Tag Archives: International Travel

5 Reasons Why Travelling is Good for Your Mind, Body and Soul

Travelling is the ultimate way to literally and figuratively expand your horizons, but it’s also extremely good medicine for your mind, body and soul. In fact, frequent travel can help you de-stress, improve your personality and can even keep your heart healthier. Here are our top 5 reasons to go travelling as much and as often as you can.

1. Travel boosts your immune system

When you leave the comfort of your home and step out into the world, you’re also exposing yourself to new and foreign bacteria. As a defense mechanism, your body naturally produces antibodies that help to protect you, and over time, your immune system develops resistance and gets stronger. The more you travel, the more your body is exposed and the stronger your immune system will become. Some well-seasoned travellers even swear by travelling as the ‘best probiotic on the planet’. Whilst we are by no means suggesting you forget basic hygiene and take unnecessary risks, we do think that a little dirt can do more good than harm.

2. Travelling improves your heart health

Believe it or not, travelling can actually decrease your chances of getting heart disease. A study conducted in the U.S. found that men and women who travelled more frequently were less likely to develop heart problems compared with those who vacationed less often. Amongst women it was found that heart disease risk could be reduced by as much as 50% and around 32% in men. Great news for anyone looking to justify their next holiday, as it could literally be giving you the gift of extended life.

3. Vacationing keeps your mind healthy

When you travel you’re constantly challenging your mind, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and pushing your boundaries. All of these have been shown to increase your concentration, memory and overall cognitive flexibility. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published research that proved that travelling improves your personality across the five overarching domains (emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness). In addition, travel has even been linked to people being more outgoing, optimistic, interesting and just generally more awesome!

4. Holiday = ultimate stress buster

It may be one of the most obvious benefits on our list, but it’s definitely one not to underestimate the importance of. Rest and relaxation whilst on holiday helps your body to rejuvenate and recharge. It doesn’t take much for down time to make a big difference either, almost 90% of holiday makers surveyed said they felt a significant reduction in stress levels after just a few days away.

5. Build stronger relationships on vacation

Solo travelling can be great for helping you find yourself, but when you travel with your loved ones, holidays take on a new meaning. You can build even stronger connections with your partner, family or friends simply through your shared vacation memories. For couples, travelling frequently can be hugely beneficial, with 63% of people believing that it helps them stay together longer. For families there are benefits too, 49% of adults claim they still have vivid (and happy) recollections of their family holidays, showing just how important it can be to make sure you take your family away every now and again.

Hopefully this post has left you with no doubts as to the amazing health and wellbeing benefits of wanderlusting. To summarize, travelling is almost guaranteed to help you live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life – and could even help you live longer! Don’t forget to take along your very own Tep portable wifi device to get the most out of your time away. The device will help you reduce stress whilst on vacation, you won’t have to worry about huge data roaming bills when you return home (it’s just $9.95 per day for unlimited wifi for 5 devices) and you’ll never have to worry about getting lost as you’ll have access to the internet on the move! To buy or rent a device click here or for more travel inspiration check out our blog here.

THE RISE OF THE DIGITAL NOMAD – HOW WORKING ON THE BEACH WENT FROM DISTANT DREAM TO SPARKLING REALITY

If working from anywhere in the world, at a time of your choosing, sounds like your idea of heaven you are not alone. With millennials being hailed as an ‘asset-light’ generation increasingly looking to fill their virtual possession portfolio with life experiences rather than accumulating material wealth, the term digital nomad has never had more relevance.

Savvy citizens are moving away from traditional forms of employment where they are limited to an office space and ‘Groundhog Day’ desk between 9am and 5pm five days a week. The working population are both seeing and seeking the opportunities out there and engaging in a more free-spirited approach to work, where earning potential seeks to become a life experience embedded in your personal life rather than a separate entity that you have to endure in order to survive.

A CHANGING REALITY

Increased connectivity around the world has disrupted the traditional linear model of how the world works – people are thinking outside the box and making decisions to suit themselves rather than follow a generational dogma of the predictable path to success. Success is no longer simply about having a four-bedroomed house, 2.4 kids, a dog and a fabulous car. It is about living a life of freedom crammed full of extraordinary experiences with extraordinary people and digital nomads are those who are embracing this enlightened reality and possibility for a life less ordinary.

Digital hot spots, portable tablets and laptops, a plethora of marketing options through social media, and an increased desire for freedom, have all conspired to make this market grow exponentially. Millennials are embracing an opportunity denied to their grandparents of a work-life balance like no other. The digital nomad lifestyle encompasses flexibility, variety and crucially adaptability. It’s moving away from the job-for-life mentality and working to an assumption that people are now more self-reliant than ever and if anything, they are loving it rather than fearing it. In fact, from being seen as something exotic and obtainable to only the fortunate few, the digital nomad lifestyle is integrating into the mainstream with this year seeing the first Digital Nomad conference taking place in Berlin.

SO WHAT’S THE MAIN REASON TO BECOME A DIGITAL NOMAD?

It’s a low-maintenance, low-cost entry to business that appeals on so many levels – it’s lightweight and portable and eliminates many of the stresses associated with a more traditional lifestyle such as rent or mortgage, furniture and household goods, endless bills, mounting car costs ad infinitum.

The joy of the digital nomad lifestyle is that it creates flexibility meaning you can work abroad if you so choose, or simply hang out in your local café with your favourite work buddies. It’s all about the life that you want to create and your reasons for it, including the vision you have of that world. With technology literally at our fingertips, we can communicate around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and anyone with access to a computer, tablet or cell phone could be a potential customer or client of the digital nomad. And we here at Tep  – being passionate arbiters of travel and connection – embrace this reality wholeheartedly and want to keep you in touch when you need to be and most importantly when you choose to be.

It’s not even particularly difficult to start out working life as a digital nomad. As long as you have access to a laptop/tablet/cell phone and a WiFi signal, you are almost good to go. You can choose to start by buying an existing online business (albeit if you have a little capital to invest); going freelance – for example being a writer, take a course in online digital marketing, becoming an online trainer or mentor in your area of expertise, sell on eBay or train to become an expert in social media posting, promoting your lifestyle and actually making money out of it – you might not even need training for this if you are a millennial who was born without a silver spoon but instead a tablet on tap – you may have mastered the minutiae of social media etiquette and be able to create your own social media brand with very little expenditure required. The truth is there are numerous ways to get started if workplace autonomy is what you require.

We live on a planet containing approximately 7.4 billion people and counting and around 40 per cent have regular access to the internet. The fabric of the internet is woven securely into our daily lives and we purchase and research on an increasingly frequent basis. We want answers – it’s out there at the click of a mouse or touch of a phone screen. And so the creative digital nomad taps into this massive market and seeks out his or her niche in this teeming sea. Technology has made this market super easy to access and the only thing possibly standing in your way is a dodgy internet connection! And that’s where Tep has got it covered. With a handheld device that creates your very own wifi hotspot, it has to be the digital nomad’s ideal travelling companion.

EMBRACING THE LIFESTYLE

To embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, the essential component (after your laptop/tablet) is an uninterrupted wifi connection, which is what makes Tep Wireless a match made in heaven for the digital nomad. Teps’ pocket WiFi is a wireless modem that connects any wifi device to 3G internet. The beauty lies in the fact it requires no installation, cables or software and you can, if necessary, connect up to five devices at any one time. And, critically, you can enjoy up to eight hours of uninterrupted work time before recharging – giving you the length of an average office day to do your thing but most brilliantly at the time of your choosing – so if burning the midnight oil is your thing in far-flung places, digital nomad-ing with Tep is no problem. To find out more about how Tep could be part of your digital nomad lifestyle click here.

Tep offers you the safest, securest and most cost effective way of accessing the internet when you’re away. For one fixed daily cost of just $9.50, you can enjoy truly unlimited data for up to 5 devices on the go (the device is pocket sized and works in over 80 countries worldwide). With Tep you’ll never have to worry about returning to a shock bill or being stranded without access to the web – so you can leave the drama to the writers!

Best amusement park holidays around the world for the whole family

Amusement parks (or theme parks as they’re commonly referred to) are a one stop shop for families seeking an adrenaline-filled vacation that is guaranteed to give your kids memories for a lifetime (and give you a peaceful night’s sleep). You’ll enter every child’s dream world, filled with castles, water rides, carousels, roller coasters, ridiculously catchy musicals, fast food, eye candy and plenty of picture perfect moments to capture. Many parks even have their hotel accommodation on-site, so you can make the most of your stay and avoid those summer queues! If you’ve never experienced an amusement park as an adult, it’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list plus, your children will definitely thank you for it.

North America

You’ll find a giant selection of amusements parks in the US, from the magical Disneyland in California and Florida to the ‘Roller Coaster Capital of the World’ (a.k.a. Cedar Point) in Ohio there is sure to be a park suited to your requirements.

The original Disneyland was opened by Walt Disney in the 50’s and despite the franchise expanding globally, it is still extremely popular today. Some of the park’s highlights include the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride which takes you on a winding journey through haunting mines and eerie caverns, Star Tours – The Adventure Continues that lets you relive the Star Wars adventures in an epic 3D motion-simulated space flight and daily extravagant fireworks displays. You’ll need at least 2-3 days to fully cover the entire park without having to rush around (it’s pretty big). Prices for 2 day passes start from $97.50 per person or $85.00 for 3-day passes – book here.

On the other side of the country you’ll find Magic Kingdom Park, another epic Disney creation and one of the top attractions in the U.S. The park is divided into six distinct lands: Main Street USA (the entry plaza), Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, which all offer unique experiences. We cannot recommend enough the Space Mountain roller coaster, Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride and the emission-free Tomorrowland Transit authority people mover to take in the beauty of the park by night. The park is just one of the attractions within Walt Disney World’s gigantic 40 square mile resort. As with Disneyland, you’ll need a couple of days to truly enjoy the entire park but if you have more than a week to invest in your trip, we suggest visiting some of the other parks on offer including  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. You can conveniently buy a 14-day pass which includes access to all of 4 of their theme parks and 2 of their water parks. Prices start from $420 per person, to buy or find out more click here.

Cedar Point is perfect for thrill seekers and is world renowned for its selection of roller coasters. Located an hour’s drive from Cleveland, Ohio, the park features 18 world class rides including Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Maverick. Daily tickets start from $47.99 and can be purchased online here.

We could quite literally write an entire post on the best parks in the U.S. but thankfully you can refer to this very handy guide for some of the other options available.

Europe

When it comes to world-class amusement parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Europe. In fact, the oldest theme park in the world, Bakken, can be found there, in the picturesque woods of Denmark. You can also visit the famous amusement park and pleasure garden, Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen. The park is well regarded for its 100-year old rollercoaster, open-air stage shows and storybook atmosphere. Day passes are extremely cheap and start from just $17 (110 DKK) and can be bought here.

France is home to many amusement parks but perhaps the most well known is Disneyland in Paris. Instead of repeating the magic of Disneyland’s French version here, we’d recommend reading this extraordinarily detailed guide to the park with all the tips, advice and recommendations you could wish for.

If you’re looking for a more unusual theme park with a historical twist then Le Puy du Fou in Western France is an absolute hidden gem. Unlike most parks you won’t find any rides here, just spectacular historical shows recreating everything from Viking battles to Roman gladiator scenes, complete with stunning visual effects. You can also visit the meticulously reconstructed historical sites, settlements and even an 18th Century farm which even include artisans, bakers and blacksmiths to teach you the ancient ways. Tickets start from $35 dollars for advance booking or $41 if you buy them on the day.

PortAventura is the most popular theme park in Spain and is our pick if you want guaranteed sunshine for your family holiday. The park is located in Salou and is also easily accessible from Barcelona. The park hosts a plethora of rides across 6 themed lands and also has its own water park. The park’s best-loved rides include Furious Baco, Stampida, Hurakan Condor and Dragon Khan. This super useful guide will give you advice on how to make the most of your trip and save time and money too! Prices start from $50 per person for a 1-day ticket, we recommend you buy in advance here.

Other European amusement parks we recommend include Gardaland Park in Italy, Efteling in the Netherlands and Germany’s Europa-Park. For a selection of less famous but extraordinary parks check out this article.

Rest of the World

The east of Asia is fast becoming a hub for amusement parks and theme parks. Leading the way is Japan with Universal Studios in Osaka. Brought to you by the world famous Universal Studios who have produced some all-time hits including Harry Potter, Minions, Despicable Me, Shrek and Sesame Street, Universal Studios Japan is one of four worldwide theme parks. Some of their must-see attractions include, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman: The Ride and Jurassic Park: the ride. We also love their Peter Pan’s Neverland show held on the park’s lagoon. Day passes to the park start from $67 and can be purchased online here.

Lotte World in South Korea is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and the only one on our list where you are guaranteed good weather no matter the time of year. Also referred to as the Disneyland of South Korea, you’ll be sure to find plenty of thrills here. Our favorite rides include the Atlantis Adventure water coaster, the Pharaoh’s Fury dark ride and Desperados II. Entry to the park for one day costs around $47 for adults, for ticket information click here.

The final park on our list is Beto Carrero in Brazil. It’s the biggest amusement park available in Latin America. It’s consistently been rated as one of the best places for the family in the country and is located just south of the capital, Rio de Janeiro. Some of the best bits include the Velozes e furiosos show, Fire Whip roller coaster, Imperio das Aguas and the Traum Boat 360. Daily entry costs around $27 per person.

Here are our top tips for planning and enjoying your amusement park holiday

1. Research the amusement park before you book – assess whether the rides will be suitable for your kids’ age range.

2. Shop around for prices/deals – you may find special offers and cheaper prices for booking early or at certain times of the year.

3. Get your kids involved and make a list of all the attractions you’d like to see – this will get them super excited for the trip and will you prioritize and make the experience that much better.

4. Plan the best route around the park so you can save time when you arrive – this will also allow you to enjoy as many rides as possible. Don’t forget to factor in queuing times for the most popular rides.

5. Get there early morning (or pay extra for priority passes)! Queues are part and parcel of theme parks, particularly in peak season, so either get there early or pay your way to get on those rides first.

6. Most rides have a height restriction (usually displayed on their website) – so be wary before getting your kids all psyched up for rides they might not be eligible to ride.

7. Pack a poncho! Some rides can get wet and wild so you’ll want to protect your clothing. We’d also suggest wrapping your phone in a zip lock bag to protect it from unnecessary water damage.

8. Designate a place to regroup if anyone in your family gets lost – we also recommend attaching your contact details to any of your younger children, just in case they wander off (theme parks are big places). If you’re super paranoid about losing your child this app could help you geo-locate them using a smart-phone.

9. Carry a rechargeable phone case. It might sound a little over the top, but given that amusement parks are usually all day events, you’ll need to make sure your mobile can be used to find your family or navigate back home after a long day. This BoxLengend case is very affordable and highly effective charger for just such situations.

10. Stay connected to the internet. You can share videos of those epic rides in real-time, WhatsApp your location to your group and even Instagram some of those priceless memories all from your phone. Data roaming is very costly (and risky) so we recommend bringing your own Tep portable wifi device to ensure you have safe and secure access to the internet wherever you go. The device gives you unlimited internet access for just $9.50 per day and can be used by all the family simultaneously. To find out more or to buy a device click here.

How You’re Vulnerable to Identity Theft When Traveling

Technology has revolutionised the way we travel. It wasn’t so long ago that going overseas meant you’d be completely out of contact, but now it’s easy to stay in touch with loved ones. The internet has also made it easier to make plans while on the go, be more spontaneous and adapt to any situation that might be thrown your way.

However, alongside these unquestionable benefits, our newfound ability to access the internet, no matter where in the world we are, has brought along some alarming risks. Travelers are becoming some of the most common victims of identity theft, to the point where, if you fail to protect yourself beforehand, you’re very likely to fall victim to a disaster!

What Is Online Identity Theft

When most people think of identity theft, they immediately jump to criminals rummaging through your rubbish in search of personal documents, or missing wallets with important identification cards. However, the advent of the internet has allowed this crime—like many other things—to go digital.

Now, cybercriminals are finding ways to get into your devices and pharming the information they find there with the goal of being able to reproduce your identity. Commonly, this will then lead onto the criminals applying for fraudulent loans, or other money-making schemes, under your name.

Why Travelers Are at Risk

For travelers, the allure of accessing the internet while overseas is one that can’t really be avoided. As previously mentioned, the benefits of being able to get online are enough to completely transform your trip. While there’s nothing wrong with this, in theory, it’s the form of internet connection that travelers are forced to use, which is where the problem arises.

As people very rarely waste mobile data while overseas, due to the expensive roaming charges it undoubtedly ensues, travelers are forced to rely on public WiFi networks. While these hotspots are common and easy to access, they also bring with them a heightened risk.

The Problem with Public WiFi

Public WiFi hotspots are open networks, and this is where the problem arises. Unlike your internet at home, they have no encryption process, meaning that anyone who is using the network at the same time as you are able to view everything that you view, and see any data that you input.

This means every time you enter a password, make a payment or sign up for to a new website, malicious hackers could be intercepting that information and using is to steal your identity. And it doesn’t take long; imagine how much damage could be caused by simply gaining access to your emails, for example.

Rogue Hotspots

Criminals all over the world are becoming aware of how much reliance travelers have on these public networks and are jumping at the opportunity to use this fact for their own personal gain. It’s happening to such an extent that there are countless rogue hotspots being set up with the sole purpose of collecting your data.

These malicious networks often mimic the names of trusted providers, so it’s easy to connect by accident. Once you’ve gained access, it will automatically record all the useful information it can without you even realizing your identity is being stolen.

But There Is a Solution!

Fortunately, there are a couple of great solutions available that can easily overcome this problem and allow you to browse securely. Investing in a portable WiFi option means you’ll never have to worry about public networks again. Tep’s portable hotspot lasts for up to 8 hours and creates a wireless connection for up to a 15m radius. And most importantly the connection is protected by your own unique password (WPE – WPA key), so you can relax with the confidence that your data connection is always safe.

However, if you’re too attached to your coffee shop atmosphere to give up the public WiFi completely, or you’re worried about your portable device’s battery life running out and leaving you stranded, running a good Virtual Private Network, such as LiquidVPN, can also overcome the risk. A VPN program works by creating an initial secure connection, which encrypts your data, and subsequently allows you to connect to any network anonymously and securely.

While there are very real and potentially disastrous risks to connecting to public WiFi when traveling, it should never be something that affects your trip. Sure, the threat is there, but by properly informing yourself and taking the necessary precautions, you’ll never have to worry about staying safe online while traveling again.

If you have any more tips to help fellow travelers avoid identity theft, be sure to leave a comment below!

About the author: Jess Signet is a digital nomad and blogger. She loves writing about technology and travel – preferably how you can combine both! She hopes this article will help you stay safe whether you’re traveling long term or enjoying a well-earned vacation.

Pocket Travel Wi-Fi – Essential Tech to Keep the Kids Entertained on Holidays

Knowing how to keep your little ones amused whilst travelling can be a daunting prospect – especially since children’s attention spans are noticeably getting shorter!

There are several ways you can keep your kids happy and entertained whilst on holiday without breaking into a sweat! Here is our list of must-have tech gadgets for your young ones that will help take the pressure off:

Tablets and Gaming Devices

Knowing the best devices can help keep you one step ahead of your kids. Tablets and gaming devices are at the top of our essential tech to have on family holidays for their sheer versatility. They allow kids to switch effortlessly between playing games, learning, watching movies and even reading e-books.

Tep suggests you bring along a tablet like Apple’s iPad Mini 2, if you want a device that’s great for both you and the kids. It’s pricey at $399 but fully worth it if you want to be able to sneak in a rom-com after the kids’ bedtime!

If you want something more affordable, Asus’ Nexus 7 (2013) is a great alternative – it runs on Android and is under $150. If you’re in the market for a tablet that is designed specifically with kids in mind then check out the Leap Pad Ultra (for young children 3+) or the Amazon Fire 7” Kids Edition, which have some of the best parental controls out there.

The Amazon Kindle is another good option for families with slightly older kids who love to read. With an amazing range of digital books on offer (which are usually cheaper than actually books) the Kindle (and Fire 7”) allow your kids to bring along all their favorites, with none of the heavy lifting!

As much as kids love tablets, nothing quite compares to the thrill of a captivating game played on their very own device. Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s PSVita are two portable gaming devices that are guaranteed to please with thousands of top-rated games.

We particularly love modern classics like Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 (for Nintendo) or Tearaway and Little Big Planet (for Playstation). These devices aren’t cheap and will cost you upwards of $180 each, so just remember to factor in all the costs. Games can cost from anywhere between $20-$60 each!

TIP: If you don’t own a tablet or aren’t ready to take the plunge and buy a Nintendo/PSVita, your smartphone can act as a perfectly good alternative, just make sure you carry a heavy duty power pack (like this one) with you, as hours of app use will wear your battery down!

Smart Phones for Kids

With the next generation of kids growing up along side technology, it’s no wonder smartphones are on our essential holiday tech list. Whilst they may not be suitable for younger kids, a mobile phone can be a great way to keep your older one’s thirst for connectivity satisfied.

They can listen to music, play games, connect with friends and browse the internet from a single device. If you don’t fancy giving up your own phone for the duration of your holiday or forking up $800+ on a new iPhone, you could invest in a decent mobile for less than $300.

Our pick for kids is the Sony Experia M4 Aqua – a great mid-range phone with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a more expensive device, plus some added extras (like its waterproof design), all for less than $250!

Tip: Make sure you check roaming charges with your network provider before you go on holiday and read our post on how to avoid the pitfalls of holiday wifi and data roaming. If you don’t want to deprive your kids of internet on holiday you could always try renting a fixed-cost portable wifi device (see below) that can be used by your entire family. It could save you a lot of money and a potential vacation nightmare!

Apps and More Apps

Once you are armed with a tablet, gaming device or mobile phone, you are ready to start downloading apps that will help your little ones while away the hours. Any smartphone or tablet with access to the internet and an App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play store (for Android devices) can be used to download millions of apps that range from free to $1-$5+ each.

Apps are a fun and inexpensive way for kids to test a range of skills including memory, languages, mental math and even creativity. For children with a flair for art and music there are plenty of options that will allow their imaginations to run wild.

Disney Pixel’d, Colour and Draw for Kids and Magic Piano are some of our personal favorites for smaller children. If you want to make sure you balance fun time with learning, try downloading educational games like: Tynker, GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa, Squeebles Word Search and Dexteria Dots 2.

There are so many fab games available that we couldn’t possibly fit them all in, but our top picks Minecraft Pocket Edition, Moshi Monsters and Petting Zoo are tried and tested apps that will keep your children happy for hours! If you need more app-spiration take a look at bestappsforkids.com, it does exactly what it says on the tin, so expect to find the best games and apps (reviewed by bona fide moms).

Headphones

They may not seem like essential tech but with a child’s ears being far more sensitive to sounds than an adults, headphones are on our must-have tech list. Not only will they allow your child to listen to music, games and stories without disturbing you, they will also ensure their hearing is protected.

For kids under 6 years old, we suggest Kidz Gear Wired Headphones or LilGadgets Untangled Pro. Older kids who can really appreciate higher sound quality will love Puro Sound Lab’s Kids Bluetooth Wireless BT2200 – they’re also conveniently less garish for the fashion conscious youngsters!

Pocket Wifi

Even with every gadget imaginable under you belt, you will have a hard time pleasing your kids if you don’t have reliable access to the internet. Whether it’s to check their social media or download games, wifi is an essential for the next generation of tech savvy kids.

However, using your mobile phone abroad can be a very costly affair, especially when you have several data hungry children waiting to stream movies on Netflix or watch videos on YouTube.

If you want to avoid all hell breaking loose across your family and bank accounts make sure you check out Tep’s brilliant portable wifi device. The device is perfect for large families who want to access the internet simultaneously whilst on holiday.

It costs just $9.95 and can connect up to 5 devices at a time and gives you unlimited, reliable and secure wifi. What’s even better is you don’t have to invest in the device yourself, just rent it as and when you need it.

With Tep the kids can continue enjoying their high-tech gadgets whilst mom and dad sit back and relax without stressing over mobile phone bills or unhappy campers!

 

Business Traveler Tips for 2016

In this post Tep has found insights that will help you with everything from avoiding queues at the airport to getting upgrades and even beating jet lag.

We’ve searched far and wide for the best-kept secrets from the travel industry’s frequent flyers to ensure you have the most comfortable and enjoyable experience on your next business trip.

Travelling doesn’t have to be such a struggle with these top tricks for the frequent business flyer:

Before you travel

Know the difference between Non-Stop Flights and Direct Flights

When booking your flight, make sure you know the difference between non-stop and direct flights. It sounds simple enough, but many people confuse the two and end up with a longer journey than they planned.

A direct flight may stop at an intermediary destination where you will have to remain on the plane whilst passengers board or disembark the aircraft. A non-stop flight will take you from your origin to your destination with no pit stops – so go with this option if you want to save time!

Earn Points When You Fly

Always make sure to sign-up to your airline’s frequent flyer program. In the long term, you could benefit from free upgrades and discounted flights plus many other ‘members only’ perks. Loyalty is highly rewarded in the airline industry, so wherever possible try and book with the same carrier to rack up those valuable air miles.

If you aren’t sure which frequent flyer program you need to apply to check out this comprehensive list by Globalflight.net. Most airlines will even let you collect points for flights you’ve already taken (up to six months previously in some case) just check their terms and conditions!

Travel light and pack only essentials

Carrying extra checked in luggage can mean long waiting times in baggage halls, so why not try fitting all your belongings into a carry-on bag?

We recommend packing only the essentials, bringing versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched and rolling up your clothes to avoid wrinkles. For more handy tips read this flight attendant’s guide to light packing here.

If you are planning to check baggage in and want to pick up some gifts or goodies whilst on your trip, consider buying a digital packing scale – like Tarriss’ Jetsetter (its under $20). It’s small, light and an inexpensive way to avoid hefty excess baggage fees.

Increase Your Chances of Upgraded to Business/First Class

If you are not travelling in business or first class, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting that elusive upgrade. Customers who are dressed smartly are more likely to be given an upgrade in the eventuality that economy class has been oversold – a good reason to be extra pleasant to the check-in staff!

You could also try requesting an upgrade when you book your flight and have your ticket marked with a Y or B booking code. This works best if you are signed up to the airlines frequent flyer program! Try reading Skyscanner’s 16 tips to get you bumped up to business class here if you want more tried and tested tactics!

Book the Seats with the Most Space

If you don’t manage to get an upgrade, make sure to ask for a seat that will give you plenty of room to stretch your legs during the flight. Usually ‘bulk head’ or front row seats and emergency exit row seats are the best for this.

If you’re not sure where the exit row seats are located on your flight, check out Seat Guru for a guide to the best seats on any airline.

Back up your Essential Documentation!

Always have copies of your essential documents, like passports, driving licenses, itinerary confirmations and insurance documents, backed up online. Dropbox and Google Drive are both free options that allow you to access your documents anywhere (provided you’re connected to the internet of course).

You never know when an emergency could strike, so don’t get caught out without a back up!

Save Time Queuing at Airport Security

U.S. Citizens can sign up for Global Entry service, which allows you to pass speedily through airport security on arrival and departure and eliminates wasted time filling out forms and long security queues!

It costs around $100 and will require you to attend an interview, but we reckon it’s fully worth it for frequent flyers.

Whilst Travelling

Don’t Miss Important Updates about your Flight

Downloading your airline’s app is a great way to get live notifications, check-in and avoid missing your flight. Larger airlines (and some budget) will have their own app available for you to download straight onto your mobile phone and will give you updates and reminders about gate changes and delays.

Beat the Jet Lag

Set your watch, mobile phone and electronic devices to the time in your destination before you depart. This will help your body clock adjust to the new time zone well ahead of your arrival. If you can, avoid sleeping at your destination before your normal bedtime and rising whilst it’s still dark outside.

Whilst it may be tough on the first day, it should get easier as you perfect your jet-lag busting strategy! Just remember to set your clocks after you board your flight, to save any unfortunate mistiming!

Keep Calm and Avoid In-Flight Discomfort

If you’ve ever suffered from in-flight soreness, you’ll be all too familiar with the pain that comes with it! Bringing a tennis ball with you to roll under your feet and thighs will help keep your muscles supple and can avoid nasty aches and pains when you land. Try and get up and walk around during longer flights, this will help with your circulation and avoiding nasty blood clots and deep vein thrombosis!

Airplanes and airports can also be unexpectedly cold, so an extra layer of clothing is always advisable even if you’re headed to the Caribbean. For more advice on how to stay healthy at 35,000ft check out this guide.

Invest in the Must-Have Travel Gadgets

Airports and airplanes can be extremely noisy places. If you want to get some rest or spend a few hours catching up on emails, remember to bring along a good pair of noise cancelling headphones – we highly recommend Bose’s QuietComfort 20. Whilst these are on the pricier side, they are fantastic at reducing background noise and will help you unwind inflight.

If you don’t want to invest in high tech headphones just yet, standard earplugs will also do a good job at cutting out noise. We also suggest bringing a USB charge cable or power pack, like Anker’s 2nd Gen Astro E4, with you on your journey to keep your devices charged before you arrive.

Most new planes will have a USB plug fitted in your seat, so you can even charge your battery whilst you watch your inflight entertainment. For more tech recommendations check out this post on the must have pocket gadgets to travel with.

Stay Connected and Productive on the Move

If you have some extra time whilst waiting for your gate number or at your hotel, why not get some extra work in or get your mind off business with a movie?

Having reliable internet access whilst travelling can make all the difference and could give you more time to explore your destination or get work done whilst you’re on the move! Tep’s portable travel Wi-Fi device lets you stay productive even when you’re away from your desk and it works in more than 80 countries worldwide.

The device allows you to connect your mobile, tablet and laptop simultaneously with your very own secure travel Wi-Fi hotspot. The usage is unlimited so whether you want to browse your emails, Skype your family or stream Netflix, you can make the most of your traveling time anywhere in the world.

We hope these tips and tricks help take the hassle out of travel and let you focus on making the most out of your next business trip.