Essential Tips to Starting Travel

A picture is worth a thousand words!
A travel blog without photos is not attractive. Each post needs to be accompanied with at least one spectacular photograph so that people have the visual reference corresponding with your textual description right there.
There are two things that you need to keep in mind before starting your travel blog. Firstly, start a travel blog only and only if you travel. Don’t take information from the Internet and write articles based on that. Only travel blogs with firsthand information are trusted. See the place yourself and then write about it. It makes a huge difference. Secondly, you need to have some concrete experience in traveling to start a blog. You’ll end up making too many mistakes otherwise. Having said that, we’ll now start with 12 great tips for starting your own travel blog.
1. Write down your reasons for starting the blog.

Why is it that you want to start a travel blog? The reasons can be several. Maybe you want to keep your friends updated about your travels (in case you’re traveling frequently), you want to help fellow travelers to travel smarter, or you want to jubilantly discuss the beauties of this world that you’ve had the opportunity to explore. Maybe you want to do all the above. Writing down the reasons will give you clarity of thought, a direction, and a purpose. This way you’ll know what your aim is. You see, starting a blog is not a big deal. But maintaining it with regular post uploads can get a little tiresome after a point. The zest with which you start a blog begins to ebb and the enthusiasm dwindles. However, if you have clear reasons etched in your mind for starting the blog, this gradual creeping in of disinterest can be combated to a good extent. Having a direction always helps with the motivation factor.
2. Decide what you want to write and for whom.

Now that you know why you’re starting the blog, make a list of things you want to cover in your writing. Every blog MUST have a focus. Do you want to give your readers stories? These would cover your experiences during your travels. Do you want to tell your readers about places? This would cover information about a specific place (what to do, eat, and expect) and will have less focus on personal experiences. This way you’ll be telling your readers what to expect from your blog in the “About Me” section right at the start. If people are interested in knowing more about different places, and find you narrating more about your personal experiences in spite of having promised otherwise, they might feel cheated somehow. They should know what you are offering and then take a call on whether your blog can help their cause or not. Be very clear about what you want to concentrate on and pursue it with a great amount of attention to detail. Know which section of Internet readers you wish to convert into steady followers. Once you’ve decided on these two factors, tapping trends and optimally utilizing them to your benefit will become a cakewalk.
3. Name your blog intelligently.

Now that you have a clear picture about why and what you want to write, think of a name for your blog. The name has to stand out and also convey the objective or at least the very essence of your blog. It’s very important for the reader to at least get a hint of what he can expect from your blog. The name should be conspicuous and catchy; it should be easy for people to remember. It should induce intrigue so that people are compelled to at least read a few lines, just to see what’s it all about. A long, confusing name will not only be difficult to remember but also lead to you losing out on potential repeat visitors.
4. Talk to frequent travelers, visit other travel blogs, and understand the value of your work.

Before you start writing or implementing things on your blog, talk to travelers and see what they expect from travel blogs. This will give you a rough idea about general expectations. Simultaneously, check out other travel blogs. Make a list of things they do to engage their readers. Also make a list of interesting and intriguing elements on their blogs. Amidst all that is available on the net, try to visualize how your work will add value. How will you be different? It’s very important to do something unique. If your blog is not unique and ends up being very similar to those already out there, it will be nearly impossible for you to make a mark. See, being inspired and incorporating an element in your blog will not be considered as a copy only when you add your personal interpretation of the element. That you have the power to analyze things in your own way is what people should be able to figure out from your blog.
5. Be sure of certain choices you make; they’re long-term.

Some of the changes you make or some things that you implement on your blog are long-term. For example, the website that’ll host your blog. Shifting websites later will not only add to your work, but also play a role in your rankings on search engines. Similarly, your logo, which will play a great role in establishing your identity, will also be long-term. The URL you choose for your blog will also last forever as this is what your readers are going to remember. Every element that you add to your blog, do it after a lot of thought. Don’t do anything in a hurry, especially things that you aren’t sure of

Italy Travel Tips

It is said that any trip to Europe is incomplete without a trip to Italy! So, various Italy travel tips mentioned in this article will be helpful to you in making your journey more memorable and hassle free!
You won’t be the same traveler any more once you visit Italy, for it is a country that will change your perception about beauty and architectural magnificence. It is a country that has amazingly fabricated its traditional lifestyle and culture with the modern-day developments. From the arts of Renaissance in Venice, to the exquisite mix of food, culture, music, fashion and glamor, Italy is a dream destination for any travel freak. Numerous Italy facts are bound to leave you in awe about this beautiful country.

Italy Travel Advice

Planning for Italy travel requires you to focus on several aspects of budget travel so that you’re able to enjoy your Italy tour without any worries. Of course, you won’t enjoy a single moment in such a beautiful country, if you’re not planning your journey properly. Don’t forget the following tips:

The peak tourist season in Italy is June – September. Hence, you can book your tickets to fly for this country either during April – May or September – November. Besides, hassle free tourism, you will also enjoy cheap hotel rates and even other expenses will be cut down significantly.
The early bloom of spring in April – May and cool winter nights in September – November are ideal for living some soulful moments in your travel to Italy.
It never hurts to have a travel insurance, especially if you’re an overseas traveler. If you’re visiting Italy with your family, it is best to have a travel insurance.
The duration of your stay in Italy is totally dependent on your passport validity duration. Generally, overseas people are allowed to spend 3 months as tourists in Italy, provided they’re not coming to Italy for other purposes like business or studies.
Do I need to tell you anything about packing less and carrying light luggage? Travel light because at railway stations, you may not find porters! Moreover, where will you keep the accessories and clothing that you will shop during your Italy stay? Save some space from shopping also!
The capital city of Italy, Rome, is also a great place to visit and there are various cheap hotels in the outskirts of the city where one can stay. Moreover, Italian food, that is known worldwide, can be best found in Rome. Luxury restaurants and high class hotels can be very expensive so try to stay in affordable hotels. Prefer food from shopping stores, bars and food courts.
You’re going to discover an ocean of information about Italy and its grandeur on the Internet and in travel guide books. It is not possible to learn everything about Italy but you can certainly get to know more about Italy’s culture and history. That will enhance your understanding about Italy.
Visiting Venice is something that one must not miss on a trip to Italy. It is advisable to take a very good camera along with you, as you can’t afford to miss the picturesque view of this city, where you’ll find highest number of masterpieces in a per square kilometer area!
The currency of Italy, Euro (Symbol = €)) is accepted by 13 countries in Europe and you might not face any problem in dealing with it. However, if you’re from countries outside Europe, like US, UK, India, do carry some Euro money. Taxis from airports hardly take money in other currencies, so you may face problem, if you’re not carrying Euro cents and dollar. Nevertheless, almost all major stations and airports in Italy have the facility for currency exchange.
Phone matters when you’re in Italy, so that you’re safe and you can contact emergency numbers, if you require. If you’re traveling from other country, ensure you have subscribed international free calling cards and within Italy, you can purchase a scheda telefonica (or carta telefonica) that are disposable telephone cards, for usage in Italy. They can be purchased from any tobacco shops, railway stations and airports.
In the city, you will find various ATMs, known as Banco Mat and you can withdraw money from your ATM cards. Before traveling to Italy, ensure you contact your bank and inquire if you don’t need to get a new password for international transactions. Many banks in Europe accept passwords that are more than four digits, so ensure you’re aware of all laws and rules.
If you don’t known Italian, it is not a problem as there are many people who are able to communicate in common languages like English, French and German. Almost all hotel staffs are able to converse in English and so it is not a major problem when it comes to language. The more deeper you go into Italy, you’ll dominantly find more regional dialects being spoken! Don’t hesitate to use sign language, as many outside tourists use it to explain things! Moreover, if you can try to take some efforts to speak Italian, it will be highly appreciated by Italians, as they are very friendly people.
The price to stay in Italy hotels is not very cheap and it starts anywhere around 100 Euros per night, and goes upwards depending on the area and hotel. The more you go in the south of Italy, cheaper will be the hotel rates.
Traveling by train is an ideal way to manage transportation costs in Italy. Eurostars, the fast trains in Italy cost anywhere around Euro 30 to 50 per trip. One of the Italy train travel tips is to buy tickets for slow regional trains that are cheaper per trip. If not train, there are ferries and buses with good facilities too.

Safety Tips for Traveling Abroad

Traveling to a foreign country is exciting as well as risky. The reasons for excitement and risk are the same – new places, new people, etc. If you are planning to make a foreign trip in the near future and do not want to become a victim of violence or face unwanted situations, difficulties, read through the following article to know some safety tips for traveling abroad.
Traveling abroad can be for various reasons like leisure, business conference, wedding or any other personal cause. Out of the above occasions, it is only for a vacation that you have plenty of packing time since you plan it well in advance. Other occasions, generally, come as a surprise. Though these occasions are sudden, you should not skip the factor of safety in your trip. For a vacation, you can think what stuff to carry and what should be left at home. But, have you ever thought what should you do to make your travel trip safe as well as fun. If you stay calm and think wisely while planning for a trip abroad, you can be assured of a safe and enjoyable international trip.

What to Do Before Leaving?

Safety begins at the time of packing for your trip. You should be very careful while selecting your stuff otherwise you might end up facing unwanted situations. Here are a few suggestions as to what and how much to carry, what to wear, etc., when you are on your foreign trip.

Money

Never carry more cash than required. Try to make maximum use of your credit and debit cards.
Men should keep cash as well as cards in their front pockets whereas women can use a hand bag tucked under the arm so that no one can reach it without their notice. Use different places to keep the cards to avoid credit card problems such as losing them all at once.
When you reach the hotel put your credit/ debit cards in the main safe of the hotel or in your personal locker in the room.

Jewelry

Do not become a target for thieves by wearing attention seeking jewelry. Keep all gold and other precious jewelry at home and wear something light and artificial.
If you have to carry expensive jewelry as you will be attending a wedding, keep it in hidden corners of your travel bags.

Dressing

You might wonder, how can dressing up help you stay safe while traveling. But trust me, it makes a lot of difference.
If your plane is hi-jacked, you should go unnoticed among all people and this can happen only when you are dressed in casual wear and dull colors. Slacks and T-shirts will help you move easily in an emergency.

Prescriptions and Documents

If you are on medication while traveling abroad, carry all prescriptions and doctor’s letter with you.
Ask your doctor to mention the names of drugs (if any) and their need in your treatment, so there won’t be any issue with the flight attendant.
Share your itinerary with your family members and friends i.e., keep photocopies of your passport, visa and other important documents with your relatives or close friends. They should have all information in case of an emergency.
Keep in touch with them regularly through phone, messages or e-mail, if you are traveling alone.

Know the Local Laws and Customs

You should have sufficient information about the place you are planning to visit, like its laws and customs. If you are not fully aware of these things you might unnecessarily get into trouble.
To avoid unwanted attention, dress like a local. Tourists always stand out from the local populace and thieves take advantage of this.

Tips to Follow When You Reach the Destination

When you are in your hotel room, investigate it for anything unusual. If you locate any such thing, bring it to the notice of the management.
Plan your schedule and when you have decided the places of your visit, seek help from the hotel staff in finding the exact address of the place to reach there without any difficulty and complications.
Let your hotel management arrange for your transport to the desired place because if you plan to go by a taxi or any other local transport and if it is not licensed, you might face problems.
You should know where you are going. Take a look at the local map before leaving the hotel so you can reach your destination safely and in time.

Travel Planner Templates

Travel planner templates help to organize your holiday or business trip, so that you don’t forget anything and your vacation or trip is smooth running. To know more about them, read on…
Planning an annual holiday with your family or a camping trip with friends is not an easy job. In fact, it can be a stressful experience for some, as you’ve got to pay attention to many things at the same time. Of course, now that you’ve decided you want to holiday, chosen the destination and fixed the dates when you’re going to start and return, you have to rearrange your work schedule accordingly, book the tickets if you’re going by plane, or send your car for servicing if you’re going to drive down. Also, you also need to figure out where you can keep your pets while you’re gone. In short, you need to plan a lot in the few days before your vacation or trip. A travel planner is a good way to make sure that all the things you want to do fit in with clockwork precision before your vacation starts. Not only that, you can note down all the activities you would like to do during your holiday. It’s also very useful in case of business travel. Let’s find out how to make a travel planner template for a family holiday or a business trip.

Making your Own Excel Travel Planner Template

You can make your travel planner in an Excel spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel is an easy software to work with. If you’re good at excel, you can create a detailed schedule of your activities before and during the holiday time. If you aren’t, no problem; you can still try using it. It’s easy to do, though it might take a little time to familiarize yourself with the design software. Basically, you should know what you want out of it. You can draw it in rough on paper, and copy it on your excel spreadsheet. You can use your creativity to:

Design your template
Vary text fonts and colors
Add or remove rows and columns
Adjust the column and row sizes
Create borders for blocks
Highlight priority tasks

Just make sure you highlight each must-do lists or reminders and dates with same colors, so they’re easy to locate at a glance. Borders will help you to check a whole block easily. Once you’ve got the excel travel planner template ready, you can use it again, and update the travel planner with your next holiday info.

What to Include in the Excel Travel Planner Template?

You’ve decided to draw your template but don’t know what to include and where, then this excel travel planner template design description will give you an idea about what all you can do. At the top of your excel sheet, you can type where you’re going for a holiday. Then type in Travel Dates keeping a cell space for information you want to fill in. Similarly add the start date and end date in the same row. In the next row, beginning with the month and year, you can put in the dates of your holiday one-by-one in a row in bold, say if your holiday starts from January 1, 2010, followed by the other dates. On the extreme left down, you can optionally keep the month’s calendar, say January 2010, in this case, (the option is built-in in excel, so you don’t have to type in the calendar; just go to Insert, select Object and then choose Calendar). Once you’ve installed the calendar, you can also highlight the start and end dates of your holiday on it. Underneath, in the same column, type Things to Do and below that make a note of things that you need to take along like

a map of the place you’re visiting (if you’re going there for the first time or traveling by road)
passport
currency
any vouchers you will be able to avail there (specially if you are visiting a spa resort)
digital camera
warm clothes (that’s a must, especially, if you are going in fall or winter)
medicines
sports gear (e.g.: fishing gear)

to the things to do list. Keep a column on the left of the list free, so you can cross-check whether you’ve packed all of them, in the check box. Below this, add Things to Remember, which will have to and fro airline reservations, accommodation at the vacation destination and rental car details, starting from the left of the spreadsheet. Below this, for the Activity Schedule, you can distribute the day on hourly basis, and put down the schedule of activities to be done on each day. This holiday travel template will be easy to create. Just keep in mind that your travel planner template should not be complicated or difficult to follow. After you’ve finished working on it, don’t forget to save the excel travel planner template. Once completed, you can either take a print-out and fill it manually with ink or if you’re taking your laptop along on your holiday, you can still update or refer to it.