Thursday, 13 April 2017

How to Handle Stressful Vacation Situations

Vacation is stressful! The old adage “I need a vacation from my vacation” was created for a reason. “Who has the boarding passes? Why did Tanisha kick her shoes off? Who has the handi wipes? …and more!”
We understand that going away can be quite a test on your patience and nerves. Whether you’re with your family, as a couple, a group of friends, or even alone – stressors loom around every corner. So we wanted to share a few tactics that can help you relax through the myriad of stressful events that may happen on your trip:

Lesson 1: Pack lightly. Lesson 2: No, lighter than that. The more luggage you have, the heavier you stuff it, the most stressed out you’ll be when any other of the following situations occur. On your trip, you’ll want to dress comfortably, but practically. When do you do pack, aim to bring your most versatile clothes, things that can be worn both actively, but also work as a piece for dressing up? Things you can sit, stand, and walk in for hours on end while still looking fashionable (if you so desire). Rolling your clothes instead of folding will accomplish two things: there will be more space in the suitcase and they won’t wrinkle.
Stuff every nook and cranny of the luggage, you’ll be surprised how many cubic inches you leave unused. Packing a small rolling suitcase will also make your life easier, rather than lugging a duffle bag. Plan ahead by going to a drug store and buying the tiny toiletries you may need on your trip, or the accessories that make travel easier like ear plugs and a sleep mask. And please, go light on the shoes, one or two pairs are sufficient. Spray the luggage with some freshener to keep the odour fresh and weigh your luggage beforehand to avoid extra baggage fees. Don’t forget a distinct tag for everyone’s suitcase so it is easily recognizable at baggage claim!

Flight Delay or Cancellation
This is definitely a “make the best of a bad situation” situation. You can never really be sure when a delay will hit you – yes it might be obvious because of snow or rain or fog, but sometimes there’s a mechanical fix or the wing’s need to be iced down or something happened halfway across the world that just somehow affected your trip. If you’re in an airport – head to the nearest restaurant, airline lounge, or bar and enjoy a bit of relaxation time. Did you bring some work with you or a book to read on the plane? Well, start digging in. Make sure you’re seated next to a recharging station, this delay might be awhile.
If you’re really afraid of delays or cancellations, buy flight insurance so you can head home without worry of losing your money. Know your rights when it comes to flights though, and feel free to tweet or Facebook the airline to get status updates and politely game the system. You could also go up to the customer service counter and ask what flights may get you to your destination faster, and they’ll probably rebook you. This may also be a good time to get some sleep to prevent jet lag (see below). You could also make some new friends at the gate, bond over the nuisance.

Jet lag
A disruption of your normal sleep schedule and a trip across multiple time zones can often lead to what is known as “jet lag”. There are many tips and tricks to combat this issue so your vacation isn’t ruined by lack of sleep. Taking care of your body is the first step, make sure you’re hydrated and eating healthy before your flight. If you’re on a red-eye, keep going the next day, don’t fall asleep at 9 am and sleep through the day, you’ll really mess up your rhythm. Before you leave, start shifting your sleep schedule towards the time zone of where you’re headed – for instance, go to sleep an hour earlier two nights before, and two hours early the night before your trip – that can help you adjust. Avoid alcohol on the plane, your sleeping will be fragmented and you’ll wake groggy instead of refreshed (same with sleeping pills). Try taking melatonin (the hormone that helps you feel tired at night) to adjust your cycle.

Getting lost
There are two options to consider when you realize you’re lost in a place you’re not familiar with – enjoy the mystery, or solve the problem. If you don’t mind getting lost, just relax and throw yourself into the adventure of finding your way back. See the nooks and crannies of the city you may have missed by staying in the main tourist areas.
If you want to get back on the beaten path, the easiest step is to ASK someone! If you speak the language, asking how to get back to your vacation rental or restaurant or wherever should be a synch. Another option is to use your smart phone to pull up Google Maps or Apple Maps or whatever app you prefer for directions. Plot a course back to where you need to be. If you’re abroad and do not have an international data plan (though you should highly consider this add-on to your plan if going abroad for a week or more) you should download a map of the city or area when offline before you go. Search for a place in Google Maps and zoom in such that all the area that you wish to save is visible on the screen. Tap the Search button on the keyboard and all the visible area will download to your phone almost instantly.

Waiting in line
The tips for keeping a cool head while waiting in line are endless. The best way to stay calm is to wait with a friend! When you’re inside your own head, things can get messy – but if you’re chatting alongside your travel buddy, the time passes faster. The more comfortable your clothes and shoes on, the easier it will be to “do the time” on the line. Make sure your phone is 100% charged before you leave the vacation rental so you can browse for hours if need be, and grab a snack or two to keep yourself fed. If you do have the kids around, try some distracting games like “I spy with my little eye…” etc. As always, the best tip is to get “there” early so waiting in line becomes less of a necessity. If you’re at a theme park – prioritize which rides you want to go on and try to get those done ASAP, so if there are lines, you know you’ll get on without issues at some point. If allowed, always use the Fast Pass option to cut the long lines. Lastly, bring your favorite book and always know where the closest bathroom is, just in case.

Losing items
Lost items often stay lost, but if you act quickly, you can increase your chances of recovering your item. Don’t panic! Contact the location where you assume you left the item – be it a restaurant, vacation rental, sports stadium – wherever. It may be that a good Samaritan turned it in and it is in the “lost and found” of the establishment. If no luck and you’re able, retrace your steps and see if you dropped it along the route you came either walking or biking etc. Call the cab company and see if you left it there. If you believe you were robbed, call the police and report the incident immediately. Back up your important documents (like passports) on your mobile device so you can pull them up on your phone in a pinch.
The best strategy though is awareness and prevention. Check for your valuable items always before leaving an area. If possible, don’t even bring valuables with you, so if you lose something, it wasn’t that important anyway.

Unruly children
Traveling with children of all ages is difficult, but young ones especially as they are thrown out of their normal routine into situations that challenge, excite, and confuse them. So the first tip is to try to keep as much normal structure and as many rules as possible. If you can keep bedtimes, favorite snacks, toys, and electronics relatively the same, you’re off to a good start. Give the kids plenty of warning that the vacation is upcoming so they aren’t taken unawares and begin teaching lessons about new situations that might arise, like an ethnic meal that they don’t like. Arrive at all of your events early as kids slow down the boarding/checking in process. Try to keep things simple and streamlined, not much bouncing from activity to activity each day. Schedule time to wind down before bed so kids can fall asleep easier. Watch the food intake on vacation because kids can whine for junk food and candy when on the go! The best way to keep children calm is to keep calm yourself, so keep your cool, if you can.

Taking a taxi in a foreign country
You’re always on high alert when traveling in a taxi or haggling with locals while on vacation. You don’t want to get taken or made to look like a fool. As we mentioned above, it is important to have offline Google maps saved to at least have a chance to direct the driver where to go. You could also take a physical map with you and try that way – if there’s a language barrier this is especially helpful since you can trace with your finger. In many countries, it is still common to charge tourist different prices from locals, and it’s even more common to drive the taxi the long way in order to charge more, so be courteous but be alert!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Serviced Apartments are Ideal Choice for Families on Holiday

No sooner is one school holiday out of the way and the next is already on the horizon.  As families trawl through the web to find the perfect mini break to refresh themselves, some families are side stepping the idea of taking a city break with the kids in favor of resorts and holiday parks.  The feeling could be that cities hotel rooms just don’t provide the space you need, B&B's have a set breakfast time that doesn’t allow for your little ones’ 6 am demands and will time in a busy city really keep them entertained?  Well, city breaks are ideal for families, and the best way to enjoy them is with serviced apartments as your accommodation of choice!  Here are the reasons why…

1) Space for all the family
Serviced Apartments come in all shapes and sizes.  For families one, two and three bedroom apartments mean that you can all have your own space, with communal areas like separate living and dining areas for the family to get together and relax.  Unlike hotels, where you may all be cramped on a bed, elbowing each other for a good view of the TV, serviced apartments are typically bigger than equivalent hotels – most with comfortable seating enough for everyone. 

2) Home cooking
Serviced apartments come with their own fully equipped kitchen, meaning you can enjoy your family’s favourite meals even when you’re in the Goa, and/or half way around the world!  For fussy eaters or children with allergies, having your own kitchen on your travels is a huge bonus- plus if you’re looking to go away on a budget, your own cooking facilities will mean you don’t have to splash out in restaurants during your whole trip.

3) Home comforts
There’s nothing worse than a sterile, clinical looking hotel room, particularly when you’re far from home.  Typically serviced apartments have a much more homely feel.  Many come with added home comforts, like wall hangings, cushions, and small accessories just to give you that extra little piece of home.  It may not seem like a big deal but it’s amazing how much a little attention to detail can really make you feel at home.

4) Familiarity in an unfamiliar place
With your own kitchen and separate bedrooms and living spaces, serviced apartments allow you to maintain your normal family routine.  If you’re used to 7 pm bedtimes and 6 am breakfasts, there’s nothing to stop you sticking to it with ease.   Being able to keep your usual routine means the younger ones will be much more settled even though they’re in an unfamiliar place.

4) Hotel service perks
On the one hand, you have all the familiarity and comforts of home, but remember this is your holiday, so having some of the benefits you’d expect with a hotel is a must as well.  Many serviced apartments have a reception and somebody to help you with any questions.  They also all have varying levels of maid and linen service.

5) Central locations
One reason why some families might not consider planning a city break with the kids is because they’re unaware that you can get suitable accommodation in the most central locations.  It’s not just hotels and B&Bs that get the top spots close to all the best attractions.  Serviced apartments are also right there in the heart of the action, so if you’ve had a busy day exploring, sightseeing and visiting your chosen places you won’t be too far back to your apartment to relax at the end of the day.

6) Costs per apartment
This is especially important for bigger families – some accommodation options can charge per person, and even hike up the prices once your kids hit their teens!  Serviced apartments are charged per apartment per night.  You have the flexibility to stay just for one night, a full week, or even months – so it really could begin to feel like home!

7) Separate space to relax
Picture this:  you’ve had a long, active day with the kids and you finally get back to your hotel, put them in bed and open a bottle of wine.  The problem is the kids are lightly sleeping on a pull out bed or sofa bed in your small family hotel room.  Hardly ideal for a complete unwind.  On any family holiday, you are entitled to relax yourselves and enjoy your own adult time – so having separate bedrooms and living spaces is great for that added privacy from the kids.

8) Entertainment facilities
Granted, the best thing about being in a top city is getting out there, seeing sights and experiencing the atmosphere – not sitting in and watching TV.  But at the same time, there’s only so much sight-seeing you can do in a day – especially if you’re travelling with small children whose energy comes in peaks and troughs!  So having a range of entertainment facilities in your apartment can be a welcome relief.  The majority of apartments usually come with a TV, DVD player, stereo, and broadband to keep you entertained when you’re not out enjoying the city.

Planning a city break with the kids…

Once you have your own home away from home, you’re free to explore your city of choice and make the best from your holidays!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Exquisite Beaches of North Goa

If you are a beach bum, we are sure you can never have enough of beaches in your life, right? Goa, the beach paradise of India is the most favorite vacation spot among beach lovers. Goa is divided into two districts: North Goa, the party place, and South Goa filled with serenity. While this is how most people like to classify Goa, there’s much more to both these districts than parties and tranquility. While Baga Beach and Calangute Beach are the favorite hangouts among Goa goers, we have to tell you that there are other beaches in Goa, which are more beautiful, scenic and as happening as these 2 popular hotspots!

Here we get you a list of some picturesque, serene, silent, still happening beaches of North Goa.

1. Querim/Keri Beach

Querim is one of the secluded beaches of Goa. This is around 30 km from Baga beach and situated in the northern part of the North Goa. The beauty is intact as not much tourist visit here. Hence there are not many food joints available around. The best you can enjoy is sit back in the tree shed and relax. The place is far from the city hence visit according to the time, late night is not suggested.

2. Morjim Beach

Morjim was popular for Olive Ridley sea turtles, however, due to increased tourism it is difficult to spot turtles now. It is popularly known as ‘Little Russia’ because of the immigration of many Russians. Morjim hosts some of the best parties, but most of them are restricted to foreigners, especially Russians. Those who love trance parties should certainly visit Morjim.

3. Anjuna Beach

This is a famous Goan beach. Anjuna beach is very simple yet serene. Famous for its food joints and lovely atmosphere. Unlike other beaches, this has small food stalls that serve egg bun and Maggi during night. The best place to spend time with friends.

4. Vagator Beach

The famous Chapora fort is overlooking the Vagator beach. It is a beautiful beach with the best restaurants possible in Goa. This beach is a hit with foreign tourists. You ought to visit Vagator on visiting Goa!

5. Sinquerim Beach

This is at the tip of North Goa, just around the Arpora Fort. This beach has a dramatic view. Sinquerim beach offers water sports like Parasailing, jet ski etc.

6. Candolim beach

Candolim has located 5-6 kilometers away from Baga and Calangute. The soft white sand at Candolim will surely leave you mesmerized. Candolim has a number of restaurants which serve the yummiest food! A walk alongside the coast of Candolim beach is the perfect way to end your day in Goa.

Though not the best, the beaches of South Goa are great beach-side vacation options. From adventure water-sports to romantic beach-side dinners, they offer everything that you seek from a beach. Though the list is very long, but the top 10 beaches of South Goa are Colva Beach, Palolem Beach, Agonda Beach, Benaulim Beach, Bogmalo Beach, Betul Beach, Majorda Beach, Butterfly Beach, Polem Beach, and Patnem Beach.

To make your vacations more fun, book a luxurious elegant fully furnished apartment, in the lush green tranquility near Calangute Beach with Veera Strand Park.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Serviced Apartments in Goa for an Unforgettable Vacation

On a holiday, the place of your stay also matters like does exploring the tourist destinations. So, it is always recommended to book a comfortable hotel or apartment even before you begin your journey. As choosing a right shelter for your temporary stay may not be an easy task, so there are various online and offline helplines to help you out in Goa. Now, you need not worry about deciding the right den all by yourself. All you need to do is make a list of your requirements and start your search for an appropriate apartment. Read on to know why choosing a serviced apartment is a smart choice.

1. Avail the facility of 24 hour attendant — Service apartments usually provides the facility of the 24-hour concierge. It is quite easy to assist visitors and guests as they have proper knowledge about the area, transport, theaters and restaurants that make your stay at this place special with their guidance.

2. Enjoy the comfort of your home — These suites provide the feel of the homely environment by providing the same comfort and relaxation that you enjoy at home. They often consist of separate living space, bedroom, and devices for entertainment which includes television, music systems, DVDs, free WiFi and private phone line.

3. Fully - equipped cooking area — A fully equipped kitchen should include cooker, fridge, dishwasher and dryer for the ones who have special dietary requirements. This is beneficial if you are planning to stay in the rented flat for a long time. If you do not want to cook, call upon the attendant who will make necessary arrangements of a private chef for cooking and serving meals.

4. Customized accommodation and experience — Customized housing provides you with the facility of secure parking and stocking your kitchen cupboards with favorite foods. These are some great additions to your stay in a rented flat.

5. More space at an affordable rate — These luxurious rooms usually have more space than hotel rooms. Thus, if you are travelling with your friends or kids, finding a spacious room is exactly what you need to enjoy the tour to the utmost. When you’re on a trip with many people, choosing a suite is considered to be an economical choice. Also, there are beneficial rates for longer stays.

6. Get complete privacy and freedom — After you book a service apartment in Goa, you can be assured of getting full privacy and freedom with your family, friends and business associates. Thus, sit, sleep, enjoy and relax together far away from the hustles and bustles of city life.

7. Complete security — The main advantage of choosing this accommodation is you experience the facility of your homely ambiance. Moreover, they are private and offer full security with 24-hour CCTV, staff, and service.

On knowing about the abundant services and facilities of a serviced apartment, you can wisely make your decision to choose one for your next vacation. The place is a great option to choose over a hotel or other rental accommodations. It adds to your memories of the foreign trip, making it an unforgettable one.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Why serviced apartments for business or vacation stays

Serviced apartments are “now so popular” Hotel alternative used for corporate, business, vacation or leisure stays. They are generally booked for a couple of nights or more with most providers offering flexible booking arrangements for short or extended stays. This is not a new concept but for those who have never stayed in a serviced apartment you may not be fully aware of what they provide. Put quite simply, a serviced apartment offers independent living with bedrooms separate to the living area. They are inclusive of a fully equipped kitchen and a dining table which doubles up as a place to play board games or catch-up on work assignments.

So what exactly are serviced apartments?
Many compare a serviced apartment to being like home. But, there are no bills to take care of or domestic chores to be done. Space is what they do offer and if you like the outdoors, look out for one with a balcony when you book one for your stay. No two apartments are alike as each is individually furnished and fitted so if you have a particular requirement do point that out while making a booking. Room by room tour of what a serviced apartment is and what it offers >>

Inclusive of a fully fitted and equipped modern kitchen. This doesn’t just mean a minibar and a kettle, but the full works, just like you’d have at home: oven and hob, microwave, dishwasher, fridge/ freezer, toaster and kettle. This offers guests the opportunity to shop out and eat in, (a great way to make substantial savings on your travel budget and to have a healthier eating plan).

In the kitchen you will also find a washer/dryer as well as an iron and ironing board. So there is no excuse for turning up at that important meeting in a crumpled shirt or for running up massive hotel laundry bills. You can travel light and still have a fresh outfit everyday!

Dining area
Added to the spaciousness of a serviced apartment is a dining area with table and chairs that can double as a work table, a space to entertain guests or just for you to relax at the start and end of the day. You could dine in with style!

Lounge/ Living Room
And, while we’re talking about relaxation, there is a comfortable lounge area with sofa and armchairs, a large screen TV and a DVD player.

Bedrooms and bathrooms
Bedrooms are spacious with comfortable bed and linen. Some bedrooms may even have the addition of another TV, or a complimentary pair of slippers too! All serviced apartments have at least one private bathroom and toilet many of which are en-suite.

Free Wi-Fi and Parking
To complete our description of a serviced apartment, there are some important finishing touches. For starters, there is free broadband or Wi-Fi and a free parking space. Many serviced apartment providers have a weekly housemaid service who cleans and replaces all towels and linen with fresh ones – a great advantage to those staying for a week or more.

Serviced apartments offer spacious, independent living style accommodation at a nightly rate less than a hotel of equivalent standards. It is similar to renting a flat in a residential development but the difference is that there are no contracts to sign, no deposit to pay and no water/gas/electricity/council tax bills to take care of. You collect your keys from the concierge desk and make your way to your apartment, unpack and relax!

Veera Strand Park Goa have serviced apartments located near Calangute Beach in North Goa– all close to major travel links. Booking into a serviced apartment is a quick and easy process with no lengthy paperwork required.