Friday, May 1, 2015

Travel SMART

What do I mean by travel "SMART?" The US Department of State has set up a smart traveler enrollment program where US citizens can enroll and let the government know what countries they will be visiting. Why bother, you might ask. By enrolling in this program, you automatically get updates on your destination's travel warnings and alerts. In addition, it serves as a way for the US government to assist you in case of an emergency. Anything from your passport being stolen to helping you evacuate after natural disasters. For example, after the earthquake in Hati, the government was able to evacuate over 16,000 US citizens and also did so after the civil unrest in Lebanon in 2006. By enrolling, it lets the local embassy know that you need to be accounted for and also serves as a way to communicate and get news back to your family when cell phone service is intermittant. 

Remember to "let them know before you go!"

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stay Connected Abroad

With the world so connected, there's no reason you can't stay in touch, even if you're far away. I've been a Tmobile customer for almost 15 years, and am very pleased with a new service they offer, free with most plans… Unlimited text and data in 200 countries, as well as phone calls for only $0.20/minute.  I'm not getting anything from Tmobile for telling you this, but genuinely feel this is a great service they provide! I've checked train times in Spain, sent emails from Portugal, and posted pictures to Facebook from Australia, all for free from my cell phone. If you're an avid traveler, and don't use Tmobile, consider checking them out!

Thanks to free data internationally with Tmobile,
I was able to post this picture online during a trip to the Caribbean.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Museums and Aquariums are often quieter on weekdays,
and a good activity for a daycation!
You've heard of vacations, likely also staycations, but what about daycations? A friend introduced me to this term a while back, and it sounds like a great idea. Not everyone has enough vacation time (or money in the bank) for a trip every time you need a breather. Hence, the daycation. It's the perfect opportunity to take a break and relax, but just for a short period of time. Hopefully allowing you to come back to work a little more refreshed than after a normal two day weekend. 

Personally, I recommend taking your day off on a Monday or Friday, making for a nice three day weekend. If you decide to plan an activity, workdays are a great time to visit otherwise busy tourist spots, such as museums, beaches, and wineries. As Americans we don't use up all of our vacation time anyway, so why not treat yourself to a daycation and come back to work relaxed!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sonoma… Not just for Sommeliers!

Melissa, a native of wine country, put together these recommendations of places to visit in Sonoma. There's a lot more to do than just taste wine.  (Though, that's not a bad option either!)

Downtown Sonoma in full bloom!
Places of Interest:
Armstrong Grove - Great place to see Northern California's famous redwood trees.

Luther Burbank Home and Gardens - Tours available.

Jack London State Park - This park has trails, historic buildings and a museum.

Sonoma Square - Downtown Sonoma is full of shopping, dining and wine tasting!

Mission San Francisco Solano
Mission San Francisco Solano - Northernmost mission in California.

Russian River Brewing
Bear Republic Brewing

Deerfield Ranch
Chateau St. Jean
Jacuzzi (free tastings)

Sonoma's famous wine country

Friday, April 3, 2015

Busiest Airports in the World!

Every year I get a kick out of the list of the World's busiest airports.  Why?  Because they are sometimes in places you'd least expect (Texas) or not ranked as highly are they are humongous (again, Texas, which has one of the largest airports in the world by area). Here is the recent list from the Airports Council International!

1) Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson
2) Beijing Capital International Airport
3) London's Heathrow
4) Tokyo's Haneda Airport
5) Los Angeles International
6) Dubai International Airport
7) Chicago-O'Hare
8) Paris Charles de Gaulle
9) Texas' Dallas/Fort Worth
10) Hong Kong International Airport

Any you were shocked to see didn't make the list (i.e. New York)?