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Travel Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

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If you travel a lot, you’ve probably made at least a few travel mistakes, learning some lessons the hard way which can mean financial losses and headaches or simply missed opportunities. Even the most experienced travelers can make a mistake, but learning about some of the most common ahead of time can help you avoid them so that you can enjoy a fun vacation with fewer bumps along the way.

Using the Airport Currency Exchange

While getting currency for your destination at an airport’s currency exchange facility when you arrive is convenient, it’s the worst possible way to do it as you’ll pay the highest exchange rates. Whether money is tight because you just purchased property among Vancouver real estate, or you’ve got plenty to spare, no one should pay more than they have to. Most airports have plenty of ATMs, which will give you a much better rate. If your bank doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, that’s even better. Be sure and call yours before you go to find out about any fees and let them know you’ll be traveling so that the transaction isn’t declined for potential fraud.

Being Too Cheap When Buying Airfare

While we all want a good deal, sometimes that cheap airfare isn’t the best value. Some airlines advertise extremely low prices only to tack on fees for just about everything afterward. That means not only baggage fees and fees for upgraded seats, but fees to reserve any seat, even in economy. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks used to be included on just about any flight, but now many low-cost carriers are charging for those too. 

The other problem with that cheap airfare may be customer service which can turn a minor inconvenience into a nightmare, say when that flight is delayed, causing you to miss your connection which was the last flight going out that day. It’s just not worth the savings in most cases to book a seat on a bad airline – Consumer Reports’ readers gave low marks in every category to Frontier and Spirit Airlines, in its latest survey, for example, ranking them among the worst with American, United, and Allegiant not far behind.

Forgetting to Check Passport Validity In Time

It’s important to check the expiration date on your passport as soon as you book your trip if not sooner. Many countries will deny you entry if there aren’t at least six months left before it expires. And, another problem that frequent travelers may encounter is running out of blank pages for passport stamps. As it’s no longer possible to have additional pages added, you’ll need to renew with plenty of time to do so before your departure date. Otherwise, you’ll face some hefty fees to expedite.

Packing Too Much

It’s easy to pack too much with the worry that you won’t have the right outfit for every possible occasion, but you’ll probably end up lugging around that heavy suitcase, exhausted only to realize that you’ll never wear it all. Then there’s the anxiety that comes at the airport baggage scale, wondering if you’ve accidentally exceeded the weight limit. There are few places in the world where you won’t find laundry facilities, take advantage of them, or bring along a trial size box of detergent and hand wash a few things. Many Airbnb and other vacation rentals even come with a washer/dryer. 

Trying to See and Do It All

You won’t truly enjoy your trip if you try to do too much. A jam-packed itinerary means you won’t have time to discover those hidden treasures, and you’re likely to feel more stressed than relaxed. Be sure to allow plenty of time to immerse yourself in the destination for the best experience.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Plan An Awe Inspiring Trip To Western Australia

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Gaining the opportunity to visit Western Australia is the chance of a lifetime that must be grasped with both hands, as it’s a destination that many people can only dream of visiting. Travelling to W. Australia from any European country can often take several days of flying and driving, but if you are able to withstand this experience then you will no doubt be greeted with the most awe inspiring of locations upon arrival. Planning the perfect adventure can sometimes seem like an almost impossible thanks to thousands of activities and entertainment available, but there are a few simple tips and tricks that you can take on board to ensure your vacation can be treasured forever. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best ideas and concepts that you can utilise today to plan the most amazing adventure through Western Australia! 

Exploring The History 

There’s such a wealth of history and culture across Western Australia, with hundreds of unique places to visit perfect for any kind of traveler. From weird and wonderful rock formations partnered with ancient Aboriginal sites, to vast green vineyards supporting world renowned wineries just a short drive from unfathomably clear water at almost every beach spot, Western Australia really is a land of seemingly endless exploration for all. If you are a bit of a history or culture buff and you’d like to experience as much of this as you can during your trip, then it’s a great idea to research the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail. It can take you through some of the most iconic spots inside Western Australia, from gold mining facilities to grand museums and art galleries too. 

Meet Mother Nature 

Failing to explore the wonders of Mother Nature during your trip to Western Australia is such a missed opportunity, as the landscape and wildlife is unlike any other country on earth. Australia is such an enormous land mass, meaning the weather and climate is completely different on one side of the island when compared with another. For example, in the NW (north west) regions of Western Australia, the general landscape consists of broad flat plateaus, arranged neatly next to several mountain ranges, whereas the eastern area of WA is made up of immense hot deserts. WA is larger than Western Europe in its entirety, and it contains Australia’s sunniest capital city along with its  whitest beach, greatest outback expanse, and even one of the oldest known cultures on our planet today. Whether you want to trek through the beautiful nature reserves, raft down invigorating white water, dive in the sea with the fishes or climb to the highest peak, there’s bound to be an awe inspiring experience that’s perfect for your unique presences. 

Planning the best trip to Western Australia has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the brilliant ideas and concepts detailed above! Be sure to pack your sunscreen, as the temperature is never forgiving.

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Travel Tips

Injured in a Car Accident While Travelling through Florida from Another State?   

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First of all, you wish your car accident didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the chances of you being in an accident and suffering an injury can increase while traveling. You are probably driving more miles than usual and, maybe, taking part in more activities than you would on a normal day.  

It all adds up to this: getting injured in a car accident can catch you off guard. Various kinds of pain and aches, taking time off from work to visit doctors and chiropractors are inconvenient, to say the least. 

What’s more, nothing can prepare you for something like this. There’s no step by step guide for what to do next. All you know is that you need help.

So what do you need to know to protect yourself legally after being injured in a car accident in Florida while traveling from another state?

Handling the auto insurance claim from your home state 

The most important thing you need to know about auto insurance is that it extends beyond state lines. Therefore, if you bought your car in your home state but got into an accident in Florida, your insurance policy still covers you.

In other words, because your car insurance will cover you no matter where you are in the U.S., filing an insurance claim for an out-of-state car accident is the same process as filing a claim for an in-state accident.

Similarly, when you carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your state, if another driver is liable for your car accident in Florida, you should be covered under your own UM/UIM insurance policy.

However, if you cannot settle the claim, you will have to file a lawsuit under Florida’s laws. Because the accident occurred in Florida, it falls under this state’s jurisdiction. 

Filing a personal injury lawsuit  

Let’s look at an example: You live in the city of Valdosta, Georgia. One winter, you decide to make a road trip to Miami for vacation. While driving through Florida, your car gets hit by another driver. He is visiting family in Florida but he is also from out of town, living in Alabama. 

You’re injured in the car accident and decide to sue the negligent driver whose actions led to the accident. In general, you can file a lawsuit in the state where: 

  • The car accident occurred (Florida), or
  • The negligent party resides (Alabama).

Dealing with the laws of at least two states 

“It may not be easy to understand which laws apply to your car accident. If you were injured in an accident in Miami and you’re from another state, in general, you’re going to be dealing with, at least, Florida law and your state’s law. That’s why your car accident case can be similar in many ways to that of someone who lives in Florida. However, you often have different possibilities for costs’ compensation,” says Miami car accident lawyer Sean M. Cleary. 

For brevity, the essential information you need to know is that Florida law applies:

  • In general, to all car accidents that occur in Florida. There is a presumption that the laws of the state where the accident occurred apply, regardless of the residencies of the parties involved.
  • To the types of compensation you may get. In Florida, you can only recover compensation for your out of pocket medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. You can’t get compensation for the full billed charges. 

Your state’s law will determine at least:

  • If you have to pay back health insurance from the settlement 
  • What period of time is available for you in order to sue your UM insurer.

About the author:

Sean M. Cleary is the principal attorney and founder of The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, personal injury law firm based in Miami, Florida, representing individuals in car accident, product liability and medical malpractice cases.

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Travel Tips

Take a Beach Holiday – in Chicago

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Chicago is the Windy City. It’s the place we see in movies, where people wrap up warm in winter and the snow is crisp and even. Or perhaps that’s just my impression ever since the release of Home Alone (1990), which, yes, was filmed in Chicago. Although, going by those rules, my impression of Chicago should also be that it’s forever December and the actor Joe Pesci stalks neighbourhoods looking for easy to swipe loot. Who knows, maybe that is what he gets up to these days, but I doubt it.

If your impression of Chicago was even slightly in the same ballpark, you might be surprised to learn that the city has 15 beaches spread out along 26 miles of shoreline. I know. Weird, isn’t it. Like finding out there’s a secret room at the top of the Eiffel Tower or like the first time you see Australia with a line drawn down the middle to show that it’s a dog’s head on the left and cat’s head on the right. Crazy stuff.

Now, before visiting Chicago’s beaches, please be aware that Chicago is big. Well, for a start it has 26 miles of beaches. We’re hardly dealing with a one horse town. This means it gets congested. A lot. Always travel with the details of a local lawyer to hand. Just in case, otherwise you could find yourself far from home wasting valuable time reading Google reviews when something goes wrong. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

Ohio Street Beach

Visiting Chicago usually comes with the advice to stay on the Magnificent Mile (or close to it). This is Chicago’s tourist trap of shops, restaurants, architecture, and entertainment. The Ohio Street Beach is the closest beach to the Mag’ Mile. This little much loved beach is something of a gem, as it’s less visited due to having no on site restaurants or restrooms. But for a stroke or a midday laze? Perfect.

Oak Street Beach

Kick things up a notch with the Oak Street Beach, just north of the Ohio Street Beach. Although not swarming with visitors, you can get food here, making it the perfect beach for dining out and starting the evening off with a little culture. However, if you really want to have a good time…

The North Avenue Beach

This is where people come to have fun. Think food. Think restrooms. Think beach houses, outdoor showers, people getting a tan, and volleyball nets – basically, Rio eat your heart out. OK, perhaps it’s not quite Brazil. But Chicago is on the same line of latitude as Barcelona, Rome, and Istanbul.

For all these sandy reasons and more, why not add Chicago to your must-see travel list.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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