Monthly Archives: August 2017

Travel and Personal Growth

Set in the 1960s, the new Pan Am ABC drama series brings to life, the glamour of air travels, beautiful air stewardesses, and the possibilities of adventures and explorations of the big wide world we live in. My husband and I took one of the last flights on Pan Am in September 1991 from JFK Airport to San Francisco before it collapsed and closed on December 4th 1991.

Airlines come and go, Pan Am and Trans World Airlines are long gone…but we are still traveling. Air travel today is so different from yester years. For those who have traveled before 2001…air travel will never be the same.

Today, more than ever, even with the economic downturn, airports are still full of passengers and cruise ships are sold out…we are still traveling…

The U.S. Travel Association has interesting statistics about the tourism industry. Every minute in the U.S., $1.4 million is spent in the travel industry and the top 5 growth markets for visitors in the next few years are from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and South Korea with the Chinese taking the lead.

1 out of 9 jobs in the U.S. depends on tourism and by 2020, the country plans to create 1.3 million jobs by increasing visitors to the United States. That will be one of the ways to have economic stimulus.

Apart from shopping, dining, city sightseeing, visiting historical sites and amusement/theme parks (those are main reasons why tourists come to the U.S.) – why do we travel?

I think travel experiences contribute to our personal growth. Let’s take a look at it:

According to an article in selfgrowth.com personal growth or self-improvement refers to self-guided improvement-economically, intellectually, or emotionally-most frequently with a substantial psychological or spiritual basis.

Here are 5 different areas of our lives that have changed because of travel experiences:

Travel improves our palette: Other than rice, beans and chicken, travel takes us to eateries that are out of this world. For some non-adventurous eaters, travel will make us move out from our usual staples of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

There are the crepes in Paris for lunch. My kids had no clue about the different types of crepes…all they knew were the ones they get from the International House of Pancakes. After a trip to Paris, they learned to make savory crepes au jambon et fromage and the sweet version crepes au chocolat with Nutella spread.

It also helps them add a variety to their food adventure and try new things. Most cultures appreciate guests to consume food served. It is a sign of impoliteness to reject food and to not eat it.

Travel helps us respect foods of all cultures.

Travel improves our appreciation of diversity in religion and culture: Before we travel, all information was from books and internet. Travel takes us to places that have different religions. For example, Malaysia is a Muslim country. At about 5 in the morning, every morning, the loudspeaker started broadcasting morning prayers to the neighborhood without fail and 4 more times throughout the day. You see most Muslim women having head coverings and wearing long skirts and long shirts to cover their body.

It helps us accept differences of cultures and religions…there are the Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus all living together in the same neighborhood. Travel helps us appreciate the freedom of worship in the United States.

Travel improves our language skills and helps us learn a new language: According to Biblica.com the bible has been translated to 2,287 languages. There are thousands of languages and dialects worldwide. Imagine what we can learn through traveling. Most Europeans speak more than one language.

Travel experiences in different countries allowed my children to hear English spoken in different accents…but they are all speaking the English language. They are different in Singapore, Australia, England and even Tennessee.

Having written and spoken knowledge of more than one language gives us more advantages in the business world and more job options.

Travel improves our understanding of people around the world: The world is created differently. Some of us live in arid lands with hardly any vegetation, some in the deltas surrounded by rice fields and some are in big metropolis like Sao Paulo or New York City. With diverse lands come diverse economic differences…some live in a modern developed land and some are still using a family motorcycle with 5 family members on it.

Traveling to Managua, Nicaragua, helped my daughter understand the needs outside of her comfort zone. Going to the deep eco resort of Northern Costa Rica helped me appreciate the street lights in the US.

We are creatures of habits…what we are not exposed to, we will not yearn for or feel at a lost. For example, to a Costa Rican living in non-street lights…walking in the dark is normal. They will not feel insecure in the dark. They are used to the environment. But one like me, who is used to street lights, did not feel comfortable walking in the dark.

Travel improves our understanding of our earthly possessions: When we see that many have little to live with, we understand the amount that we possess. Travel has led me to live a non-cluttered lifestyle and appreciate minimal possessions.

After all, we either choose to buy more stuff or choose to have the money to travel. The choices in life. For us, we chose travel experience as part of our personal growth and education for our children.

Mark Twain wrote a travel book in the 1860s called Innocents Abroad, an account of his trip to Europe and the Holy Land. He quoted, Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts….(you have to read the rest of the quote in Twain’s book).

Why You Should Travel Young

Traveling is simply a brutality of humanity, it is when we travel that we see things for what they truly are and not how we imagined them to be. Traveling also lets our imagination run wild without expectations, it lets us see things from a new perspective, without the alleged prejudice of the world. And while all of this seems to be an adequate reason to travel, many are still naïve to the idea of traveling.

But just as many are left in the dark to wonder and wander, some are out there exploring and enjoying what the world has to offer them, for it is in that brief moment of youth that we can truly experience life, as we know it.

Now the question of many remains, “Why Should I Travel Young”? Personally, I can give you a hundred, even a thousand reasons why you should travel when you’re young but if you’re desire to see the world begins and ends with your “Wish to See the World” then I’m afraid no amount of reasoning would suffice to convince you to go after what you want.

You see, traveling as much as it is a form of recreation is also a commitment, a vocation for some, but ultimately, it is a responsibility. A responsibility you should be willing to take onto yourself. Many people say that the young are lucky to have the health and the wealth to see the world but what they do not realize is that the young are often distracted, deceived and sometimes, deluded.

So if you’re one of the young’uns who wish to unearth the world’s greatest places and learn life’s most valuable lessons, but are afraid to make it happen, read along, maybe I can convince you to travel while you still have the gift of youth.

  1. Traveling teaches you a sense of adventure- Don’t quote me on this one but based on my experience, traveling allows you to have as much as fun as you want without having to worry of what other people will say about you. You don’t have your peers or parents to warn you and judge you, so you can be young, wild and free. Life is an adventure and traveling lets you experience that.
  2. Traveling teaches you to be compassionate- Other than the photos, the souvenir and the life-long memory that traveling gives you, it also edifies you of the real situation and teaches you to care for other people, sometimes not of your own kind.
  3. Traveling allows you to be culturally diverse- If you think traveling is all about sight-seeing and marveling at the wonders each country has, then you’re right. But there’s also something more important that traveling teaches us, it allows us to be culturally diverse. Whenever we travel, it is important that we follow the local practices of the country/destination we are going to. As the old saying goes, “Respect begets Respect” If we learn to respect and even appreciate the culture of other nationalities then we become more aware of our own. That’s the mutual benefit we get from traveling.
  4. Traveling makes you more attractive as a person- they say that the most attractive people in the world are those that have seen it. Do you agree? I do. It is because of the invaluable and immeasurable life experiences we have with our travels that make us a better person, and when you feel you’re better, you become more attractive.
  5. When you travel young, you travel more- let’s face it, we’re all bound to grow old and lose our health. But while we’re young and at the peak of everything, it’s best to take advantage of it and start traveling, after all, you’re only allowed until your 30s to hike a mountain or ride the rapids of the river.
  6. Traveling makes it easy to make friends- if back at your hometown you tend to cling to the same group of people bound by a circle of friendship, then maybe you should travel more often. Traveling has been proven as one of the best ways to gain friends and build bonds, after all, you are all strangers to one another at one point but because of your common interest to see the world, you are bound by it as well. And get this; wouldn’t it be nice to have friends in all parts of the world? That would be way cool, way cooler than your friends back home.
  7. Traveling makes you a better storyteller- You might not get this now but when you have kids or grandchildren, you will. Those who travel young have more opportunities to experience everything there is to traveling. With the many countries that you’ve visited and you’ll be traveling to is a story waiting to be told. Traveling gives you things to share over breakfast, lunch or dinner. When you travel, you will never have a hard time thinking of a topic to talk about; not to mention you’ll keep everyone with your story.

Now if for some strange reason, after citing all these reasons why you should travel young and you’re still not convinced; it’s pretty obvious that you have a fear inside you that you’re just trying to hide so everyone won’t think you’re a coward who can’t face it. Is it fear of heights? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being independent? Whatever it is, know that traveling, especially alone, will help you address that fear. You just have to take the big leap of faith and make the first step to make your traveling dreams a reality. You only live once; and you’re only young for a short period of time, if you don’t travel now, when?

Travel Clubs

Are Travel Clubs worth the investment?

My traveling days have slowed down since I’ve become a new mom, my priorities have changed, but my husband and I still try and take a vacation at least once or twice a year. My boss travels several times a year and was telling me about the opportunities that come along with them and suggested that I check things out. Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I started searching different sites for information on the pros and cons. I hope my findings help you with your decision on whether or not to purchase a membership.

Wondering what a travel club is? Members a charged a membership fee in return for providing travel at cost or an extremely discounted rate. There are several different types of clubs, ranging from luxury leisure travel to affordable adventure travel and a whole slew of others.

My boss chose to go with “Travel RCI”, which guaranteed the lowest prices for flights, hotels and other forms of travel. He has been very happy with the services and said he wished he would have joined earlier. The savings have truly added up for him, and they might for you as well.

Benefits

Becoming a member can be extremely beneficial if you travel more than just once a year. Most memberships come with several free trip offers each year. Travel club memberships offer cheap trip options that are not available to the general public. Investing in a membership can range anywhere from unlimited flexibility in travel options, trip packages in thousands of destinations. You can save on all the extras that go hand in hand with planning a trip, like car rental, hotel reservations, airline tickets and discounts on food and drinks. Travel club membership also works like airline mile rewards programs, giving you additional benefits for traveling more.

Types

There are a handful of different types, ranging from women’s only clubs, sport-specific like ski or golf travel to clubs for traveling singles. Most memberships require a one-time nominal fee, while other may require annual or monthly membership fees. There are also several companies that coordinate for the professionals, like teachers and dentists, with professional services related travel opportunities.

With the vast array of options and types, just about every traveler can find a club that is unique to their individual tastes. An important factor is convenience. A travel club allows members to maintain up-to-date profiles based on their travel interests that help the club to weed out potential offers and trip options for them. With a vast array of traveling tools, a travel club can simplify your travel planning process for you by keeping everything you need on an easily accessible site.

Advisory

Like any other special offers and discounts you may find on the Internet today, travel club options should be thoroughly researched for legitimacy. There are many travel-related Internet scams on the Internet and they prey off vulnerable trusting individuals. Be sure to check out the company’s reputation by conducting a basic Internet search. Like contacting the Better Business Bureau, or simply calling the company in question to ask for more information.

Also, remember that the benefit of a travel clubs really ramps up once you travel twice in a given year. If you do not travel at least twice a year you will likely not save enough money to justify the cost of your membership. If you travel more than twice a year your travel club should be a great investment.

Why Sound Business Travel Reporting Matters

For any company that has their employees engage in regular travel, it is important to have a good corporate travel strategy. Part of developing and improving on a corporate travel strategy is solid business travel reporting. Business travel reporting provides the company with details about the cost of travel and how the money is being used. This data not only helps to keep track of expenses but it also can be used to identify areas of waste and inefficiency. When this information is tracked and analyzed it can be used to improve upon your company’s business travel strategy. Using the service of a corporate travel agency is an effective means toward achieving all of these goals.

Due to their experience and their connections in the travel and finance industry, a corporate travel firm will be especially suited to provide these services with the highest degree of detail. A corporate travel agency uses a variety of methods to analyze and track a clients business travel expenses. They can use data from banking and credit card records along with the travel records to identify the most and least efficient travelers in your company. They can help to manage airline data to find which carrier is providing the most business friendly service for the most affordable price and they can help to identify waste and abuse of funds.

A corporate booking agency can also help employers to analyze information in a way that can determine how effectively the employees travel and how well they stick to the itinerary and how closely the individual employees stick to the travel strategy. This can be achieved by referencing the data accumulated from credit cards, expense accounts, airline data, hotel bills and rental information. Once all of the data is collected and analyzed, the corporate travel firm can prepare a complete report. The reports will cover a variety of different areas and will often be accompanied by a written summary of the overall information. Clients can also request specialized reporting from a corporate travel agency. These may be to address an area of concern or to see how a new aspect of the travel strategy is working.

Most business travel agencies recommend that their clients schedule regular meetings with their travel manger to go over the business travel reporting and to find ways to improve the corporate travel strategy. The management of a business should meet with their corporate travel manager at least once a year. In these meetings the travel manager can help the client go over the business travel reporting and understand what all of the data means. The manager will help to identify areas of waste and point out parts of the travel plan that are working well. At this time the client can address their concerns about the travel strategy and work to adjust the business travel strategy. A corporate travel agency can also help their client with a plan for implementing the new strategy and addressing the changes with their staff.

Having the services of a business travel agency is a necessity for any company that engages in regular travel. Having a well thought out strategy will not only save the company money, but it will also make sure that the staff is getting the most out of their trip.

For additional tips and hints as to how your business can keep on top of its corporate travel expenditure, head over to the website of Eastside Travel.