Indulge Your Passions: Take a Cooking Tour of the Amalfi Coast
Amalfi CoastRomance comes in many forms, and one thing guaranteed to keep your romance strong is sharing a common interest with your spouse. A second honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to take a deeper dive into a current hobby or develop a new skill with your partner. A cooking tour of the Amalfi Coast in Italy is a sensory experience you won’t soon forget.

The Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy is known for its temperate Mediterranean climate and coastal mountains that plunge into the sea, as well as for its world-class hotel and restaurant scene. Your cooking tour options are varied, from week-long classes with Michelin-starred chefs to more homegrown experiences with local cooks. The Amalfi Coast is also known for lemon production and limoncello, a popular liqueur native to the region.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - January 17, 2017 at 21:18

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Traveling to Cuba: Tips and Advice from Recent Visitors

havana

For the first time in decades, U.S. citizens can now travel to Cuba for vacation and tourism. However, given the country’s long history of embargo with its southern neighbor, it’s not as easy as booking a ticket and hopping on the next flight to Havana. There are still certain restrictions and bureaucratic hoops that you’ll have to navigate before you get there. And, once you’re standing on Cuban soil among some of the first waves of American tourists to see the island in over 50 years, you’ll encounter a whole new world of experiences unlike anything in the United States.

So, what is it like there? We spoke with expert travelers to get their insights and advice from their recent trips to Cuba. If you’re planning a trip in the next few months – especially if you’re a U.S. citizen – review these tips before packing your bags.

Now Is the Perfect Time to Go

U.S. relations with Cuba are good now, but evolving. The trade and tourism embargo that started in the 1960s was relaxed by President Obama’s executive order this year. However, with the death of Fidel Castro, the current regime is in flux. Additionally, recent statements from president-elect Donald Trump imply that he may reverse that historic reconciliation with Cuba if the Cuban government doesn’t meet certain demands related to human rights and political freedoms.

In short, if you want to go, now is the perfect time to make the trip. It may be one of your best chances to see Cuba in the near future without the fear that your vacation plan will be ruined by international political strife.

You’ll Need a Visa to Enter the Country

In order to travel to Cuba as a U.S. citizen, you’ll not only need your passport but a visa as well. One of the easiest ways to get a visa is to book your trip through a tour company that will help you plan your itinerary from start to finish, including helping you sort out the necessary paperwork.

“It was actually quite easy to get a visa since our tour company handled all of the logistics,” said Jared Alster of Stride Travel. “It’s probably the best way to go, too, since the tourism infrastructure is still developing.”cuba-hotel

If you do decide to book your travel on your own, you’ll need to prove that you’re traveling under one of the 12 categories approved by the U.S. government in order to procure a visa. Pure tourism, like sitting on a beach for a week, is still technically prohibited. Any one of the following reasons for visiting will get you the visa approval you need:

  • Family visits
  • Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organization
  • Journalistic activity
  • Professional research and professional meetings
  • Educational activities
  • Religious activities
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  • Support for the Cuban people
  • Humanitarian projects
  • Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  • Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  • Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines

Our experts found that the hurdle for getting a Cuban visa was actually pretty easy to clear. Most people find it “easiest” to travel under the family visit, journalistic activity, or education activity categories. You’ll need a copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least six months after your departure date from Cuba. Typical visas for leisure and recreational purposes will be valid for up to 30 days.

“If you book directly, your airline will provide a link to the website where you can order a visa online,” said Cheryl MacDonald of What Boundaries Travel Media. “It was no trouble at all and cost us about $ 75.”  You can also buy your Cuban visa in person at the airline ticket counter.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Health Insurance

In addition to your passport and visa, medical insurance is required when traveling to Cuba, and you may be asked to show proof of it when entering the country. This rule applies to anyone visiting from overseas as well as Cuban citizens living abroad.

There’s a reason for the requirement. The Cuban government wants to ensure that anyone on holiday have adequate travel medical coverage prior to arriving on the island. The Cuban authorities will not allow anyone with outstanding medical bills to leave the country. Your travel medical insurance must include coverage for medical evacuation by air, medical emergencies and repatriation.

Tobacco workers roll cigars at the Partagas Cigar Factory in Havana, Friday, April 13, 2007. The factory, in the heart of Havana, was built in 1845 by a Spaniard named Jaime Partagas and produces one of Cuba's leading cigar brands. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

If you arrive in Cuba without travel health insurance, or with an invalid travel medical plan, will be able to buy a policy from a Cuban insurance company at the airport, port, or marina where they enter the country. However, as you might imagine, it’s better to have all of your requirements covered before leaving for your trip.

If you do get sick while in Cuba, rest assured that the country has an excellent healthcare system. Healthcare is considered a basic human right according to the Cuban constitution, so the government has invested a significant amount of time and money in medical education. And while the country is poor and spends only $ 813 per person annually on medical care (compared to the $ 9,403 the United States spends), life expectancies in Cuba are the same as they are in the United States.

Cuba has more doctors per capita than the United States, so travelers will be in good care should something go wrong. But of course, bring any medications with you that you regularly take.

However, because of the embargo with the United States, the medical infrastructure is not the same as it is in the United States. Modern equipment such as MRIs and CT scans are not available in every hospital, which is why travel health insurance is so important. If you have a serious problem while in Cuba, your best option is to return home as soon as possible, even if that means cutting your trip short or – in a worst case scenario – being evacuated.

Bring Cash Since Credit Cards Are Unreliable
Cash is king in Cuba. While there have been some inroads made by Visa, Mastercard and smaller U.S.-based banks, using a credit card in Cuba is not a viable option – especially for U.S travelers. You also should not count on being able to withdraw cash from an ATM using a debit card.

In general, only major hotels accept credit cards, so even if you have a non-U.S. based credit card there aren’t many places to use them. Most local stores and shops don’t accept credit cards, and even if they do, the connectivity needed to communicate with your banking institution is unreliable.

There are two types of Cuban cash: Cuban Convertible Currency (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP). As a tourist, you’ll be using the CUC.  While the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Cuban Convertible Currency is currently 1:1, do not make the exchange while in Cuba. There is a 10% tax levied on the exchange. The better approach is to exchange U.S. dollars for euros while in the United States, and then exchange the euros for CUC once you reach Cuba.

Some of our veteran Cuban visitors report that you can use U.S. dollars and Euros on the street in Cuba without exchanging them, but with a caveat: Cubans are particular about what types of US currency they accept. For example, if a bill is damaged or torn in any way, many merchants will reject it. Bring crisp, new $ 50 or $ 100 bills.

Where to Stay and Where to Go

el-maleconThe hotels in Cuba are beautiful – on the outside. However, you should be ready to rough it a little since “tourist class” hotels are few and far between. What would be considered a four-star hotel in Cuba may only earn two stars in the United States.

“I stayed in hotels and lodges in all of the cities I visited – Havana, Trinidad and Playa del Largo,” said Jared Alster. “I stayed at Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, which is in a great location. The lobby was ornate and beautiful, but the rooms were quite basic. In our hotel in Playa del Largo, we had to switch rooms twice due to lack of running water.”

Lucy Ballantyne of Lion & Lamb Communications, recently visited Cuba and shared her favorite places to visit in and around Havana:

  • El Malecon: A broad esplanade, roadway and seawall that stretches for 8 kilometers along the coast in Havana, Cuba. It starts at the mouth of Havana Harbor in Old Havana, along the north side of the Centro Habana neighborhood, ending in the Vedado neighborhood. Locals meet up and celebrate at certain points along the stretch, which is designed to keep the waves from destroying the city.
  • Fábrica de Arte Cubano: The Cuban Art Factory, where the artists meet the public. Combining art, music and nightlife, the project is the brainchild of internationally renowned Cuban musician X Alfonso. It’s supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Institute of Music.
  • Plaza de San Francisco: The town square in Old Havana with the basilica and the monastery of San Francisco de Asis. Make sure you pay the two CUC to climb to the top for a great view of the old city.
  • Belle Artes (and the Cuban exhibition specifically): The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana exhibits Cuban art collections from colonial times to the present.
  • El Cañonazo: One of the city’s oldest traditions is the firing of this cannon at 9 p.m. every night. Centuries ago this signaled the closing of the city gates at the end of the day.
  • Hotel Nacional de Cuba: This hotel has hosted many notable guests such as Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemmingway, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando, Alexander Flemming, Frank Sinatra, and many more. Hotel Nacional de Cuba houses the Cabaret Parisien, which hosts the “Cubano, Cubano” cabaret, tracing the fusion of Indoamerican, Hispanic, and African cultures that have given rise to Cuba’s modern culture as we know it today.
  • El Floridita: A legendary Havana bar, one of many regularly frequented by Ernest Hemmingway for daiquiris.

The Culinary Scene in Cuba

You’ll find many fine restaurants throughout Havana and the larger cities worthy of exploring. About a decade ago, Castro allowed “private business” to emerge so many people opened family restaurants in old homes and buildings. You can find many hidden gems throughout the country – and it’s a good idea to ask your hotel manager or host for their favorites.street-food-in-havana

If you’re not ready to explore or want to ease into the culinary scene, hotels can be a good alternative. “Of course hotel restaurants are always available and dining is cheap: a lobster risotto with 3 lobster tails in Old Town Havana was $ 20 with wine,” said Paul Eschenfelder of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

And don’t forget to try the seafood, which Lucy Ballantyne raves about. “The culinary scene in Cuba really impressed me with some of the most exquisite seafood dishes on offer,” she said. “My favorite meal would have to be from the renowned La Guarida, where I had grilled prawns and chocolate fondue – the best I have ever experienced.”

If you’re ready to venture off the beaten path, you can’t go wrong with trying the street food. Cubans have had to make do with very little, so you’ll experience their creativity and ingenuity firsthand at a roadside food stall. You’ll find many varieties of pork dishes and sandwiches, which are almost always accompanied by two Cuban staples: rice and beans.

One word of caution, however. Do not drink the tap water in Cuba. It’s a good idea to use bottled water when you brush your teeth, and avoid getting water in your mouth when you shower or bathe.

Staying Active and Fit While You’re There

Havana and the other major cities in Cuba are very walkable, so you’ll get a good amount of exercise as you explore and sightsee. If you’re looking to ramp up your activity level even more while you’re there, you’ll have a variety of options.

Cuba has many national parks that are relatively empty, since most Cubans can’t afford to travel to them and tourists stick to the city centers. If you want to explore the natural surroundings in relative solitude, try hiking through one of these natural wonders.  Jared Alstel suggests Topes de Collantes near Trinidad. “I saw a beautiful waterfall, went for a swim, and then ended up at a simple restaurant in the park for lunch,” he said.

If you’re looking for an adventure at sea, Cuba is also well known for its spectacular scuba diving sites. In particular Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) is a mangrove archipelago of hundreds of islands and a reef that has some of the best underwater conditions in the Caribbean. “Up to 20 different species of Caribbean reef sharks can be seen in a single dive,” said Sandro Lonardi of Diviac Travel. “The reef is healthy and untouched, and you can even snorkel with crocodiles.”

If dry land and a slightly slower pace are a better fit for your lifestyle, Cuba also has two golf courses available (three if you count the course at Guantanamo Bay that’s available only for the U.S. military).  The Varadero Golf Club hosts and 18-hole course outside of Havana on a narrow 3.5 kilometer strip of beach near the major hotels east of Havana. There’s also the smaller 9-hole course of the Havana Golf Club, south of Havana. Most Cubans don’t golf because it’s expensive, so you’ll have the courses mostly to yourself if you decide to tee up.

What You Can Bring Back

The U.S. government will allow you to bring back $ 400 worth of souvenirs, and cigars can make up only $ 100 worth of that total. Don’t take chances with the imposed limits either, since fines are hefty. Break the law and you could be facing a $ 250,000 fine and 10 years in prison – so don’t risk it.

However, there is no limit to the amount of memories and stories you can bring home with you. So plan the trip of a lifetime and – with the help of these tips – enjoy a safe, happy and unforgettable visit to Cuba.

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Healthy Travel Blog

Posted by Lustige Bilder - December 2, 2016 at 14:24

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Children with ADHD may benefit from following healthy behaviors, new study suggests

A new study shows that children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder follow fewer healthy lifestyle behaviors than non-ADHD youth, suggesting that they may benefit from improving…
ADHD / ADD News From Medical News Today

Posted by Lustige Bilder - October 23, 2016 at 23:20

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More young children with ADHD could benefit from behavior therapy

Behavior therapy recommended before medicine for young children with ADHD.More young children 2 to 5 years of age receiving care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could benefit…
ADHD / ADD News From Medical News Today

Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 22:23

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Top Tips from Frequent Business Travelers

Business woman sleeping on plane, side view

Top Tips from Frequent Business Travelers

Business travel has its own unique challenges. Unlike traveling for vacation where you can go with the flow, you have responsibilities and commitments to keep. You need to be there on time, show up at your meetings looking well-groomed, get enough rest to be on the top of your game, and find the time to get some much-needed work done. One bad experience, missed connection, or dirty hotel room can throw the whole thing off.

How do the pros do it? We talked to people who log thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, of miles in business travel over the course of the year. We gathered their expert tips so you can navigate your next business trip like you fly a million miles a year.

Fly at the Right Time

Flying on the right day of the week and the right time of day can help you avoid serious headaches and long lines at security that will start your business trip off on the wrong foot. “To avoid crowds, traffic, and delays, don’t fly on a Monday or a Friday,” said Denise Foley, who travels up to 80 percent of the time for her job as a visual merchandising professional. “Tuesdays through Thursdays are much less busy at the airport, and you may also save money on airfare as well.”

airport-security-lines

However, occasionally you will need to be in the office in another city for an early Monday morning meeting. In these cases, ask whoever handles travel arrangements at your company if they can book your flight and hotel for the Sunday before your meeting. If you are an exempt employee, meaning you’re not eligible for overtime, they may agree. Although you’ll be flying on your own time, it’s worth it to lower your stress level and have time to prepare for your meeting.

As for time of day, Roman Shteyn, CEO of RewardExpert, suggests an early flight. “The best time to fly is early in the morning, before 9 a.m.,” he said. “Airports are typically less crowded and it’s also less likely that you’ll experience delays due to heavy air traffic, which increases throughout the day.”

Our experts agreed that traveling between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. should be avoided, especially on Mondays. These times are the most prone to congestion.

Survive and Thrive at the Airport

 The modern-day airport sometimes feels like a battleground, with a maze of obstacles, crowds and sub-standard dining options you’ll have to navigate before reaching your destination – but not for our experts. Their top tip: Find an airport lounge.

Airlines operate lounges as a premium service for passengers, usually those flying business or first class and people with frequent flyer miles. You’ll find more comfortable seating, quieter working areas, stronger Wi-Fi access, and better access to customer service representatives. Airlines will have one or more lounges in each of their major hub cities.

If you’re not a member of an elite program that gives you access to these lounges, there are certain workarounds. For those without program membership, day passes to lounges typically cost around $ 50 for 24-hour access. It can be worth the expense if you have a long layover, want to get some work done, or need to get some shut-eye in a quiet environment.

Also…there’s an app for that. “I use the app LoungeBuddy to tell me which lounges are available and see pictures and reviews from other travelers,” advised Lee Huffman of BaldThoughts.com. “The app will also tell me whether there is a charge to enter or if I have access based on elite status, credit card benefits or lounge memberships.”

airport-lounge

If you’re traveling internationally for business, many airport lounges in Europe are a step above what you’ll find in the United States. “In Frankfurt or London, the lounges have showers, quiet rooms, and more robust food selection,” said Aaron Udler, President of Office Pro, Inc. “Nothing is better than taking a shower during an international layover. The facilities in the United and Lufthansa lounges are pretty nice for taking a shower, and they include towels, slippers, soaps, and shampoos!”

When you’re not able to access a lounge at the airport, you still have a few options. Find a nearby gate where another flight won’t be boarding for a few hours; it will be relatively empty and quiet since others will not have arrived yet. You can usually work in peace without being distracted. You’ll also usually find the strongest Wi-Fi signal near that check-in desk at the gate, so camp out there if you need to send emails or get online.

laptop-heathrow_784323c

Get Some Rest on the Airplane

 If you want to catch up on some sleep while flying, seat location is the single-most important factor that you have control over. Set a reminder for yourself to check in online 24 hours in advance so you can be among the first to select your seat preference. Your preferences may vary, as did those of our experts.

Shetyn prefers an aisle seat. “Aisle seats are my preference as they easily allow me to stand up and walk around without disturbing other travelers,” he said. “Plus they offer just a little bit more of that valuable legroom when I sleep!”

However, Greg Geronemus, co-CEO of smarTours, likes a window seat. It allows him to rest his head on the wall near the window, which is easier than trying to fall asleep on a neck pillow while basically sitting upright. He uses either a blanket or a pillow as a cushion. A window seat also offers some measure of control over light exposure, since you can open and close the window whenever you want.

Geronemus has several other tips for sleeping on a plane:

  • Wear comfortable clothing. Falling asleep on an airplane is all about making yourself feel as at-home as possible.
  • Don’t cross your legs. When you cross your legs, you can restrict blood flow and increase your chances of a blood clot or unnecessary pain when you awake.
  • Recline your seat. Reclining your chair will ease some of the pressure on your lower spine. With less pressure on your back, it’ll be easier to fall asleep.
  • Skip the alcohol. Drinking won’t help you sleep soundly and may dehydrate you. Your tolerance may also be different because of the cabin pressure.
  • Eat light. Overeating or indulging in fatty foods may upset your stomach and make it harder to sleep. A grilled chicken salad typically does the trick.
  • Keep your seatbelt visible. The key to avoiding interrupted sleep is to buckle your seatbelt over your blanket or sweater, not under it. That way, the flight attendant can see that you’re buckled up and will not wake you if there is turbulence.

Choose the Right Hotel Room

While the criteria for the perfect hotel experience will vary from person to person, most seasoned business travelers tick off many of the same “must-haves” in their ideal hotel. Most want something that gives a bit of the same feeling as their home, with separate areas for work and sleeping.

“My favorite hotels are places that have a living or couch area, along with a desk in a separate area away from the beds,” said Robin O’Neal Smith, a frequent business traveler and founder of Be Social, Get Success. A few of the other common points of advice from frequent business travelers included getting a room on a non-smoking floor, not just a non-smoking room. You’ll also want to make sure the hotel has dependable Wi-Fi, a gym with up-to-date machines, a restaurant on the premises that caters to your dietary needs, and late check-in and check-out.

To get the perfect night’s sleep at your hotel, Greg Geronemus suggests following these tips:

  • Be aware of your room location. Request a room as far away from the elevator as possible. You don’t want to hear the elevator bell, doors and foot traffic all night.
  • Get a room on a high floor. It’s generally less noisy on higher floors, just be careful that you’re not right below a rooftop bar.
  • Make sure the air conditioner works. Check as soon as you arrive – don’t wait until you’re trying to fall asleep to find out that your AC doesn’t work.
  • Check the voltage. If you live with a condition such as sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, find out if you’ll need a voltage adapter to use your machine. This is especially relevant if you’re traveling abroad.

When Aaron Udler travels domestically, he goes off the beaten path for his accommodations. “I have started staying at an places listed on airbnb, but only if I can get a whole apartment or house to myself,” he said. “It’s usually less expensive, roomier, and I truly get to experience the local community.” Internationally, he prefers to stay at U.S.-branded hotels since their quality standards are similar the world over. In countries or cities that don’t have these options, he uses TripAdvisor to find the nicer hotels in that locality.

Stay Wrinkle Free and Look Your Best at the Big Meeting

If you’re going straight from the plane to the office, wearing your work clothes while you travel may be unavoidable. If you have a few minutes before you jump in a cab to leave the airport, you may be able to pack your clothes and do a quick change in an airport lounge or bathroom. This strategy can help to keep you wrinkle free.

However, if you do have time between your flight and your meeting, you should revise your strategy. Daisy Jing, travel veteran and founder of Banish skin care products, prioritizes comfort and versatility when she flies. “I usually wear athletic or athleisure wear because it’s comfortable, easy to wash, and easy to move in,” Jing said. “I have these running shorts (with underwear attached) I purchased for $ 5. I love that they are so light and small. They are perfect for either sleepwear, running around, or working out. You can also wash them in the shower, which is what I do when I travel.”

Lou Altman, CEO of Globafone, doesn’t wear meeting clothes on the plane whenever possible. If you ask nicely (and you’re flying first class), the flight staff can be a big help. “Ask the flight staff to hang your clothes – you just have to ask politely and I’ve never been turned down,” he advises. “I often hit a gym when I land and change there, or I simply change in the bathroom at the airport.”

Remember that your hotel has services as well, and can press or dry clean your clothes fairly quickly. Pack lightly and spend $ 20 to $ 30 for hotel laundry service. This will help you travel with a carry-on only, and keeps you nice and fresh throughout the trip.

When you open your bag to an onslaught of wrinkled clothes, there’s always the hotel iron. Be careful using it though, as it sometimes creates more problems than it solves. Hotel irons are not always the highest quality, and previous guests may not have used it correctly. You may be transferring fuzz and lint from the iron to your work clothes. Also, never iron a suit jacket – it should only be pressed or steamed.

If you decide to skip the iron, hang your clothes along the shower bar in the hotel bathroom and turn the shower on as hot as it will go. Close the bathroom door and wait 10 minutes for the steam to release the wrinkles from your clothes. It’s a trick that many of our seasoned business travelers swear by.

Ask and You Shall Receive: Little-Known Perks

Your mantra when you travel should be “always ask, it can’t hurt.” If you ask hotel staff for extra services, sometimes you’ll get them.

  • Always ask for a complementary upgrade to a bigger room, or even the “executive lounge.” Often times, employees will say “ok, but just this one time.”
  • Request basic amenities, like extra towels and pillows, that could make your stay more comfortable.
  • Inquire about free parking or free breakfast.
  • If the property asks for you to pay for Wi-Fi, ask the person at the front desk to remove the charge from your bill as you check out.
  • Certain credit cards offer a complimentary fourth night stay at hotels, just be sure to book through their network.
  • Ask for access to the hotel lounge, even if you are not on the executive floor. You may also be able to get access to the lounge for a nominal fee, which may be worth it. You will typically get a better breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres and facilities where you can hold meetings.

When you’re traveling for business frequently, you start to learn the ins and outs pretty quickly. Start to incorporate these tips, and come up with a list of your own to make your next trip comfortable and productive.

 

Images Courtesy of: The New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, The Telegraph

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Posted by Lustige Bilder -  at 03:19

Categories: Travel   Tags: , , , ,

Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – not again

Check out these funny images:

Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – not again
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Image by Adam Foster | Codefor
HHGTTG / H2G2 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of my all time favourite science fiction films/books. Marvin is a Paranoid Android aboard the starship Heart of Gold. The film is based on a book by Douglas Adams.

I Love this toy I tried to recreate Marvins depression, frustration and boredom in the shot =]

___________________________________________

View more on my photography portfolio,
or say hi on Twitter 🙂

Google Classic: Please Allow 30 Days for your Search Results (Original artist unknown)
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Image by dullhunk
"Send your Query to: Google Inc. Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043"

Ever wondered Are You Smart Enough To Work At Google?

See also Upcoming Gig: Science Foo Camp (scifoo) 2009 in the Googleplex

This image comes from a free postcard and was found via www.boomerang.nl/imageresizer.php?url=http://data.boomera… see Kaart Google Classic

The Hague Jazz 2009 – Lavalu
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Image by Haags Uitburo
Marielle Woltring, the singer, pianist and composer of the fairly new Dutch band Lavalu, at The Hague Jazz 2009.

Op The Hague Jazz 2009 werd ik het meest verrast door het optreden van de jonge Nederlandse band Lavalu.
Zangeres, pianist, tekstschrijver en componist Marielle Woltring is het boegbeeld van de band. Haar energie uitstraling en innemende podiumpresentie leidden er al toe, dat VPRO’s 3 Voor 12 haar heeft uitgeroepen tot ‘jazzprinses’.
En niet ten onrechte! Woltring weet op geheel eigen en overtuigende wijze vorm te geven aan een spannende mix van funk, jazz, pop en klassiek, waarbij de teksten persoonlijk en oprecht zijn en vol overgave worden gebracht. Kijk hier voor een YouTube-filmpje van het optreden op The Hague Jazz.
Een band om de komende tijd heel goed in de gaten te houden!

Posted by Lustige Bilder - October 30, 2012 at 21:30

Categories: Lustige Bilder   Tags: , , , , ,

Skypes from The Ghost – 1

Check out these funny images:

Skypes from The Ghost – 1
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Image by Calm Your Beans
Jack gets a spooky friend request. To read the blog post click here.

*When attributing please link to the blog post.

d free market kids demotivator
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Image by dmixo6

Posted by Lustige Bilder - October 28, 2012 at 03:28

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‘Stijn’ from Continental Park in Mallorca doing 30 shows in 45 minutes

A few nice funny images I found:

‘Stijn’ from Continental Park in Mallorca doing 30 shows in 45 minutes
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Image by Rob Ellis’
The entertainers from the hotel did 30 shows in 45 minutes, really funny xD

Press L to view it on black – its so much better!

Lit only by the stage lights they had there 🙂

Feline Royalty
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Image by Photography By Shaeree
This is Whisper my oldest cat lol. He just turned 11 year old this month. My daughter thought it would be funny to put her tiara on his head. He didn’t seem to mind. 🙂

I want to thank everyone for the invites. I am hoping to have my pro membership within the next couple of weeks and I can add my photos to all the groups 🙂 Once again thank you you are all awesome 🙂

Butt!
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Image by ilmungo
I guess this photo requires an explanation, although it would be much funnier (perhaps) without one…

Carolyn ordered a bunch of bras from an online retailer that shall go unnamed (mainly because I don’t know its name). She was very excited when the UPS package came, only to find that they had sent her no bras at all, but instead… a fake butt! A full on, padded, silicon injected, bootilicious artificial derrière, skin toned and all.

Well of course, before returning it, we had to take a few silly photos with it…

Posted by Lustige Bilder - June 24, 2012 at 14:30

Categories: Lustige Bilder   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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