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Travel Itinerary and tips part 2

travel-the-world

Hey there!

As you might have noticed, we’ve been busy with the blog lately. Both on the front-end and behind the scenes. The blog should be loading faster now, on both desktop and on your mobile devices.

Anyway,  in case you missed Our 5 Pre-Travel Tips, be sure to check it out. In this post, we will talk more about how to prepare your travel itinerary and how to decide on where to travel and what to do when you travel.

To start off, ask yourself this question, why do you want to travel? The answer to this question may not be as simple or as straight forward as you might think. Not to over-complicate things, but this question will decide on where you will go, how much you would want to spend on your vacation, and what kind of activities you will do. So spend as much time deciding on the answer.

It could be one, or a combination of the following

  • I want to spend some time away from the routine life
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far
  • I want to experience new things that I always wanted to do
  • I want to spend my hard-earned cash on things that aren’t available locally
  • I want to escape the hot weather and ‘ghbar’!

Travel-banner

Answering the question will decide on the style of your vacation. For me, I have a busy life style here in Kuwait. Things vary between my day job, my  small business and initiatives, my studies, the gym and social life responsibilities. I tend to want to travel every 3 months or so. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation, a short weekend getaway will do. But every now and then I want to have what we all call a Real Vacation. Usually it’s a combination of the following:

  • I want to experience new things
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far

I don’t mind allocating a big budget to do the above. The places that I usually go to are pretty far and I always do multi-destination trips, going through multiple countries. I’m very active when I travel and end up covering tons of activities in a single day, spending no more than 4 nights in a single city or country. So, I end up burning a huge chunk of my travel budget on hotels and air plane tickets.

So how do I choose my destinations?

  1. By checking  this blog , following us on Instagram and Snapchat (@Hello965) and sending us your questions. because ‘Hello 965’ team are awesome travel consultants!
  2. Word of mouth – by having a big international circle of friends that tells you about destinations worth checking. This is my personal favorite, but it can only be effective when you have a huge circle of friends from various nationalities.
  3. online sites – such as tripadvisor, travelocity. They can be useful and give you an idea of a place, but do NOT depend on them.
  4. Apps – Instagram/twitter/Google plus pages on traveling, Yelp and Foursquare.

How do I look for travel tickets and prices?

  1. Expedia
  2. Google travel
  3. Direct deals announced from airlines or any 3rd party agency
  4. Skiplagged.com

You may not find the best prices at Expedia, so be sure to check the airline websites for a better prices. Tried Skiplagged couple of times and get got me the best prices that i couldn’t match anywhere else, however it does not always work.

How do I book my hotels?

  1. Booking.com
  2. Hotels.com
  3. Airbnb.com

Always think strategically when you book a hotel. Look at the hotel location on Google Maps and make sure it’s not too far from the places that you will spend most of your time at. AirBnB is a new concept of booking a place (House, apartment etc..). I highly recommend that you check them out, as my experience using it has always been great.

Hope this helps with your travel plans and as always, feel free to ask us for consultations!

Happy traveling!

Hello965 Friends: Osaka, Japan اوساكا

by @Almallaks

Why we chose this city:We chose this city because of one thing really: sumo! This was one thing we were really interested in experiencing while we were in Japan. We got lucky that there was a tournament happening around the same time, so we jumped at the opportunity. We booked the tickets online in advance and collected them upon arrival. It also happens that Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan and is known for the food.

 

Duration: We stayed in Osaka for 2 nights and we think it’s plenty.

 

Where we stayed:Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka. Really nice hotel actually with a great location: connected to the train station and walking distance to the city center – Namba.

  • Things to do/see in Osaka:
    • We went to a Sumo match. It was one of the most interesting things we’ve ever done. Highly recommend it.

       

    • Osaka Castle. So beautiful and the area surrounding it is really nice to walk around in.

       

    • Namba –city center. Restaurants cafes and lights galore. Really nice and has little restaurants in the alleyways.

       

  • Shopping in Osaka:
    • We actually didn’t really shop anywhere except in Tokyo, but you will find a lot of stores in the city center (Namba).
  • Food in Osaka:
    • Make sure to try the fried octopus, they have many stands in Namba where you can try it. It’s their specialty!
    • Sanpei Restaurant: This is where we tried the Okonomiyaki (savory pancakes@), they were oh-so-good. You get to choose which toppings you want so you can be as safe or as adventurous as you want.
    • Lord Stowe’s: Tiny bakery in Namba (just for pick up). Not Japanese, BUT they had delicious egg tarts in different flavors. We loved the original; perfect for breakfast with coffee.
    • Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku: great restaurant in the town center. Top quality meat you get to grill yourself in a traditional Japanese setting. When you go, ask for Kuniyoshi!
    • Osaka is known for their food so ask your hotel for recommendations as well.

       

NEXT: [JR Train: (Osaka to Nara) – 51m – 0 transfer]

@Almallaks

Female Solo Travelers

Lately I’ve noticed many female solo travelers, which is amazing!! Personally, I choose not to travel sola (solo) cause i’m more of an ex·tro·vert and that’s all, but I know many friends as passionate and as crazy as me about travel, doing it frequently!

“Women underestimate their own abilities. We grow up in a world where powerful, independent, and ambitious women are frowned upon. Does anyone else find that incredibly sad?” – Yup. Don’t be scared to travel alone!

Aside from that, I encourage each and every girl to travel alone at some point in their lives.

Female Traveler

Here are some tips for you, female solo travelers:

  • Do your research.
  • Always give someone your itinerary – your mom, your friend. No matter where you go, let someone know where you’re at.
  • Consider buying a phone card that allows you to make calls from abroad.
  • Value experiences: re-prioritize to be able to see as much as possible and get the most out of it.
  • Adhere to local dress codes.
  • Always carry your important documents with you.
  • Never trust a taxi driver.

solo-travelers

  • Pack LIGHT.
    • Pack a book
    • 2 pair of jeans
    • Leave high heels at home
    • Take enough sanity supply with you
  • Have a plan! it is good to know your basic itinerary in advance.
  • Be active.

female traveler

  • Join a local tour.
  • We all feel shy at times. However, travel is the time to come out of your shell.
  • Don’t compare, just enjoy!
  • Life is too short, make what makes you happy.

solo-travelers

  • It’s ok to get lonely sometimes but don’t let it hold you down.
  • Try to always stick to bottled water – take care of your health.
  • Talk to people you don’t know – Meet new people!

Meet-New-People

  • Prepare and carry with you, a list of emergency contacts.
  • Avoid nightlife.
  • Always know how to get in touch with the nearest embassy or consulate.

And finally, Stay safe 🙂

solo-travelers

Through the blonde abroad travel blog, I am re sharing her list of top 10 safest destinations for solo female travelers:

  1. Iceland
  2. Scandinavia
  3. New Zealand
  4. Thailand
  5. Canada
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Ireland
  8. Bali
  9. Amsterdam
  10. A cruise

 

In many parts of the world the role of women is to stay at home. I advise you to get out of your comfort zone, and see the world.

solo-travelers

Hello965

Long Flights On Flight Tips

Long flights used to kill me. I used to get off feeling tired, drained and completely out of energy. Through out my trips, I learned some tricks that made the general experience much better.

 

  • Window Seat VS. Isle Seat 

It’s very simple, really. If you’re the sleeper type (Like me!) then a window seat is definitely for you. If you can’t sleep much on a plane, and you’re a frequent visitor to the toilet, then an isle seat is for sure yours.

 

  • Stretching 

Stretch in your seat regularly

 

  • If you’re two travelers, book window and Isle seat. Most of the time if the flight isn’t full, the middle seat will be empty.

I’m occasionally lucky haha, but I try.

 

  • Freshen-up after a nap/sleep
Travel-Kit

Get your own kit to freshen up after your sleep. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your face & put some face moisturizer then go back to your seat. (If you like.. Hah!)

 

  • Drink less coffee, more water

Coffee dehydrates your body. Try to limit your coffee intake during a flight and increase your water intake instead.

 

  • Keep on moisturizing

Keep on moisturizing on flight. Lip palm, hand cream, face cream, etc. regularly

 

  • I never depend on flight movies (Although the newest movies are always there). However, I always get with me either my Laptop, or my iPad to watch shows/movies on it. Usually, the first few hours of flying I watch a movie, and eat then sleep. OR, Eat, sleep then watch a movie. Either way, a movie is in the equation. 

 

  • If you can’t normally sleep on a flight, try a sleeping pill or herbal aid. 
  • Use your own headphones and Noise Cancelling Devices.

  • Stay away from the last row of the plane if you can avoid it. The seats may not recline, and they may be right next to the lavatories.
  • If you can survive without an extra legroom: Avoid the exit row seats or bulkhead. They do provide extra legroom but often these seats can’t be reclined and some don’t have adjustable armrests.
  • Finally, I always get bored during take off and landing since most flights don’t allow electronic use (not even on flight mode), so I suggest you take a book or a magazine to kill that specific time.

 

Cheers & Safe Travels,

Hello965 Team  

Our 5 Pre-Travel Tips!

Hello hello lovely readers!!

It’s a beautiful feeling when you know there is a trip coming up. That tingly excitement which lasts for weeks or even months!

A friend shared with me an article about travel tips (Thank you!), and as I was reading it, it made me realize how little tips can make a very big difference. We traveled, we made mistakes, we learned. Here are some of Hello965’s travel tips that we believe are essential and might change your life forever (given you follow them…).

Ready? Here’s your guide to a stress-free start of your trip.

1. Pack like a pro. This one is especially for the heavy packers, prepare a check list. After a long while of traveling heavy myself, worrying about luggage weight and over packing or even sometimes under packing; I finally perfected packing. As simple as this will sound, my solution was preparing a check list before my trip, and crossing it off as I pack.

Avoid this – prepare your Checklist!

This is what you do: plan your days ahead. You’re going for 5 days? How many outfits are you wearing per day? 2? So pack those 10 outfits knowing which 2 are you wearing for each day, then break it down to the little details during those days. Going on a Safari trip? Again, checklist: (Insect repellent, sneakers, personal-hygiene items, sunscreen, antibacterial wipe, etc..)

Great. You get the idea! Again, it might sound very simple, and this simple tip will make a HUGE difference for your suitcase, and for you. I promise. (#beentheredonethat)

2. Prepare your documents. Print ALL your documents (although its a digital world), but I do advise you to do so. Keep a copy of all your reservations and bookings in one folder, and keep it in your carry-on. On the flip side, keep a scanned copy of all your important documents such as your passport – it really comes in handy in the event of theft.

3. Money. Plan your budget ahead your trip as this helps you keep everything intact. Always travel with a credit card (that has a limit) in case you need it for reservations or other. Get some cash, and exchange it at the airport before you leave! Be prepared.

I noticed something, during travel that happened to friends, and once to me, banks tend to block some accounts due to “unusual transactions” for security reasons obviously. If you’d like to avoid this, it’s a good idea to call your bank, and inform them that you are traveling to XYZ country for this period of time in order for them not to block your account.

4. Keep your phone/electronics alive. Take a portable charger for your phone (make sure the charger is fully charged). Remember, put your smartphone on Airplane mode while on plane to save battery and charge faster. If you happen to forget your charger, use the TV USB slot to charge your phone. You could also be the airport hero, and travel with a power strip/cable.

– A photo taken from google

5. Be comfortable. Pack your own travel pillow and your own blanket in your carry on – always helps me sleep and be more comfortable on flights. Another thing is to prepare your on on-plane music playlist depending on what helps you sleep (and block the noise of the crying baby behind you..)

A photo I found on google, looks so comfy!

Final words: If you wanna be on the careful side, it’s always helpful to take a picture of your suitcase and its contents before you travel. Just incase it’s lost (Which happens alot) you have a picture of how it looks like, and what was in it.

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My Suitcase Tag <3 (from GANT Gifts, Mexico)

 

Safe travels!

Hello965