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Warning: Don’t Get Scammed on Vacation

Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. […]

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Scammers, criminals and lowlifes await you on vacation; so if you want to stay safe, avoid these popular scams. Don’t be a victim to immoral people all over the world who are waiting to swindle you out of your hard earned money. Tourist are conned and stolen from every day in every possible way imaginable. I’ve had some of these happen to me so everyone is susceptible.

Common scams:

Pick Pocket

This is number one for a reason, it happens all the time. Why do people not take care of their valuables? First rule of traveling: NEVER keep your wallet in your back pocket!

Simple rule but so many people fail to follow it. I carry a traveler’s wallet, it slings over my shoulder and I keep it under my shirt. The pickpocket would have to literally take my shirt off and only my wife and doctor have that privilege.

Women keep your purse under your jacket or double wrapped around your wrist. Ladies, your purses are a huge target and pickpockets can plan their attack from any angle.

Pickpockets run all sorts of scams to get your attention away from the fact that they are taking your wallet. Here are the most common pickpocket scams.

The Bump

This is a great diversion, since you are physically being bumped; all your attention is being diverted to the initial strike. While you are being bumped, your wallet is skillfully being taken out of your pocket or purse. When in large crowds or small areas pay extra attention to your loot.

Misdirection

This is usually a two-person scam. The first criminal is somehow stealing your attention while the accomplice cleverly snags your goodies. The misdirection can be anything from asking for directions or trying to sell you something. As long as they break your concentration and you are sidetracked, they’ve already won. Again, an easy way to avoid this widespread trick is to keep your wallet or purse safe.

The Spill

Pickpockets will clumsily spill something on your clothing and while they haphazardly try to clean it up, they are expertly pilfering your stuff. So, if some stranger spills coffee on you, DON’T let them help you clean it up. They will not only get coffee on your fantastic pea coat, but they will be spending your cash in no time flat.

Taxi Scams

The Overcharge

This is the most common one and happens everywhere, even in your hometown. Taxi drivers can spot a mark from a mile away and will exploit your naivety for their benefit. I’ve had this happen to me a few times and its more common than you think. The cab driver will either take you on an extremely long route or flat out overcharge you. They think you have no idea where you are going and they are probably right. The key is to ask someone knowledgeable that you also trust how to get somewhere and how much it should cost. The airport has many officials that should help you and your hotel concierge will provide you with all the help you need.

Wrong Change

This scam isn’t just relegated to cabbies, any shop or restaurant employee will try this scam on you. Image for a second that you are in a foreign land and you are unfamiliar with the currency or exchange rate. You simply try and pay for something and the clerk gives you change, how e=on earth are you supposed to know what’s right? This is a tough nut to crack, but a little pre-planning and homework should fix this. It helps to actually know what the currency is and how much the exchange rate is. It isn’t hard work to find these things out. Here is a handy currency converter you can use for free.

An additional nugget of knowledge: Never get in an unmarked cab, these illegal taxis will scam you, guaranteed.

Other Popular Scams

Free Jewelry

Never trust anything that seems like too good of a deal. If a person tries to give you free jewelry, food or really anything, it’s probably a scam. They will give you the free thing then immediately demand money for it. When you at first don’t pay, they will make a huge scene and hope that this makes you pay. The key to staying safe is simple, never take anything from anyone.

Overly Aggressive Woman

This is an age-old scam, send an attractive woman to hit on a guy, she gets him to buy her drinks and then something happens. This is where the narrative changes; the woman drugs you, a man comes up pretending to be her boyfriend or she pickpockets you. Any of these are no good and can easily be avoided by being smart. Nobody wants to wake up with his or her kidneys gone or their passport missing.

Scammers are out there everyday trying to get over on someone, flip the script and be one step ahead.

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Travel

8 Ways to Truly Unplug on Vacation

It’s a proven fact that the art of unwinding is actually very beneficial to our mental and physical health.  once you relax, your mind just works better, the synapses fire quicker and you are more mentally strong.  We all need this kind of break very once in awhile, so check out and get that mental rejuvenation. These 8 practices are the best practices to unwinding and truly unplugging, so get to work relaxing. 

 

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Quit saying that you need a break and actually take one, book a vacation and unwind.  Everyone needs to recharge every once in awhile, so if it’s time for you to vacation, here are some tips on how to unplug and get some much needed rest and relaxation.

If your first question when deciding where to vacation is “Can I get WiFi?” you are not in the minority.  In today’s world full of technology and the need to be connected, it’s almost impossible to truly unplug.  It seems impossible to disconnect from the outside world and really relax, but if you try, anything is possible. 

It’s a proven fact that the art of unwinding is actually very beneficial to our mental and physical health.  once you relax, your mind just works better, the synapses fire quicker and you are more mentally strong.  We all need this kind of break very once in awhile, so check out and get that mental rejuvenation.

These 8 practices are the best practices to unwinding and truly unplugging, so get to work relaxing. 

8 Ways to Make Your Vacation Time Totally Worth It

1. Stay within your budget.  Most people stress about money anyway, so you don’t need that added stress on vacation.  It’s best to stick to your budget and enjoy your time off, no need to think if you can afford it.  No need for a long getaway, instead, book a weekend trip and jam the relaxation into a shorter, cheaper period of time.             

2. Get yourself in order before you go.  Don’t leave town with unfinished business and let your mind really be free.  If you go on vacation thinking about the project you never finished or the work you still need to do, then you won’t ever actually relax.   Relax like a pro and leave your work and stress behind.  Stop thinking about work, it’s the whole reason you are on vacation.               

3. Remind yourself that, yes, you deserve a vacation.   Stop feeling guilty for taking your much needed time off, you deserve it.  Actually, you probably deserve much more, but out society only lets you take so much time off.  In Europe, most companies give employees months off so they can really relax. Can you imagine taking that much time off work? How relaxed would you be after?             

4. Don’t worry about what you should be doing.   Stop letting other’s expectations ruin your good time.  There is no manual on vacation and there is no set plan, if you want to do nothing, then dammit, do nothing.  Once again, this vacation is for your mental health, not your friends, or coworkers.   Take the time to enjoy doing whatever relaxes you and stop worrying about what other people think.             

5. If a problem pops up while you’re away, redirect it.   Most problems can wait for when you return from vacation, so just stop stressing. Of Course, if it’s an emergency, deal with it, any other case, push it to the back burner and deal with it when you check back into reality. 

            

6. Try meditating.   Meditating is the ultimate form of relaxation, so take a tip from some real chill people and try to meditate.  If anything, you will get some seriously valuable alone time.  If you don’t feel like meditating, cool, just go for a solo walk or sit alone in a dark room for a while.   

7. Set some connectivity ground rules—and abide by them!   My wife and I have a simple rule, no phones at the dinner table and this helps us connect with each other instead of social media.  Use this same rule on vacation but maybe expand it.  No phone during certain hours or during some activity.  These small steps will really help you set your boundaries and unplug.  Stop checking your voicemail and email, these are keeping you grounded to reality, let’s forget those for a little bit.         

8. Ease back into reality.   I hate coming home from a vacation and going back to work the next day.  I always give myself a day t recover and slowly work myself back into reality.  

Hopefully these tips help you unplug and really get that R & R that we all so dearly need.  A vacation should relax us and reset our brains so that when we do go back to work, we are ready to take on any task and perform at the best of our abilities.

 

 

Photos Courtesy of Fotlia, GettyImages, Knockturnal

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.

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Things You Didn’t Know You Can Get Free On A Flight

Traveling can cost a lot of money, and traveling by plane can be one of the most expensive modes of travel. And it seems that as an airplane passenger you receive less amenities with each passing year. Not everything has to cost an arm and a…

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Traveling can cost a lot of money, and traveling by plane can be one of the most expensive modes of travel. And it seems that as an airplane passenger you receive less amenities with each passing year. Not everything has to cost an arm and a leg during your flight, here are some things that you can still get for free during your flight.

When the flight attendant comes around with the snack cart ask for more. When handed a cup of water, or a cup of soda with ice ask for the can or for the bottle. Unless the flight is running low, most flight attendants are glad to give them to you. If there are left over snacks the flight attendants are happy to serve them to you, so don’t hesitate to ask. Some airlines offer hot cocoa for the kids as a treat when serving coffee and tea to the adults. 

Traveling with children can be difficult, keeping them entertained during all of the chaos is always challenging. A wing pin is a great souvenir, something to treasure for years, and a gift the flight attendant may offer a well behaved child. But don’t be afraid to ask if no offer is made. If you ask at the right time, usually after the flight when the pilot isn’t working, you may even be able to get a cockpit tour. 

Need a sanitizing wipe for the armrest or tray table? Most airlines carry them. Need a first aid item? Most airlines carry the basic first aid supplies, and can even offer you a pain reliever if you have forgotten that all important bottle of ibuprofen. Get to know your flight attendant as they know what their particular airline has to offer. 

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Read This Before Traveling with Pets

Traveling with your four legged friends: The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in…

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Traveling with your four legged friends:

The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in our lives and going everywhere we go. Its rare that I go on a plane and their isn’t an emotional support dog sitting close to me. Everywhere we go is becoming more and more accessible for animals and over half of American’s travel with their pets.

I bring my guys with me whenever I can and it makes me happier to have them with me. Animals are important because they have positive impacts on our lives and we need more positivity in our world.

I would never put my animals underneath the plane or in a cargo bay, bit that is a personal preference. Some dogs are perfectly fine with going down in the cargo, but not my babies. For the pet owners like me, getting your pet registered as s support animal is the way to go.

It’s becoming easier to get your dog or cat or really whatever pet registered as an emotional support animal, which means you can literally bring them anywhere. It doesn’t matter what the reason, because of the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) its illegal for someone to ask you why you need the support.

Emotional Support Animal

This is the best way to travel with your pet because with a support animal, you are not restricted by where you can take your pet. The process is actually pretty easy and only takes a few steps. First, to technically have an emotional support animal, you need to suffer from some sort of mental or emotional disability, which 1 in 4 Americans have. These disabilities can range from PTSD all the way to anxiety. Once you are diagnosed with an issue, you need an official letter from a licensed clinical professional. Now all you have to do is find a reputable certification company like CertaPet to process your application and pass their screening process. Now with an official prescription for an emotional support animal, you can take your furry friend anywhere you go.

Consult your Veterinarian

Always check with your vet before you book your travel, some animals may not be suited for travel. It’s always good to consult your vet and get your entire pet’s shots and medicine before travel. Some destinations will require you to have a health certificate for your pet to pass quarantine. It’s also just a rule of thumb to see if your destination has a mandatory quarantine and for how long. Some countries and islands more specifically have stricter guidelines to protect their natural environment.

Food and Water

Make sure your pet has plenty of food and water.  It gets dry in the sky so on airplanes, they need extra water.  Many airports have animal relief stations now, which are basically little patches of grass so they can use the bathroom too.

Pet ID

Get your pets fresh identification in case they get separated. DO you have a new number or a local number of where you are going; it’ll help to have those on the tags.

Pet carrier

Make sure your pet will be comfy on the trip. Has your pet grown since your last trip? If so, they may be too big to fit in their old carrier.

Contact Airline

Every major airline has different rules and regulations regarding pet travel, so make sure you cross your t’s and Dot your i’s.

Check in and Book Early

Check in and book your flights early to save yourself a last minute headache. When checking in, make sure you let the airline that you have a pet, often they will let you board early and that is a great advantage.

Toys and Treats

Pack your pet’s favorite toys and treats so they are occupied. Nobody wants a bored puppy acting up on a long flight.

Pet Drugs

Many people tend to drug up their animal for a flight, while this may work for some, I prefer not to dope up my doggies. Also, it’s good practice to test out the sedatives before your trip so if your animal has any adverse affects they won’t happen 10,000 feet above the earth.

 

Hopefully this guide helps you travel with your furry friends and alleviates some of your concerns.

 

Photos Courtesy of HealthyPets, PetZiti, superCoolPets

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