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Things You Should Never Say To A Flight Attendant

Traveling can be a troublesome experience so we need to do everything we can to help make the trip more pleasant and comfortable for ourselves. On a long plane trip the Flight Attendant can be your ally in this endeavor. Flight Attendants are generally helpful and pleasant but if treated with disrespect may be disinclined to […]

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Traveling can be a troublesome experience so we need to do everything we can to help make the trip more pleasant and comfortable for ourselves. On a long plane trip the Flight Attendant can be your ally in this endeavor. Flight Attendants are generally helpful and pleasant but if treated with disrespect may be disinclined to help. 

The job of a Flight Attendant is to keep you safe and comfortable and can be stressful on the best of days, but unruly and rude passengers just make the job so much harder.  From rude statements to questions that they have no way of knowing the answer to, here are some things that you never want to say to a Flight Attendant.

“I need to use the toilet before we take off.” This is against regulations, once the seatbelt light is on you must stay put. 

“Can you lift my bag for me?” This is not the Flight Attendant’s job, when packing you should make sure your bag is not too heavy for you to lift. 

“I’ll put my phone on airplane mode in a minute.” This is a requirement and Flight Attendants must ask you to do this. Be nice and comply

“They let me the last time I flew.” Whether or not this is true your Flight Attendant won’t appreciate this ploy. Their job is to enforce the rules, and most do.

“Can you watch my kids for me?” Flight Attendants are not babysitters and you shouldn’t expect them to be. 

“Why are we delayed?” “Will I make my connection?” These are the types of questions that the Flight Attendant has no way of having the answer to. If you have a cell phone you can find those answers yourself with a handy app.

A few more handy tips on the proper treatment of your Flight Attendant. Don’t treat her like a waitress because she isn’t. Her job is to keep you safe, not to cater to your needs. And don’t call your Flight Attendant a “Stewardess”, this term is outdated and sexist. And don’t hit on her, you aren’t in a bar.

 

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Travel

2017: The Year You Make Travel Happen

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daring travel sky dive
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to travel more. It’s right up there with eating better and going to the gym more.

And, like so many other resolutions, this one starts with the best of intentions and motivations but often fails.

When asked why, most people make up some reason involving time and money. They ran out of time, life got in the way, they forgot to ask for time off, work got too busy, they never saved enough, couldn’t find a cheap ticket, yada, yada, yada.

Tomorrow is the day to hit the gym, give up pizza, read more, or find that cheap trip to Paris.

But, when you dive deeper, you usually find people don’t follow through because they are too afraid to commit. They half-checked flights, looked up some hotels, and maybe even went to a bookstore to buy a guidebook. But when it came down to purchasing the trip, they hemmed and hawed and said, “Let me think about it a little. Maybe tomorrow.”

After all, change is hard. Getting out of your comfort zone is hard. It takes dedicated mental energy.

Turning a dream into a reality can elicit a sort of “ohh f%%k, this is happening” moment. There’s always a mix of excitement and fear. “Yes!” to doing it but also an “uhh, what did I get myself into?” feeling.

The second you buy your plane ticket, there’s no going back. You’re going. You’re locked in.

Soon you’ll be in a place you know nothing about, where you know no one, and (maybe) don’t speak the language.

The reality of that stops more people than you think from hitting “Book Now” because they aren’t sure they are “ready.”

Now, I know that you, dear reader, have a sense of adventure. You’re reading this blog, right? This is probably not your problem.

But time and/or money? These things probably worry you.

Someone literally asked me in an email last week: “Why do people still think travel is expensive?!”

When I read that, I screamed at my computer, arms flailing, yelling “Right? Why indeed? That is such a good question! I still can’t figure it out! It drives me insane!”

With all the blogs, magazines, apps, travel hacking websites, and deal sites out there, you would think the persistent myth that travel is expensive would have started to fade away by now. But it is still there. It’s hard to get rid of for the millions of people who grew up in the age of “travel = expensive hotel/resort vacation.” For the other millions in countries that are just getting the purchasing power to think about overseas travel, travel is very much still a luxury.

And luxury is synonymous with expensive.

However, there are travel deals all the time if you know where to look. 2016 saw some incredible cheap fares, and 2017 is shaping up to be no different. (There are some crazy $400 USD round-trip flights to Europe right now.) Additionally, the sharing economy has only grown in recent years, allowing you to bypass the old travel gatekeepers, and connect with locals for a cheaper trip.

So today, I’m going to get you somewhere in the world. I’m going to show you the secret to finding a cheap vacation so you can start 2017 off right and not back out of your resolution. Ready?

First, go to one of these websites: The Flight Deal, Holiday Pirates, or Secret Flying. Look for a cheap flight to a place you want to go to.

Second, book a flight. Lock yourself into a trip. Don’t worry about anything else. I promise you everything will work out. You can worry about a hotel, what to pack, day-to-day expenses, time off, what to do, etc., later. Those things don’t matter and there are many ways to cut those expenses! Worry about the logistics later.

Third, well, that’s all there is to it. There is no third.

Once you make the commitment by buying a flight, the rest is easy. Over and over again, I hear from travelers, “I was so worried about my trip. I built it up in my head so much and began to fret about all the ‘what ifs,’ but once I got on the road, it all fell into place and I wondered why I was ever worried at all.”

I know it seems scary to take the leap, especially when you are on your own. I know it can be unnerving to run out of your comfort zone. It’s basically this cartoon below, right?

The simple act of hitting “go” takes mental work!

But I’m here for you. This site is a virtual hand. I’m here to take the leap with you together. To be there to reassure you along the way, take away your fears, answer any of your questions, and provide support. (Plus, we have a whole community of people to help you too!)

How I’m Going to Help Make 2017 the Year of Travel

Today, I’m bringing back the case study project. I’m going to take five readers and help them plan their trip from start to finish. I’m going to help them each step of the way (as much as they need me to) and use their examples to show again that you don’t need to be rich to travel – or that you just aren’t limited to cheaper, developing countries.

To be one of those readers, you simply need to book a flight within 24 hours of this blog post going up. The first five people to do that and send me proof are in. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, where you are going, or for how long. SPOTS ARE FULL! THANKS FOR APPLYING!

Just email a screenshot of where you are going, as well as the following information: your name, phone number, and age; a short bio; the ideal budget for your trip; and anything else I need to know. (Please keep it to no more than two paragraphs.)

There are no fees or strings attached. I’ll work with you via email, phone, and Skype to create a plan and help you stick to it so you can travel sooner than you planned and for less money.

I’ll feature these case studies on the blog when they are done as a way to help and inspire others (so you have to be OK with sharing your story on the website).

If you want to go somewhere but have always been a bit too afraid to pull the trigger, do so today, and let me help guide you out the door.

I will take your hand and we will leap together.

– Matt

P.S. – Looking for another way to kick start your new year? Over at the forums, we are doing our quarterly Travel Action Challenge, where you win prizes (like a $100 USD Amazon.com gift card) !

P.P.S. – If you would like to help underprivileged students travel more, we’re currently fundraising for a group of students to go volunteer in Ecuador. Help us reach our goal, change someone’s life by exposing them to the world of travel, and get some travel swag in the process. It’s a trip win!

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Travel: The Ultimate Personal Development Tool

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man sitting on a mountain while traveling
With the explosion of websites, podcasts, and conferences teaching you how to improve your life (this one being no exception), it’s clear many of us want to become a better version of ourselves. We all want to be the person we imagine we could be if given just the right circumstances.

We want to learn more languages.

We want to be less awkward in social situations.

We want to eat better.

We want to read more.

We want to work out more.

We want to travel more.

We want to be more active.

We want to be more independent.

The list goes on and on!!

So often we go through life without really thinking about where we are heading. One day turns into the next and all those things we desire to do and become seem to pile up while we look for the perfect day to start.

Over the last year, I’ve had my ups and downs and have been working hard to make changes to my life. It takes a lot of work to change. Even one or two changes to change your life requires concentrated effort and persistence. But to make a hundred changes? That is biting off more than you can chew. No one has the mental energy or time to do that.

That’s why most new year’s resolutions fail. We create a long list of things to accomplish in the new year but, in the end, most of us give up, overwhelmed by all we want to do.

So when people tell me all the ways they want to improve their lives, my advice to them is to travel for one simple reason:

Travel solves a plethora of self-improvement goals in one fell swoop.

Picture this: You’ve booked a flight to Kiev. You don’t speak Ukrainian or Russian. And, to top it off, you’re going alone. You land in Kiev. Now, you have to navigate signs in a different language, ask people who probably don’t speak your language well for directions (maybe pantomime and point at maps indicating where you want to go), get to your hostel, make friends in the dorm (no one wants to be alone), and get around and sightsee the city during your stay.

By the time you leave, you’ve learned how to communicate even when you don’t speak the language, figured out how to navigate an unknown place, learned to turn strangers into friends, learned how to be independent, and solved a slew of problems that came up as you made your way around a foreign country.

During one trip, you got better at communication, problem solving, languages, social situations, and improved your confidence in your ability to do new things and handle unexpected situations.

Why? Because you had to. You had no other choice.

And you didn’t even know you were doing it.

People always ask me about the moment I realized I “changed.” While there are moments in your life that ripple through the years, for me, there was no single instance that I can point to that turned me from a shy introvert who never traveled to someone able to plop down in any city, find my way, and turn strangers into friends. It was a process that happened slowly over time.

Before I set out on my first trip around the world, I had never really lived outside my state, hadn’t traveled much, had a small group of friends, and had only been in one relationship.

I was a nerdy introvert. While the old parts of me are still there (I’ll still gravitate towards my friends at a party rather than talk to someone I don’t know), it’s become a lot easier for me to talk to new people when there’s no one familiar around. While I still run through all the “what ifs” when I get on a plane to a new destination, when I land I hit the ground running (and wonder why I was ever worried in the first place).

Traveling forced me out of my routine. It helped me become independent, take more risks, be ok with change, get better with people, learn more, and be more versatile.

Travel is not some panacea. The baggage you have comes with you on the road. There is no place far enough away to escape your problems. But what travel does is give you the space to be someone else and improve your life. It allows you to say “What would the new me do?” and then do it – without worrying that someone you know might notice. It puts you into situations that force you to better yourself. It won’t instantly solve your problems — only you can do that — but at least, on the road, you have a clean slate to try.

As the new year approaches and you create your list of resolutions, cross them all off, and just write one down: to travel alone more.

It is the ultimate way to become a better, more confident you.

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What Americans Should Know about Europe’s Travel Restrictions

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In July, the European Union finally reopened its borders to travelers from several countries. The US, however, was not included in the said list. If you plan to take a trip to Europe during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, here are several things you should know.

Who is allowed to visit Europe?

There are just 14 countries currently permitted to enter the 27 EU member states plus the Schengen-linked countries of Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland.
They are the following:
· Algeria
· Australia
· Canada
· Georgia
· Japan
· Montenegro
· Morocco
· New Zealand
· Rwanda
· Serbia
· South Korea
· Thailand
· Tunisia
· Uruguay

For purposes of COVID-19 travel, citizens from these countries are allowed to enter Europe as well:

· Andorra
· Monaco
· San Marino
· Vatican
Unless they qualify for several exemptions, Americans cannot enter Europe at present.

Why are Americans not currently permitted to visit Europe?

One of the main criteria mandated by the European Council is that permitted visitors must originate from countries that do not have a total number of COVID-19 cases higher than the EU average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 individuals. The country of origin should also have a decreasing trend of COVID-19 transmission—a pattern that is examined every couple of weeks. Currently, America’s ever-increasing number of cases does not fit the given requirement.

Are there certain exceptions to the current EU travel ban?

On-going restrictions do not cover long-term residents and their immediate family members. Individuals who need to travel to Europe due to a vital function or reason are also exempted.
Exempted travelers include the following:
· Humanitarian and health workers
· Students
· Diplomats
· Seasonal Workers

Is there any chance that the decision to ban Americans from entering Europe be modified or revoked?

The current list of permitted countries is examined and reviewed every couple of weeks. If the US’s COVID-19 trend improves—if the cases decrease and reach the total number asserted by the EU, Americans may eventually be permitted to travel to Europe. Similarly, all countries presently included in the said list get reviewed in that manner and can be eradicated from the list when the COVID-19 cases in those nations go above the specified number stressed.

To know more about the different travel guidelines and restrictions outlined by the EU, visit the European Council Recommendation.

If Europe is currently off-limits, where then can I go?

Americans can travel to several countries at present. These places include:

· Countries in the Caribbean

· Select states in Mexico

· Kenya

· Albania

· Turkey

Most countries that permit entrance to US citizens; however, issue strict health protocols, including 14-day quarantine, COVID-19 testing, compulsory insurance premiums, and decreased travel capabilities.

Equally, the US government asserts that travelers returning from several restricted locations (like several European Schengen nations, Iran, and China) are merely permitted to land in 15 airports to undergo US-imposed safety measures. Visit the website of the State Department for more information regarding various country-specific guidelines.

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