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Using Your Computer For Travel Aid


florida_ref_2001Using your computer to help you to make the most out of your vacation is becoming more and more commonplace.  Nobody really uses travel agents anymore – they all just hop online and scour the most popular travel websites (such as Orbitz and Travelocity) for the best deals.  Another great way to shop for plane tickets is to use an app – and Flight Tonight are great ways to score the cheapest tickets available.  Kayak is a price comparison tool that can help you to quickly and easily find the cheapest fares across most airlines.  It’s the fastest and easiest comparison tool, in my opinion.

If you’re hesitant to use your computer to help plan out your vacations because it’s slow and sluggish and doesn’t run well, then the best thing that you can do is to invest in a cleaning program.  Most of the time the reasons that your computer is running slow are easily dealt with.  The most common causes of a slow and sluggish computer are clutter, malware or spyware, extra software that you don’t need, registry errors, and more.  There are specific software programs that you can get for each of these problems, and it can be a piece of cake to get your computer running well enough to help you plan out a big trip.

Another great way to plan out travel is to look for hotels and car rental deals online as well.  You can also find a ton of information about destinations just by searching Google and reading different websites.  There’s something for every remote travel destination, and you can use boards like Metafilter in order to obtain locals knowledge or tips and tricks from people who have been there already.

Another great app for travel in the United States is Yelp.  This is a great way to find the best restaurants and other destinations, and you can read user reviews about the places and see pictures before you go, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Filed under Travel Tips

Best Travel Apps


There are a bunch of travel apps out there for you to peruse.  What are the best ones?  We take a look at a few and tell you why you might want some:

Hotel Tonight -  a great app that lets you get cheaper than normal hotel rooms at last minute deals.

Expedia – an app version of their website.  Pretty good.

Kayak – easily search flight fares.  I love this app and use it quite a bit, even when I’m just daydreaming about trips (because it’s so easy to use).  Get the Pro version.

Day One – a fun journal app that can be your travel journal.  It incorporates where you are, what you’re doing, and photos.  I like it a lot.


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Experience All That Crete Has To Offer


There are many reasons to take a vacation, and many occasions that can benefit greatly from a beautifully scenic location such as Crete. Many families worldwide have taken it upon themselves to visit this beautiful island while on vacation, taking in all the sights and activities it has to offer its guests. Families aren’t the only ones who have enjoyed the scenic locations Crete has to offer. Many couples who are seeking a romantic locale for their honeymoon or anniversary trip have sought out the beautiful beaches of Crete. They’ve been drawn in by the various beautiful beach locations along the shores of the island, and left with amazing memories that they’ll cherish for years to come.

creteMany of Crete’s amenities will leave you breathless with the sheer beauty of this amazing island paradise. From the different myriad of beaches, such as Georgioupoli Beach, Elafonisi Beach, or Makrigialos Beach, to the amazing natural caves where you can go on tours and find astounding discoveries like rock formations and fossils, there’s literally no end to the enjoyment you can have activity wise. Crete can help you make the most of your vacation getaway with all it has to offer, including the amazing sights surrounding the Samaria and Imbros Gorges while hiking.

Between all the amazing activities that take in the sheer beauty of the island, you can also find enjoyment in taking day trips to the various cities of the island to explore their culture and diversity. Your crete vacation would not be complete without taking in the many shops and stands that offer a large variety of mementos, trinkets, and handmade crafts that make for great gifts to your loved ones and friends, as well as keepsakes for yourself to remember the amazing time you had on the island.

Day or night, there will always be something to keep you entertained on the island! From the amazing experiences of shopping at the diverse and crowded street markets, to taking in the nightlife by visiting one of the many top quality bars, clubs, or taverns, you won’t be bored when you visit Crete. If you can time your vacation to fall on one of the dates for Crete’s well known festivals and events, such as the Lasithi Potato Festival in August or the Cretan Wine Festival in July, you’ll be guaranteed to have an experience like no other locale can provide.

Filed under Travel Tips

Tech Savvy Travel


Internet securityIf you’re a traveling looking to get technical on the way, then here are some tips on traveling with a computer (as well as other electronics).  It can be stressful enough to travel around internationally (or even locally, for that matter), but add in a few thousand dollars worth of tech gear and you’ll probably be even more nervous!

First things first!

Back Up Your Hard Drive

Do this before you leave.  If you’re bringing your laptop, then back it up to an external hard drive first.  Don’t just back it up on the same hard drive – this is purely to prevent data loss in the event that your laptop is stolen (which is a real possibility).  You will be very sad if you get your laptop stolen AND lose valuable data.  That happened to me once and it was quite the lesson learned.

Protect Your Computer Against Hacking

Ensure that you have a good antivirus software tool, as well as other malware removal tools.  You never know what networks are like where you will be staying, and sometimes in order to get on the internet you will be required to use an unsecure network connection.  If you cover your bases and use good anti-malware programs such as this one from Enigma software, then you should be good to go.

Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance against theft might be a good idea if you’re traveling with a large amount of stuff, or stuff that is worth a lot.  Usually I don’t do this, but if you’re the extra cautious type then you might be interested in this sort of thing.

Make Use Of The Hotel Safe

If you have a safe in your room, why not stow your laptop and other electronics in there to prevent tempting the staff?  Electronics are the biggest things to get stolen in other countries because they can sell for so much.

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Parlez-vous Francais?

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One of my cousins was attempting to learn French on his own in his spare time after work.  I believe he was using Pimsleur and was having a pretty good time with it.  However, I have since been looking around the internet for myself for some tips and tricks on learning a language.  I found the best way to learn French is to immerse yourself.  (Here’s a page dedicated to tips for learning French) I think my cousin would have gotten better, and more lasting results if he had enlisted the help of a French tutor.  However, this would be much more expensive.  And it was impossible to fully immerse himself by moving to, say, France.  He’s got a full time job and commitments here.

The funny thing was, he wasn’t learning French in preparation for a trip to France – he just wanted to do something constructive with his time.  He felt like he hadn’t done enough constructive things in his life at the young age of 27.  I would beg to differ, but who was I to intervene in his quest for a higher skill set.

I once tried (not very hard, I’ll admit) to learn Japanese.  I thought it would be cool to learn the crazy writing system and be able to read it.  I lasted all about an evening.  However I still remember some phrases from that, oddly enough.  When I went to Japan this past winter I had a very hard time making vocabulary words stick for some reason – I think I was too distracted by all the sights and sounds around me.  I got as far as saying “Arigato” most of the time.  Or perhaps “Konnichi-wa”.  The Japanese on a whole don’t always know English.  They often have English menus in restaurants, but many times you’ll have to point at what you want because they have no idea.  Also, the English menus often have less things on it than the regular menus.

Have you ever tried to learn a language for travel?  It’s hard.  But I do remember being in Mexico and being able to speak Spanish.  That was extremely rewarding!  I was able to read signs, menus, and converse with people.

There are some very good language learning tools out there for those of you looking to learn a language for travel.  I recommend checking out either Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, or Rocket Languages.


Filed under Languages

Traveling For The First Time?

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If you’re traveling for the first time then you might want to look into some Iphone apps that might ease your way.


Get the best prices on tickets – and it’s free!  I love the Kayak app.  It’s fun to just dream sometimes…finding ticket prices for places I want to go.  But it’s also quite useful.


Not quite used to this app yet, but it seems really cool in theory – you can organize all of your notes into one place that is stored on the cloud – access it from all of your devices.

Google Translate

So good, and so helpful.  Fast, and easy to use.  Intuitive as well, like most Google products.

Award Wallet

If you’re like me, you find keeping track of all of your rewards programs to be a complete pain in the neck.  Well, this app attempts to help with that, helping you to organize all of your awards programs into one space.  It’s extremely helpful for those of us that have about 1200 rewards programs.  It’s easier to rewards now that you know what you’re working towards and what your status is.

J Wire

Find wireless hotspots on your map – extremely helpful when you have to hop on the internet.


Passbook apparently isn’t ready yet, but once you can use it you’ll be able to put things like your airline tickets on there.  This means less to juggle when you’re traveling.  Now if I could only put my ID on there…


The new Maps feature in IOS 6 is kind of controversial.  However I have to say that the new font is really nice on the eyes.  There’s also a flyover feature that seems to be kind of cool – but I’m not sure how useful it is in practice.


Integration with Facebook means that you can post all about your travels to your friends and family.  Just be careful that you don’t make them too jealous.

App Store

Search the app store for apps on your destination.  For example, if you’re going to New York City, a subway map app could save you a lot of time.  It makes getting around the city easy.  It’s worth the $2 nominal fee that the app costs.


Just do it.  Instagram is the latest and greatest in the microblogosphere.  Once you get a group of followers it’s much more fun.  Just keep posting and interacting and it will happen!


Filed under Travel Tips