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Should You Still Be Scared of Zika?

When Zika hit the scene last summer it had the whole world freaking out. The virus is no joke, it causes birth defects and even some health problems to infants. Now that we have a lot more information about this virus, we are better able to tell you whether or not you should turn that vacation into a staycation.

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Should you vacay while pregnay?

Traveling is great and if you’re pregnant then you might want to check off some bucket list destinations before that baby pops out and your travel time turns into toddler time. But should you be worried about ZIka?

Yes, you should. Traveling to places where the Zika transmission is ongoing is a risk that, in our opinion, is not worth taking. Check the CDC website for which locations are currently having a Zika outbreak, if your destination is not listed, then you’re good to go. If your location is listed, then maybe rethink your travel plans.

 

Looking to get knocked up? Maybe do it domestically.

If you’re planning on making a baby then maybe a destination conception isn’t the best idea. The first trimester is the worst time to get Zika and it’s an incredibly hard time because most women don’t even know they’re pregnant during that time.

If you do travel to an area with Zika then women should wait at least eight weeks and men need to wait six months before bumping uglies.

 

What if the type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus is where you’re traveling to but there’s no Zika, should you still be worried?

We now know what type of mosquitos carry the Zika virus, the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus (duh says all the entomologists.) These mosquitoes have been popping up in the U.S. where we have never seen them before. Does that mean they’re all carrying Zika?

No, if there is no Zika outbreak then the risk is super low. Still use common sense though, wear bug spray and don’t have a mosquito bite contest with your friends but other than that, you should be fine.

 

Let’s be real, what are the chances that you will get Zika?

Well, we can’t say. If you’re the type of person who has mosquito bite contests with your friends then your risk might be higher than others so it’s impossible to give an exact percentage.

What we do know, according to studies, is that five to fifteen percent of women who get Zika while pregnant actually have babies with birth defects or brain damage. So even if you catch Zika the risks are low, but they are still risks and the consequences are very real.

 

Is Zika planning a sequel this summer?

Zika will definitely be around this summer but most likely it will not be as big as last year. The number of infections is likely to go down this year because after you catch Zika once, you can’t catch it again. Plus a lot of people will read this very informative article which is bound to drop the number of infections even further.

 

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Destinations

Best Vacations for the Recently Retired

Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel?

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Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel? It’s time to enjoy your golden years and travel to some fun destinations. If you saved for your retirement, hopefully you put in some sort of travel budget so you can see the world, and stay in amazing hotels like the Marriott. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and that means a huge influx of retired travelers is set to hit the world’s top destinations. We can’t travel like we used to so let’s explore some excellent vacations for retirees.

Ireland

Who hasn’t dreamed of strolling through the rolling green hills of Ireland? The lush green country is a perfect vacation destination for the retired set. Dublin is a great place to start to see some of the oldest buildings in all of Europe and taste the perfect pint at the Guinness brewery. There is so much to see in Ireland you can really take your time on an extended trip and enjoy everything Ireland has to offer.  The perfect vacation for the recently retired.

Sicily

If Italian food is your favorite or if ancient architecture is your bag, Sicily is for you. Who hasn’t wanted to check out Palermo, the lively capital that boasts spectacular cathedrals and delicious street food? The small island off the coast of Italy’s big toe is the perfect destination for retired folk. The islands slow pace and miles of gorgeous beaches make Sicily a great spot. Many Italian-Americans track their heritage to Sicily and those Baby Boomers can visit their ancient roots.  Retired people will love the vibe of Sicily.

Australia

The flights to Australia will take up to 21 hours so you need to spend some time there to make it worth it. Now you are retired and you have literally nowhere to be, it’s the perfect time to take an extended vacation to the land down under. Australia has something for everyone, with major cities, extreme outback and wonderful beaches. You must see Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef and a kangaroo. Other than that, explore Australia at your own pace; you have all the time in the world.

U.S. Road Trip

If times what you have, why not take a coast-to-coast road trip across our great country. America has so much diverse landscapes that you can experience so much on a road trip. For a real adventure rent a recreational vehicle and take your time, see all the sites you want and do it in style. An RV can be rented at very affordable prices and offers a unique experience many have never lived. See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, drive historic Route 66 or make your own route.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Why not take a road trip on the most scenic highway in America, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This picturesque 470-mile drive connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountain national Park in North Carolina. The road follows the peaks of numerous mountains along the way giving off spectacular views and winding through some cute little towns.   There are some seriously cute places to stay along the way and more than enough activities to keep you entertained.

Rocky Mountaineer

Maybe you should let someone else drive so you can soak up all the incredible views along the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train. Enjoy sitting in glass domed train cars so you can see beauty at every angle. There are multiple options available to satisfy any urge. You can get coastal views or strictly mountain routes. You can decide among many options to make the vacation fit exactly what you want.

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Destinations

Why You Should Visit Hawaii

 I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one

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Hawaii is paradise on Earth and one of the most traveled to destinations on the planet, so why all the hype? I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one. Check out paradise in each of its unique forms from the laid back vibes of Molokai to the big city by the beach in Oahu’s Honolulu.

 

Oahu

Oahu is home to the largest city in all the Hawaiian Islands and is the most populated. There is a huge military population on Oahu as the Navy has its base, Pearl Harbor. Honolulu is the island’s only “big” city and Waikiki is the party destination if you are into that sort of thing. Not all of Oahu is a party destination, as many parts of the island operate at a much slower pace. Check out the North Shore for bohemian beach towns and world-class surfing.

For some interesting attractions, check out the Polynesian Cultural Center or the sunken remains of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. The beaches are world-class and the resorts are massive.

 

Hawaii (Big Island)

The largest of the Hawaiian Islands by far is Hawaii or “the Big Island.” This massive island features almost every climate in its rich ecosystems. There is often snow on top of the mountain peaks that are surrounded by rainforests and deserts. The big island features a wide variety of terrain and activities. Check out some of the best surfing, snorkeling and hiking the world has to offer. The island is split into two main sides, the leeward side, which is very dry and arid, and the wayward side, which is the wettest region in America.

Make sure you check out Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain, measured from the sea floor up. There are also two active volcanoes to check out where you can see lava flows.

 

Maui

The most all-around island in the chain, Maui has a little bit of everything. Every major resort has a luau and we recommend checking one out for some culture and unlimited mai tais. This island has all the outdoor activities you could ever want with some incredible hiking, surfing and snorkeling. The weather is perfect and the sun is usually shining.   Take a hike to the crater of a volcano at the Haleakala National Park.  

 

Kauai

Known as the garden island, Kauai is easily the most beautiful of the main islands. This is also known as the lovers’ island and the retirement island as most guests are on their honeymoon or well, old. There aren’t too many spots open past 8pm and the island’s nightlife is almost non-existent. There is some of the best hiking and outdoor activities in the world.

Check out the Na Pali Coast, a rocky, 20-mile section of the island that is unreachable by car and where you’ll recognize the beginning of Jurassic Park. Take a helicopter tour of amazing waterfalls and secret beaches galore.

The most impressive feature is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Waimea Canyon.

 

 

Lanai

The smallest of the Hawaiian Islands that are open to the public, Lanai is mostly owned privately by billionaire Larry Ellison (Oracle). This island used to be a huge pineapple plantation and is now home to two Four Seasons resorts. Golf is god here as two of the best courses in the US are located here.

 

Molokai

The most remote Hawaiian Island is Molokai, which has hardly any infrastructure and has very few visitors each year. The pace is slow here and they only operate on island time. Come here if you want to chill hardcore and not do many touristy activities, as they don’t really exist here.

 

Find which version of paradise you like the most and check it out. Hawaii has a little of something for everyone; you just have to find it.

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Guides

Airplane Bathroom Hacks

We talked to some flight attendants who shared with us their awesome airplane bathroom hacks.

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An airplane bathroom may be the worst possible place to do your business but when you are 25,000 feet up in the sky, what are your other options?  They are small, inconvenient and not the most sanitary places, but when nature calls and you have nowhere else to go.

We talked to some flight attendants who shared with us their awesome airplane bathroom hacks. When is the best time to go, what you should bring, how to deal with the smell and when are the worst times to use the airplane restroom. Don’t be stuck thousands of feet in the sky with nowhere to go number 2 because there is a huge line, follow our airplane bathroom guide.

 

When to go

Flight attendants told us that there are two perfect times to use the airplane bathroom with having people lined up outside waiting. First is right after the pilot turns off the seatbelt signs. This window closes fast so be ready. Once the plane takes off, it usually takes about 5 minutes to reach cruising altitude, this is the height that the plane levels off and becomes flatter in the air. This is your opportunity so don’t let it slip away. Be prepared to get up the second the seatbelt sign goes off. You would have about 10 minutes to do your business without people lined up outside.   Flight attendants will be just getting up from their jump seats so you won’t have anyone in the aisles to block your path.

The second perfect window is right before the flight attendants start their drink service. Flight attendants don’t like when people are up during the drink service since the carts take up the entire walkway. Getting up right before their drink service takes some timing and situational awareness. Pay attention to the flight attendants, they should all be in the galley area prepping their drink carts, so this is your chance. Pop up quickly before they have a chance to tell you to sit down. Now you’ll have up to 10 minutes all alone in the bathroom. Also the best time to join the “mile-High Club,” if you know what I mean! Don’t stay more than 10 minutes or a flight attendant may come knock on the door and ruin the moment.

 

What to bring

I always travel with bathroom wipes because we all know how cheap airplane bathroom toilet paper is. Something to read is always a nice touch, but don’t be obvious, we don’t need the whole plane to know what’s going on.

 

Smell?

The smell can get you in trouble, not literally, just embarrassing. The flight attendant we spoke with told us a great hack. She brings a packet of coffee grounds into the lavatory to soak up the odor. Ask the flight attendant; they will happily give you one, because everyone will suffer if not. They will be trapped in the same sardine can as everyone else, so they want a no stink situation too.

 

Times to avoid

Right before landing is a terrible time to go to the bathroom. The flight attendants will be upset and the bathroom can be a little bumpy during landings.

The worst time to go is about 15 minutes after the seatbelt sign is taken away. This gives people time to realize they have to use the restroom so the line can be ridiculous.

 

Good luck and use the airplane restroom at these optimum times.

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