Travel Tips and Advice

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Are you not glad I have suffered misfortunes, bad service, insects and other hazards? Now I know what to do and what not to do, how to do it and where to do it, and on this page I want to tell you all about it.


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Yay Travel

Pickpockets

The more you know about pickpockets, the less likely you are to become one of theier victims. Have a look at this video by Bob Arno.

Category: Safety

5 Apr 2013 | 02:06 PM | Posted by: Yay Travel

Posted by:
Yay Travel

Cheaper Amsterdam Transfers

If you want cheaper airport transfers in Amsterdam, you might consider using Connexxion. They run a shared shuttle service from the airport to various hotels in a city for a fraction of the cost of paying for a car.  If you are not staying at one of the hotels where they stop, you could ask them which one is the closest to where you are staying and, if it is within reasonable walking distance, you could then still use their services and just walk a short distance.

 

You need to be aware that it is not possible at the moment to book their service via the Internet. There are indeed companies advertising that you can and, while many of these are legitimate companies, they are not affiliated to Connexxion and what they are selling you is a voucher. You will have to report to the Connexxion desk at Schiphol airport to change the voucher for an actual ticket. In addition you would be charged a fee by the intermediary just for such a voucher. Rather go straight to the Connexxion desk on arrival and get your tickets from them. Either way, you will need to go to the Connexxion desk, the only difference being that you are likely to pay less if you go directly to Connexxion.

 

Finally, a word of warning: some websites that sell vouchers for Connexxion transfers do not always quote the correct price on their websites. You may therefore find yourself paying less than what you should and then having to pay in the difference when you arrive at Schiphol. If you are not sure if the price quoted by an intermediary, contact Connexxion and ask them.

Category: Ground Transportation

5 Apr 2013 | 04:20 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

Posted by:
Yay Travel

Hiking Safety Tips

There is no telling what is going to happen in the wilds. What happens during a hike is as unexpected as a sighting of a rare bear cub.

A shower of loose rocks, a broken ankle or a snake bite can easily turn an exciting hike to a disastrous trip if you are caught unprepared. It helps to be ready for any eventuality when taking a hike and a basic knowledge of hiking safety is indispensable.

Avoid all known dangers. If you know what is waiting for you out there, you will be better positioned at avoiding it. Before you leave for your destination, a virtual survey of the area should be carried out. Research online, read hiking guides or talk to fellow hikers experienced on the area.

Find out the known dangers in the hiking vicinity, be familiar with its flora and fauna and keep updated with the weather forecast in the area. Heed the warnings learned from your research and be ready for it. Know the fastest and easiest remedy to poisonous plants or animals found in the area and carry safeguards to repel wild animal attack.

Know the weather forecast for the days you are planning to stay in the area and make sure to organize your gears and clothes to accommodate changes in the weather.

You don’t want to leave for the trail without a good and reliable first-aid kit. Be sure to know how to use what’s inside the kit. They are not just for show; they can actually save lives if you know how to utilize them when the situation calls for it.

First-aid training is invaluable but if you don’t have the chance to undergo the same, some written instructional materials should be sufficient to give you a working knowledge of the most basic maneuvers. To maximize your knowledge of first-aid, make sure to focus your attention to the most common injuries that can happen during a hike.

Always bring a buddy with you. It will not only make the hike twice as enjoyable, it’ll also ensure that someone will patch you up and call for help in case you accidentally fall on your feet. If the need for quiet and meditation far outweighs the need for a friendly presence, at least inform a family member or a friend where you are going and when you are expected to return. If something happens out there, you’re sure that somebody will call the alarm if you didn’t go back home on time.

Finally, bring along a means of communication. A buddy waiting for your return is a good thing, but it is always better to call for help when you most need it. A mobile phone is most convenient unless your destination doesn’t have a mobile phone signal. A device that emits a radio signal, a flare, a signal mirror or a whistle – any of these will help you call attention to your self in the event of search and rescue. So, always carry one along with you when going somewhere remote such as a hiking trip destination.

Category: Safety

15 Jan 2013 | 10:12 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

Posted by:
Yay Travel

Save Money in the Eurozone

Let's face it: Eurozone countries are, for the most part, can be expensive. However, an easy way to save a lot of money is to stay away from restaurants. A meal can easily set you back 50 Euros for two people, if not more. It is a lot cheaper to buy from the supermarkets and to prepare your own food. A lot of ingredients you get in EU countries are often very good qualiy, especially in France, so you will be in for a real treat while saving a small fortune.

 

Another way to save money is to decide how often you will use the Metro. If you plan to use it every day for each day of your trip, it will work out cheaper getting a card for that particular city's Metro system rather than buying tickets each time. That Metro card can save you a lot of money. Of course, before you rush out and buy that Metro card, explore the city first as some cities are extremely walkable. For example, Madrid and Lisbon's many attractions can almost all be reached on foot. The same applies to Paris, if you stay closer to the centre. Most attractions in Brussels are centered around the Grand Place, so just walk around the square and its surrounds for a day and you will have seen most attractions. Besides saving money, walking is great exercise and you won't really mind if you stop off at a coffee shop here and there along the way. Some of these cities are incredibly beautiful, so that is a big bonus as well.

 

Find out which museums and attractions are free and on which days. The Palacio Real in Madrid, for example, is free on Wednesdays. Finally, do not be afraid to ask for senior citizen or student discounts if you do fit into one of these categories and if you can prove your claim. Even some shops sell items at a discount to senior citizens.

Category: Money Saving Tips

14 Jan 2013 | 10:25 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel

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Yay Travel

Go Local for Foreign Exchange

If you are planning to travel to a country with a different currency from yours, try to purchase their currency before you leave. You will inevitably pay more for that currency when you get to your destination.

 

To get an idea, you might get 60 Euro cents for one US dollar in some places in Madrid whereas the actual exchange rate at the time of writing is closer to 74 Euro cents to one US dollar. If, however, you go to Lisbon, you could get a more reasonable rate of about 70 Euro cents to the US dollar. The point is there are a number of places in the Eurozone that will rip you off if you try to change any currency. That such extreme ripoffs are allowed by an EU that often sets out to protect consumers is astounding.

 

These excessive fees, however, are not only charged in parts of the EU and not only for changing US dollars. As I said before, if you can, buy the local currency in your home country if you can. You will usually get a much better deal. You will also not be hit twice with charges, which happens if, for example, you buy US dollars and then have to use these to buy a different currency, which is what most travellers usually do.

Category: Money Saving Tips

14 Jan 2013 | 10:15 AM | Posted by: Yay Travel