Monthly Archives: December 2016

Know More About Dog Travel Tips From the Champions

We caught up with dog handlers at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City for advice on traveling with your dog.
“At the airport, remain cool and aloof when they take the dog away. Don’t make it tearful. Nothing is worse than emotion because the dog will start to wonder. I also watch them offload the plane for 2 reasons: to be sure they don’t drop the dog and to be sure the dog gets off.” –Janine Starink, handler for Gatsby the Giant Schnauzer (aka BIS Am/Can/Int CH Skansen’s Great Gatsby)

“I always pick up some bottled water so the local water doesn’t upset his stomach. You never want a Great Dane with diarrhea. For drool, I always carry a slobber rag.” –Linda Cain, handler for Barney the Great Dane (aka GCH Gracyn’s Valliant Warrior V. Lost Creek)

“It’s good to have a list of medications that your dog takes, if any, and place them on a list along with your dog’s eating schedule and routine in case something were to happen and you’re not able to care for them yourself, such as if you get into an accident.” –Holly Sundbeck, owner of Inge the Standard poodle (aka GCH Hanna’s Dam Inge Fair Sun)

“I protect my dog with Frontline flea preventative and his vaccinations are up to date, so I’m not as concerned with what my dog leaves behind but what he picks up in a hotel. I’ve heard a lot about bedbugs in the big city. The first thing I’m going to do is pull back the sheets and check.” –Marlene Palmer, owner of Gideon the Bauceron (aka CH de Joie du Chateau Rocher)

“I’d never bathe a dog at a hotel. Beagles shed, and I’d feel bad if I clogged up someone’s tub. My dogs are always bathed and groomed before I go.” –Carol Herr, handler for Runner the Beagle (aka CH Encore Rerun of Roirdan)

“Bring comfort food. Pet cooking is huge now, so if you make dog cookies or something at home, take some along to make your dog feel comfortable.” –Jerry Grymek, Doggie Concierge at the Hotel Pennsylvania

“The No. 1 thing is: Don’t be narrow-minded. Expect the unexpected. And keep your dog’s safety your first priority.” –Gail Hawksworth, owner of Cruiser the Irish Wolfhound (aka GCH CH Mysham Edoc’sil of Redwall)

Information About Lonely Planet’s Honeymoon Planning

Getting hitched is the most socially accepted reason on the planet to ditch work and undertake your longest, most splurge-iest trip ever. But before you dive head first into checking off the items on your travel bucket list, take a few minutes to consider the practical stuff, because the trip of your dreams won’t just magically appear by itself.

In fact, lousy hotels, missed flights, lacklustre meals and inhospitable weather can significantly hamper a happy holiday, essentially flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet. And while we can’t read crystal balls or do rain dances, we can assure you that proper planning will undoubtedly put the odds in your favour of enjoying the getaway of your dreams.
Timing is everything

You’ve dutifully set aside your collection of vacation days — now it’s time to work out how to spend them on your honeymoon. It’s important to weigh the time you’ve allotted for your adventure against your destination of choice, and make sure that your trip is spent travelling, not transiting.
With two or three weeks, you’ll have a more generous amount of time to take a crack at a faraway destination and overcome the exhaustion of a long-haul journey and/or jet lag. But a week-long holiday, say, is never well served by spending two full days hoofing it from one continent to another, only to turn around a few days later and repeat the gruelling trek back.
The other major timing consideration has to do with seasonality. Tacking your honeymoon on at the end of your already-set wedding date might preclude travel to certain destinations simply due to the time of year. Large areas of the Caribbean, for example, are prone to hurricanes during the months of September and October. Other destinations have annual monsoons – like Thailand, which has two different curtains of rains that sweep across the kingdom during the latter half of the year.
It’s best to educate yourself on the high and low seasons of your preferred honeymooning locales. Prices, of course, increase with a rise in demand during the months with the most favourable climate and during busy periods such as school holidays (when desirable hotels can also become scarce). Low seasons, on the other hand — or better yet, ’shoulder’ or ‘green’ seasons — can be a worthy option if you want to see more bang for your buck at the expense of rolling the dice weather-wise.
Benefits of DIY

When choosing a destination for your honeymoon, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to one place, but a protracted vacation — as many honeymoons are — lends itself well to exploring several locales. All-inclusive hotels are going to try to convince you otherwise, and travel agents (even those fancy boutique e-businesses) will try to capitalise on your lack of destination knowledge with tours and templates.
However, a DIY trip is much easier than you might think, and the rewards are exponentially greater than signing up for a cookie-cutter tour. Hands-on planning is a crucial part of understanding a destination, and you’ll arrive in the country with a commendable amount of acquired knowledge that will further guide you to sniff out the top experiences that really speak to you.

How to build a multi-stop honeymoon

As the architect of your own multi-stop trip, you might want to think of your honeymoon as a novel; the action on your vacation should swell and ebb accordingly. Think of the beginning of the trip as the initiation phase — you’re adjusting to a new world (maybe getting over jet lag) and want to ease into the action as it gradually builds. The middle section of the honeymoon is where the plot thickens. Your pulse quickens with adventure sports, or late urban nights exploring. Then, with the end of the story in sight, the last section of the holiday is when the jets cool — a denouement of sorts when you once again slow your pace. It’s the beach in Bahia after Rio and São Paulo, the Amalfi villa at the end of Tuscany and Rome, or the ryokan in Hakone when you’re wrapping up Kyoto and Tokyo. You need an airbag at the end of the trip, so you feel revitalised by the holiday, not desperately needing another.
Picking hotels

Now, with your storybook itinerary you’re going to have to slot in hotels. These should play out in tandem with the pace at each stage of your trip, but you need to slightly trick your future self. Every accommodation option selected should build upon the previous choice. The human mind can’t help but judge, and when you arrive at lodging number two you won’t be able to ignore the instinct to compare it to your accommodation the night before. So, in order to essentially feel like you’re winning at travel, each hotel must get progressively better — or maintain the quality of the previous stay — culminating in your big splurge at the end, which nicely coincides with your itinerary’s finale. The last slice of the vacation is the happy ever after – just like you and your spouse after the wedding.
couple

Honeymoon planning timeline

One year before honeymoon: Dream. Think about where you’ve always wanted to go to celebrate your marriage, and get inspired by guidebooks, magazines and websites.
Nine months before your honeymoon: If you’re budgeting your holiday in tandem with your wedding, you’ll likely know at this point what funds you’re hoping to allocate to your trip and can compare your budget against that dream list of destinations.
Six months before your honeymoon: Properly slot in your travel dates after calibrating for personal commitments and taking into account the optimal time – as you deem it – for visiting your destination of choice.
Four months before your honeymoon (or earlier): Cement the foundations of your plans, scouting airplane tickets, booking must-have items on your checklist (hotels, visa, park permits), and firming up a version – in very broad strokes – of what your itinerary might look like (which days in which destination for multi-stop trips).
Two months before your wedding (note wedding, and not necessarily honeymoon): If you’ve decided to ask your guests to help you fund your dream trip, now is the time to create an online registry detailing tangible activities to be undertaken at a gradation of price points to suit your wedding guests’ varying budgets.
One month before your honeymoon: The internet enables the world to move a million miles a minute, so once you begin the 30-day countdown you can take to your social platforms to snoop for upcoming events and trending bars, and even find friends that might be criss-crossing your itinerary.

Should Know About Top Tips for Holiday Travel

Wherever you’re heading, if you’re traveling during the holiday season, you need to realize that everyone else in the world is, too. But don’t let invasive security scanners, terrible drivers and long lines at airports get you down. We’re giving you tips to survive the holiday travel season without a Frosty the Snowman-size meltdown.

Do your research.

Plan alternative trips if traffic makes your way home too overwhelming. Is there a scenic drive that might be longer but have less traffic? Break up a long drive by finding a few places to stop that will get the kids more excited than a truck rest stop. When flying, make sure you check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time on carry-on luggage and fees for checked bags.

Stay connected.

Stock up on the latest travel apps before you leave home. Flight Status gives you real-time updates on delays, baggage numbers and more, and GateGuru gives you approximate times you’ll spend in security. Heading out on the road? Find the cheapest gas and cleanest bathrooms on the road with GasBuddy and SitOrSquat.

Pack snacks and drinks, so you and your family will be fueled up for a road trip. If you’re flying, definitely get some grub before you board the plane.
Pack light.

Avoid checking bags altogether if you can. You won’t have to wait for your luggage on the conveyor belt, and you won’t have to worry about your mom’s Christmas present getting lost in Logan Airport. If you do check luggage, make sure you have all your medications and important documents and a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost. Here’s a family packing list for more tips.

Pack earplugs.

Short of doing yoga in the airport, the best way to mentally escape your stressful surroundings is to turn the volume down. And the easiest way to do that is with earplugs. Crying baby next seat over on the plane? Earplugs. Sister’s music in the car driving you mad? Earplugs. And if you really want to check out for a bit? Bring an eye mask (as long as you aren’t driving).

Don’t get hangry.

When your tummy growls, your mind can’t think straight, and you could unknowingly get in the wrong line, take the wrong turn, or worse, upset an innocent flight attendant. Pack snacks and drinks, so you and your family will be fueled up for a road trip. If you’re flying, definitely get some grub before you board the plane (check our GateGuru’s Best Airport Restaurants), so you won’t have to rely on airline food if you’re sitting on the tarmac for hours.

Ship gifts or give gift cards.

TSA suggests to ship wrapped gifts or wait until you reach your destination to wrap them, as they might have to unwrap a present to inspect it. Ship gifts ahead of time or bring the gift that can’t go wrong: gift cards to their favorite store or an Amazon card.

Travel on off-peak days.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year and can also cause you the biggest meltdown of the year. A better option is to leave early on Thanksgiving Day and avoid the record traffic the night before. Same goes with flying: if you fly on the actual holiday itself you’ll be avoiding the long lines and hoards of travelers.

Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. Best time to hit the road? When every one else is asleep — early morning or late at night
Travel early or late in the day.

Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. Also, there will be fewer lines at security. Best time to hit the road? When every one else is asleep — early morning or late at night. You can always take a nap when you arrive at your destination or on the ride there (if you aren’t the driver, of course).

Plan for the unexpected.

Have only a half hour before connecting to another flight? Traveling to Rochester, NY, during snow season? Think ahead and plan accordingly. Leave extra time before flights to deal with security, extra time between connections and, for road trips, pack tire chains for snowy conditions, flashlights, and of course, a few band-aids never hurt either.

Inhale. Exhale.

The overly friendly person next to you on the plane, the cancelled flights, the luggage that fell off in the middle of the highway? All of it will make for great stories over dinner when you finally make it to your destination. After all, holiday travel stress is just as much of a tradition as pumpkin pie and regifting.