How technology has changed the way we travel

In the 21st century, technological development shave defined who we are culturally, with many new forms of technology forming that have allowed us to bridge gaps and cross borders easier than was ever possible. Not only did the way we live our day-to-day lives change, but the way we communicate and the way we define what we do changed along with it. Travelling is no different. In the past, whether it was for leisure or for business, trips abroad or even trips to other parts of the country, meant putting everything else on hold for a few days or weeks. We would say goodbye to our families and friends, set our focus on what we wanted to accomplish, and get it done. However, now that virtually everything we do runs though (or has the potential to run through) mobile devices, that is no longer necessary.

We can travel to the corners of the Earth and stay in constant contact with our loved ones, and even instantly share our experiences with them, whether its though voice calls, video messaging, live video calls, or photos and social media sites (which allow us to share our experiences en-masse with our selected groups of friends or followers). Not only has the way we interact with each other during these times changed, but the entire ritual of ‘planning a trip’ or getting away for a few days has changed.

Now everything, from booking flights and hotels (and paying for them while you’re at it), to weather forecasts, information about flight delays, exchange rates, places to visit in your destination have all been added to our arsenal at the touch of a button with literally millions of apps that allow us to do, say and plan whatever our hearts desire. Going to a foreign country where you don’t understand or speak the language? No problem! You can translate everything you want to say in an instant and have the reply from a friendly local translated directly back to you at the moment they finish their sentence. Even the ritualistic way we used to pack our luggage has changed.

There are now apps available that allow you to put in the duration of your trip and the destination, and it will generate a list of what you should take with, depending on the weather forecast, available activities and local trends. Travelling has become easier in virtually every regard, and because of that is becoming a more common phenomenon around the world, not only through physical travelling, but through our ability to explore distant cultures all from the comfort of our own homes.

6 Safety Tips For Travelers

Going on holiday should be one of the most exciting times of the year since, for most of us, it will be the only time we get to ourselves without having to worry about work, school, paying taxes and remembering to pick up milk before heading home. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t always remain vigilant and protect yourself from anything that might happen unexpectedly on your trip into an unknown location. The following is a quick list of some of the most fundamental safety tips that will help anyone travelling to a new place.

 

  1. 1.     Know your surroundings

 

Travelling to a new country or city is great – allowing you to expand your horizons and meet new people. But along with that comes the fact that you will be out of your comfort zone. In order to avoid any one of a dozen things that might happen to you as a result of being in a new place, do a little bit of research on it before even arriving. Check where you’ll be staying; find out where the nearest police station is, where your country’s Embassy is, and what the easiest way will be to get around. Once you have that down, even if something were to happen, at least you have a way of getting help.

 

  1. 2.     Keep your valuable documents on you at all times

 

One of the most important things to remember when travelling to a new country is that you are only a visitor, and as such, you will need to be able to prove that you have permission to be there at any given time. If something happens to your accommodation (whether it’s a hotel, a backpackers lodge, a train compartment, etc) and your valuables are lost, your travel insurance will most likely cover anything that is lost, except your passport and visa. Make sure to carry them safely on your person at all times, or find out whether it will be possible to use certified copies as valid identification, that way you won’t have to risk losing the real ones should something happen.

 

  1. 3.     Get travel insurance!

 

As mentioned above, any valuables you happen to have with you (like laptops, cameras, cellphones, and even in some cases currency) will be covered by insurance if you are willing to pay for the coverage. This will allow you to get on with enjoying your holiday without having to worry about what will happen to your possessions – but this does not give you an excuse to treat your possessions as if you were at home, by leaving them lying around in public. Always keep your valuables safely with you or locked up in a place where you are the only one with access.

 

  1. 4.     Take advice from experts, not locals

 

If you are travelling around and decide to try find out where the best spots are for sight-seeing, ask the concierge or clerk at your hotel, at an information kiosk, or at your embassy. Sure, asking locals will allow you to interact with them and perhaps make new friends, but you never know if the person you are approaching is interested in helping you or if they are willing to scam off an inexperienced tourist. Make sure you are aware of all kinds of scams that are known to be happening in the area, and even if a situation seems to be legitimate, be as careful as you can when dealing with locals. Make sure you don’t make yourself identifiable as an easy target by flashing your expensive camera, your money and wallet, or openly advertising that you are a tourist, because there is always at least one person who will know how to take advantage of that.

 

  1. 5.     Get appropriate vaccinations, and be cautious with local cuisine

 

Most countries require proof of vaccination if there is a risk in their area (or yours, depending on where you’re travelling from) of any contagious disease. It is always a good idea to get vaccinated for the regular set of risky infections anyway, such as flu, TB, malaria, yellow fever, etc. Also, when travelling to a new country, everyone wants to experience the local culture as much as possible, and usually that means indulging in the local food. If you’re travelling to France, and your idea of experiencing the culture is sitting at a quaint bistro, you have nothing to worry about. However, travelling to China, India, South Africa, and many other Asian or African countries have traditional foods that aren’t always served from kitchens, and are sometimes prepared for you on an open fire in a busy market for suspiciously low prices. I’m not saying that this kind of food is necessarily bad – in fact, a lot of it is amazing, but you can never be too careful. Again, if you have done your research and know what to look out for, you will be able to navigate this aspect without any disruptions, but always try stay on the safe side if you don’t want to risk getting sick.

 

  1. 6.     Keep multiple sources of currency

 

 

It is always a good idea to have multiple options when it comes to available money in a foreign country. Best-case scenario: you are able to spend it all happily without a hitch. Worst-case scenario: your wallet and/or money pouch gets stolen. If you decided to keep all your money in one place, thinking it will be safe since its so close to you, you might have a bad time. Keeping some of your money separate means you have a better chance of at least having the option to do something about it should something happen to your other source of currency.

Holiday destinations for the business traveler

As a businessperson, you are probably used to working extremely long hours, constantly being on the go, and having to suspend your personal life in order to land that next big account. If this sounds familiar, then you are also probably long overdue for a holiday! Luckily for you, many destinations around the world can give you what you want in both aspects of your life, whether its work or leisure. Many of these destinations offer the best of both worlds, sometimes in the same place, giving you a space to host a conference with thousands of guests and a 5-star resort experience or a unique cultural tour the minute it is over.

 

  1. Doha, Qatar

 

Situated in the heart of what is fast becoming the business capital of the world, Doha is a city tailor-made for jet setting businesspeople. With countless hotels and resorts in and around the city (many of which are only a stone throw away from the pristine ocean), a trip to Doha will give you the opportunity to be a part of the incredible growth that seems to always be happening. Remarkable attractions include five star hotels and conference venues, museums, national landmarks (such as the Doha Fort, built during Turkish occupation in the 19th century), world-class golf courses as well as shopping districts and culinary experiences that are renowned for their innovation and quality. There are even tours around the desert and outskirts of the city available for those looking for more adventure.

  1. San Sebastian, Spain

 

Located on the northwest Atlantic coast of Spain in Basque Country, San Sebastian’s reputation began as a summer holiday destination. But conventions, meetings and special events have turned this city along La Concha Bay into a year-round destination. San Sebastian is romantic and enchanting, and it has it all; a mild climate year round, amazing restaurants, exclusive shopping, Spanish fashion, world class sporting events (both water and land), neoclassic and modern architecture, a fantastic Old Town, state-of-the-art business venues, and a strong commitment to hospitality. San Sebastian has also become known as one of the greatest culinary capitals in the world.

 

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

 

Las Vegas is definitely a world-class destination and one of the most important cities for meetings and events. About 27% of its visitors arrive from Southern California, and another 13% are international visitors. What brings so many people to The Strip in Vegas? More than 40 hotels, 275 restaurants, over 20 resort malls, an average of 150 live shows and over than 60 golf courses in the Vegas area alone

For those who haven’t been there lately, the days of cheap buffets, discount entertainment and practically free hotel rooms are gone. Of course, it’s still possible to find hotel rooms to fit all budgets and you can go to Freemont Street and capture some of the original Las Vegas experience. But Las Vegas today, particularly the 3.5-mile stretch along Las Vegas Boulevard known as The Strip, has expanded the number of luxury hotels and hotel rooms.

Flight Etiquette

Etiquette is probably the first thing anyone looks at when you are being graded or judged and airlines are no different, be it the staff, security or other individuals flying on the same plane as yourself.

Dressing appropriately is definitely a strong point although most of us fail to acknowledge this rule. I am forever wearing pyjama trousers as they are the most comfortable trousers I own, why should I care what others may think of me whilst wearing my comfy trousers to the most expensive restaurant in the region? Being able to afford to eat at the restaurant should label me as a wealthy citizen, however that is not the impression received by my fellow citizens dinning at the same restaurant. Instead I will be labelled as a “hobo with a restaurant meal voucher” even though the restaurant not even owning vouchers of any kind. Somebody would eventually get offended with my comfy pyjama trousers, (be it jealousy or just plain disgust), they then complain to the manager and the manager will kindly ask me to leave the restaurant. The manager is merely complying with his guests as to avoid continuous complaining about my pyjama trousers, and thus, I get chased away like a rural puppy. The same applies when flying, if I pitch up in my pyjama trousers, I will be told I am not allowed to board the plane because I am improperly dressed, instead of being told truly. “Sorry sir, we are not in the mood of people complaining to us for the way you are dressed and therefore you are not allowed to board the plane dressed like that.”

Another point I would like to make is the chairs on planes. Yes there is a reclining button which I simply use because it is available to me. Most chairs I sat on that you find on a plan only reclined a mere 1.5 to 2 inches max. Yes there is etiquette involved here also but do not allow anyone to take you on for using them. Just remember, be considerate; raise your chair upright when meals are served and lower it slowly as not to bump anyone’s knees behind you. It is also good behaviour to check if someone behind you is struggling to get out due to your reclined seat to then raise it up right. On this note I am a bit personal, if I am sleeping, do not dare wake me up and say I should raise my seat, in my eyes that’s just rude and you can expect me to retaliate and be rude to you for the entire duration of the flight thereafter.

There are certain things you should never mention on a plane. Mentioning anything improper to staff members will almost definitely get you kicked off a plain, but, the thing that will definitely get you kicked off and possibly in a tight security room being questioned until you are blue is… yes you guessed it… bomb jokes. Do not even tell your travelling partner a joke containing the word bomb, believe me, staff take it serious enough to not even listen to the joke before reporting you and if you already are in the air whilst this happens, brace yourself for an emergency landing.

To all parents, if you know your child loves to throw a couple of tantrums, either leave him/her at your family for taking care of or rather do not go on holiday at all. A recent family were required to fork out R18000 for new air tickets and hotel accommodation for the night due to their son throwing tantrums, the whole family was told to leave just before the plane lifted off. I guess right of admission is up to the staff members of each plain and hopefully your flight attendant do not have a mean hang-over headache, not being able to stand a screaming kiddie. Also remain calm when travelling, if you encounter a problem act like a school child. Kindly raise your hand and wait for a flight attendant to come to you. Explain the situation in a soft, calm voice. Aggressive behaviour is the quickest way to get yourself isolated and upon landing further actions may be taken against you.

Recently a woman was booted off a plain and was taken by airport security because the flight attendant complained about her being way to drunk. After numerous tests were done it was found the woman had an alcohol percentage of 0.003. Attendants serve alcohol on a plane and you are allowed to drink but make sure you do not look drunk as you may be reported.

Be sure to obey all the rules on a plain, including small things like switching off your electronic appliances during lift off and landing, fastening your seat belts but most importantly, enjoy your flight experience without being kicked off the plane.

History of Valentine’s Day

So we go out at least a week before February 14 and buy some exotic, sometimes expensive, gifts for our loved ones. We take our loved ones out to romantic getaways and we celebrate Valentines Day in the name of love. Life is perfect, but, have you ever stopped and thought about where this holiday came from and what you are actually celebrating?

 

If you did I am glad you are reading this article, hopefully you are reading this before Valentine’s Day so you can share some inside information with your loved ones regarding this loved by all holiday.

 

Mysterious is the single word to describe the history of Valentine’s Day and its accompanying saint, Saint Valentine. This day is celebrated by a variety of religions thus making it the second most important holiday after Christmas. But why, why is this day so special, what happened in the history of February and how did Saint Valentine become associated with this rite?

 

The Catholic Church history speaks of three martyred Saints named Valentinus (Valentine). One of these saints was a priest who married couples during the third century in Rome. During this period, Rome had an emperor named Claudius II. The Emperor realized that unmarried soldiers made better warriors than those soldiers already married, because of this Emperor Claudius II banned marriage of young males. Saint Valentinus continued to marry couples secretively completely ignoring the ban as he realized the injustice of the decree. When Emperor Claudius II learnt of the treason acts he ordered his men to locate and hang Saint Valentinus.

 

Another Saint also named Valentinus is referred to by history as a savior. This Valentine rescued captive Christians from Roman prisons; he was caught in the act and locked up. During his time in a Roman prison he met a young attractive lady (possibly his captor’s daughter) falling head over heels; it was love at first sight. He wrote her a letter consisting of the phrase “be mine” and gave it to her during her visits to his cell. Before his execution he wrote his lady friend again with another single phrase “From your Valentine”.

 

One thing is certain, all the history on saint Valentinus come to the same conclusion, they were all truly caring and compassionate saints. The history of the Catholic Church all point to February 14th being the day of the Saints burial or death day.

South African Safari’s

A few tips for going on an amazing South African Safari’s

The first thing and most important  is timing. If you are going on a Safari to relax and take in the scenery, the best time would be during SA summer, between December and February. If you are going on a Safari to view animals the best time would be SA winters, between June and September, during this time the trees are almost leafless which adds to less hiding space for the animals. During this time the animals are more active in their search for food. Predators are also more active as the temperature is not so exhausting hot as in the summer.

The second thing to do is to plan where you want to go. There are over 500 wildlife parks and reserves in South Africa. Choosing one will be based on what you want to do, be it game viewing or just relaxing, every park/reserve is different and offers unique experiences. The most popular wildlife park in South Africa is the Kruger National Park with a wide variety of activities, smaller reserves offer a better opportunity to see the animals however KNP has a lot more variety of animals and with the right timing one can still view all of them. The plus point in choosing a private game reserve/lodge is fewer crowds, close proximity to the animals and of course luxury. They are normally a bit more expensive than our National Parks. Also take in consideration on Private game reserves/lodges you normally have a Game Ranger/guide included in the price. These guides have a vast experience in the bush and can point out animals, plants and birds which are normally easy missed. National Parks are more DIY however they do offer a guided tour at a price.

The third thing to take in consideration is what to pack.South Africa has very unpredictable weather as the rest of the world, however in the summer it is amazingly hot so be sure to pack mostly light, cool clothes but remember rain can fall at any time.  Winters can be surprisingly cold depending on where you are as some parts of SA can still be moderately warm. Do your research on specific place you want to visit. Main thing to remember to pack if your going on a safari to view animals is of course binoculars.

Of course an easier way to plan your South African safari is to use our travel operator UNIGLOBE GATEWAY TRAVEL ( www.uniglobegatewaytravel.info ). You can also visit this web site to receive free travel info videos by opting in and leaving your details for one of our consultants to get in contact with you, they will make your trip more convenient and stress free.

R.S.

Rhino wars

Paramount, Africa’s largest privately held defense firm donated this little seeker to the South-African National Park Service after manufacturing was completed. It is the newest addition in the battle against Rhino poaching.

 

Nearly all of the continents Rhino’s can be found in South-Africa’s National parks. Poachers have access to high powered automatic rifles, helicopters, night-vision-goggles and so forth whereas the anti-poaching units were equipped with standard rifles and very few helicopters. However the tide is currently changing as more and more people are actively getting involved in the “unite against rhino poaching” movement, such as this most generous donation from Paramount. The plane, “Seeker”, is equipped with heat sensors to detect animal and human body temperatures as well as a quiet running engine. South-Africa has also deployed their military to patrol SA park borders and to protect the rhino’s but it’s not enough to put a stop to international crime syndicates.

 

At the start of December 2012 a total of 558 Rhinos have been killed of which 364 were killed at Kruger National Park. Last years total rhino deaths reached 448 deaths. According to experts rhino deaths are leading to a massive decline in rhino population which will eventually lead to extinction. The rhino’s are being killed for their horns, which are exported to China, Asia and Thailand as it is believed these horns is used to treat a variety of ailments which include “devil possession” as well as cancer however this claim is scientifically unsupported. Rhino horn price surpass that of gold as one kilogram of horn is roughly worth $57 000.00. A lot of experts believe this war cannot be won with weapons and camouflage but instead there should be more rhino conservation projects which do make sense but this would just mean there are more places for poachers to poach rhinos. Though the heavy security areas would not be a target anymore for rhino poaching, which is a good thing, but this also means the criminals wouldn’t be brought to justice.

Your comments on this topic are welcomed.

Sincerly

RS

UNIGLOBE Gateway VIP Lounge Pass

Relax in between flights with the UNIGLOBE VIP Lounge Pass by Priority Pass. For a very affordable annual fee, lounge pass holders gain access to more than 600 airport lounges worldwide no matter what airline class they fly. Tiered rate packages appeal to occasional and frequent business travellers.

What is a UNIGLOBE Gateway VIP Lounge Pass?

A pass that provides travelers with access to over 600 airport lounges worldwide irrespective of the airline or the class of service travelled in.

What are the benefits?

Priority Pass Members enjoy the following privileges at airport lounges around the world:

1.Peace and quiet – the chance to relax before the flight.

2.Refreshments, newspapers and snacks – no need to queue for expensive airport food.

3.Full use of facilities – most lounges offer phones, fax machines, email, Internet access,showers and even conference rooms.

UNIGLOBE Gateway and Priority Pass offer two types of programs:

1. Individual Annual Membership Program

There are three memberships types available based on anticipated frequency of use:
Standard Membership
· UNIGLOBE Preferred Rates: €89/£62/$89
· Designed for the traveler who wants the security of access when needed with a low annual fee.

Standard Plus Membership
· UNIGLOBE Preferrerd Price: €224/£143/$224
· This plan incorporates Standard Membership with 10 member lounge visits included.

Prestige Membership
· Uniglobe Preferred Price: €359/£233/$359
· Designed for the frequent traveler that would prefer to make a one-off payment to gain access to lounges.

Each member can take guests into the Lounge at an additional cost:

o £15/€24/USD$27

Membership Package

Each member will receive a Welcome Pack, including a Priority Pass membership card, a paperback directory and a welcome letter with a password, giving them access to the member’s website. This gives members the flexibility to download the Lounge Directory to their laptop or PDA.

How do clients book a UNIGLOBE VIP lounge pass?

Contact Liesl Bessinger on 2711 768 0779 or email ugtrsa@gmail.com
First time clients will be asked to register and to provide their personal or corporate credit card details in a “secure environment”.
Members will receive the monthly e-zine (online magazine), if they provide their email address in the online application form, and they will be informed of any Lounge additions or changes.

Visit our website www.uniglobegatewaytravel.info for the latest Corporate Travel Management Solutions and FREE Video Pack