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Easy Home Automations For Your Vacation Rental

Hoem automation remote control for your house

Wow your visitors – and keep them coming back!

If you haven’t heard, automation is the latest buzz in all the popular housekeeping journals and publications. Whether it’s a digital app, a physical appliance or just a new frame of mind, housekeepers are now looking for ways to automate their routines and – quite simply – make their lives a little easier on themselves.

It’s good news all around for Rentini. If you’re a traveler, what’s better after a long day on the go than walking into a home fully stocked with easy-to-use, hands-free appliances and electronics? And if you’re a homeowner, there’s no better way to attract patrons than by making your home as accessible as possible.

Here’re five quick and easy ways to automate your home and attract future vacationers:

  

Start with the light bulbs.

They’re the easiest appliances to replace, and there’s so much you can do with them. If you’re going for luxury, look into some of the high-end automated bulbs like the Philips Hue. If you’re looking for something cheaper, try something like the Insteon LED Bulb, which still lets you control your light fixture from your smartphone or tablet.

Tech up the kitchen.

It’s the subtle things that make your kitchen look next-gen. Forget about the gimmicky electronic can openers and wine re-corkers. How about leaving an iPad on the kitchen island for guests to use as they please? It can cost you a bit of change, but it’s well worth it for the traveler’s experience. Foreign cooking is so much easier when you’ve got an Internet connection handy. And if you’re worried about the cost, look into some more affordable options like the Amazon Kindle or Google Nexus.

Get a home security system.

These days, most home security systems are synonymous with home automation systems; the two go hand in hand. The name brand security companies almost always provide some form of video monitoring, digital keypads and even thermostat control. Take a look at what the providers are offering in your part of the country.

Go wireless.

Home life is easier when you can do everything remotely. Your vacationers will appreciate any remotes that allow them to change channels, toggle lights or turn on a fireplace. Plus, with fewer wires running around your floors and walls, you’ll only add to the sleek ambiance of your interior.

Do it yourself.

Not every piece of home automation has to be packaged and delivered to your door. Sometimes, the most effective automation comes from a few simple changes on your end. There are dozens of free online apps to help you automate your home right from your computer. And if you’re handy, there’re plenty of options for building a custom entertainment center.

Best of all? By helping you optimize energy usage, home automation can save money in the long run. Once you start saving on your electricity and utility bills, you’ll see the value over time. Get automated today!

Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal: HomeAway’s Trademark Infringement Suit Against AirBnB

Homeaway sues AirBnB for trademark infringement

News of HomeAway’s trademark-infringement lawsuit against AirBnB has left many customers of both companies wondering what to think about the whole thing.

“Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal.” This famous saying, most often attributed to Pablo Picasso, pretty much summarizes how the creative process works in any media. And Silicon Valley is no different.

If you’re good enough at making high-quality copies, people will admire you for your skillset. You will earn some respect and even a decent amount of money. Still in all, it doesn’t matter how good the replica is. It will be overshadowed by the original creation.

A creative genius, Picasso was never interested in copying things. His creative process began with ideas from others, which once absorbed, took on a new life in his own image, and on a different scale.

Oftentimes, these ideas came to him via the great masters, and sometimes from his fellow artists. Throughout his career, he mastered his “art of stealing” like no one else.

While a teenager, Picasso became fascinated by the work of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. This resulted in a series of works that made the originals look pretty outdated. One of Picasso’s greatest contributions to the art world, Cubism, was also influenced by Ingres.

Turkish Bath Picasso vs IngresTurkish Bath by Ingres (1862) – left and by Pablo Picasso (1907) – right

This is how things get done in the realm of genius. Ideas inspire great artists to create a new art form that didn’t exist before, and is often regarded as revolutionary.

Whether you borrow or steal in the world of business, the consequences are vastly different.

On December 16, 2013, AirBnB launched a new advertisement campaign, “Home to You.” The Home to You ad campaign centers around a video showing artisans recreating 50 Airbnb vacation rental listings in the form of miniature birdhouses.

Yes, birdhouses. This is what all the fuss is about.

Here’s how AirBnB describes the idea behind the movie on their YouTube channel:

No creatures on earth travel quite like birds do. They soar the skies, then land in new places. They see the world from a different perspective, one to which all real travelers aspire. This film is a celebration of our passion for travel and the kind of hospitality that makes people feel at home anywhere.

How could a story like that not touch the soul of an aspiring traveler?

But, apparently, it can also touch a copyrighted image: the “Birdhouse Mark” which happened to be a protected trademark of AirBnB’s biggest competitor, HomeAway, Inc. HomeAway’s logo prominently features a birdhouse, and the company uses birdhouses as its sort of “mascot.”

According to HomeAway’s argument, Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of AirBnB, paid multiple visits to HomeAway’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. This said, it’s probably safe to assume that the giant birdhouse replica in the middle of their headquarters didn’t pass unnoticed.

Birdhouse by HomeAway in their headquarter

We will leave it up to history to determine whether AirBnB’s national campaign is a complete steal or just borrowing. It certainly visualizes an especially poetic perspective on travel.

One thing, though, is crystal clear to Brian Sharples, CEO and Chairman of HomeAway.

“We do believe it is a fairly deliberate attempt to confuse the marketplace,” Sharples has said. Chesky “has been to our downtown offices several times. He has stepped into our giant birdhouse. I don’t think that anyone could argue that this was a mistake on their part.”

So, what now?

Should we consider it as a formal announcement of the war between two competitors? Was HomeAway fed up with AirBnB breaking more and more into the market for traditional vacation rental homes?

Although they are clashing over the same market niche, HomeAway and AirBnB are very different animals when it come to their respective cultures, founders, and backers, and the demographics of their hosts, guests, founders, and even haters.

It’s even safe to say that AirBnB and HomeAway are completely opposites any way you look at them. This is what makes this clash so fascinating.

Let’s look back at the history of two companies and try to understand what may arise from this.

HomeAway, Inc, nowadays a publicly traded company under the AWAY ticker, was founded in 2005 by Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd. Within six years,  they managed to bring the company to its IPO, generating a sixfold return on investment (based on the post-IPO figures).

Their runaway success was mainly attributable to a clever way of cherrypicking and acquiring market leaders in the vacation rental industry around the globe, and monetizing their existing customer bases.

Some of HomeAway’s most notable acquisitions included VRBO.com and VacationRentals in the US, Arbitel.fr in France, and about twenty additional websites in different time zones, languages and hemispheres, the most recent being the Australia-based Stayz, for $198M. HomeAway often called themselves a startup, but it’s pretty unusual for a startup to begin operations with $49M on hand, with another $500M deposited by VCs within the first couple of years of operation.

AirBnB was founded in 2008, by two designers,Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, and an engineer, Nathan Blecharczyk. For a few months they tested out the idea of renting an airbed in their San Francisco loft to conferencegoers. Packaged with a small meal, the accommodation was dubbed  Airbed and Breakfast (later shortened to AirBnB). They made a few attempts to replicate this model in other cities, but that didn’t help with their flat revenue graph.

Forced to think outside of the box as their fledgling company struggled to become profitable, the founders began to offset their losses by selling repackaged cereal as “Obama O’s” and “Captain McCain’s.” The cereal story, a hit during the 2008 election, later became a trigger point for Paul Graham to take these guys seriously. In the winter 2009, the founders were invited to participate in YCombinator, one of Silicon Valley’s first and most respected startup accelerators. From this very moment, AirBnB’s growth was phenomenal. The amount of funding they attracted over the course of couple of years reflects their rapid market expansion. Starting from the $20K coming from the YCombinator fund, they quickly accumulated $326M in funding from their first tier investors and celebrities. Being pioneers of the shared economy, they inspired a lot of controversy, viral press, and tidal waves of support from all around the globe. It’s fair to mention that over time the website became for some a reliable source of income—and for others, some sort of a travel religion. People started referring to AirBnB’s brand as a foundation of a new phenomena: the shared economy. Inspired by their success, dozens of other startups adopted their business model to different markets: AirBnB for CarsAirBnB for Dogs, you name it! Finally, the AirBnB founders came up with their own new version of AirBNB … for birds.

BirdBnB.com became their first national ad campaign calling for bird houses. Notably, the campaign cost AirBnB no less than $2M.

“We promise you’ll never look at birdhouses the same way — and if you stay in one of these remarkable homes around the world, you may never look at travel the same way again too,” the website states. (At the time of this article, BirdBnB.com is redirecting to the main website AirBnB.com)

This is where their march has been stalled by a lawsuit from HomeAway.

Homeaway Birdhouse logo

“Defendant and HomeAway target and provide services to an overlapping class of Travelers for their respective services, through overlapping channels of trade,” the HomeAway suit states. “On information and belief, Defendant, has long targeted the tenants in landlord owned apartments in major cities (such as New York, Paris, San Francisco, Berlin, etc.) as its major supplier of listings.”

“However, Defendant [Airbnb] has recently increased its efforts to attract business in traditional vacation rental markets (such as the Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountains, Provence and Tuscany), in which HomeAway has long been well-established.”

Embedded in the culture of HomeAway, Sharples said, is the birdhouse logo, designed by downtown Austin advertising firm McGarrah Jessee and chosen “because it symbolizes what we do.”

AirBnB’s creative genius has served them pretty well on many occasions. It will be interesting to see how things will unfold this time.

Shall we expect an open-field battle between competitors, a massive settlement or M&A talk?

What are your thoughts on this?

6 Vacation Security Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Vacation is fun! Is there a place for horror story?Vacations are all fun and games! At least, they should be. But we’ve all heard the horror stories—train bandits, lost passports and general travel fails. While you really never know what’s around the corner, there are a few precautions you can take to keep that mystery fun and adventurous rather than devastating and dangerous. Learn from the best and the worst of us: here are six vacation security mistakes and a few ways to prevent them from happening.

1. The Wandering iPod, and Other Tales

The world is full of very good, very professional thieves. Writer and traveler Ali Osworth recalls her experience with a pickpocket when she was living in Paris – she hung her jacket over the back of her chair while having coffee with a friend, and she left all her stuff in her pockets. Luckily she turned around just as the man sitting at the table behind her was lifting her iPod, and, with lightning-quick reflexes, stole it back from him! And though that makes for a great story, hindsight says the entire situation could have been avoided if she’d kept her stuff on her person the entire time, instead of letting it all hang out. Other things can happen when your vitals aren’t with you as well – artist Matt Cosby drove to Montreal for a music festival and locked his keys in his car — along with his wallet, cell phone, luggage, computer, everything but the multi-colored, crazy-person festival clothes on his back. Luckily the lovely folks of Montreal procured him a place to sleep while he waited for his early morning locksmith appointment, and — thanks to a nice note he left — his car didn’t get towed. But all of that could have been avoided by keeping his wallet, phone, and, yes, those wayward keys in an under-the-clothes money belt. For good measure, toss in your passport, a list of important phone numbers and addresses (don’t forget your country’s embassy!), some disaster/locksmith cash and a few coins (in case you need to locate one of those ole-timey pay phones).

2. Night Moves

When you’re sleeping on a train, you’re a sitting duck for someone to sneak up on you and take your possessions. The closer you keep your stuff (like in that under-the-clothes money belt), the harder that thief is going to have to work to get your things while you’re asleep. But train robbers, organized and very experienced train robbers, do exist. An anonymous study abroad student fell asleep in her seat on an overnight train, thinking it would be fine as she’s a light sleeper. But experienced something that many consider to be an urban legend – the next day, she woke up feeling like her head was full of cotton. All of her stuff was gone – camera, money, passport. Luckily for her, the thieves did leave the rest of her train tickets, so she was able to get back home. When she reported this to the authorities, she realized she wasn’t the only victim – a compartment of six people next to her experienced the same thing, and she was told by police that robbers sometimes use chemical assistance to make sure their targets remain in their out-cold state. Strength in numbers obviously wasn’t a deterrent, but police told her that compartments that lock and are made for sleeping are victimized less. The lesson learned from this study abroad student? Spring for a couchette (often six beds per locking compartment) if you’re in a group, or a private sleeping compartment if you’re alone. It’s more comfortable to sleep laying down, and MUCH more comfortable to wake up not in a chemical fog.

3. Scammers Gonna Scam

Ever been admiring the Eiffel Tower when suddenly you are tapped on the shoulder and asked if this is your gold ring? Does it take you a second to remember you don’t own a gold ring? It feels like for every traveler that exists there is a unique scam story – from “you broke my thing” to “wait, you thought this was free?” to “no, that’s the correct change,” it feels like there’s a million of them out there. Blogger Lehua Gray is an experienced traveler, but she had just landed in Turkey when something tested her adventuring acumen. “I handed the taxi driver a 50. He took it, then immediately handed me back a 5 and claimed that I had really given him a 5.” Unable to prove her story—or argue in Turkish—she had to swallow the loss. Scammers can scam, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them! “I should have declared “Here’s a 50!” while handing it over, and made sure I held onto it for a moment while it was exchanging hands,” explains Gray. If someone accuses you of breaking something, ask for proof. And if someone tries to hustle you out of money, you can always make a scene and melt into the crowd.

4. Lost In Translation

You don’t want to strike up a conversation with one of those scammers either, and it’s easy to accidentally do that when you look lost and ask some random people for directions. While it’s true that the vast majority of people you meet when you’re traveling are wonderful, there are also those who are looking for an easy target. Writer Eddie Nicalou was “totally lost in Madrid, with a 13:44 train to Toledo I was already running late for. I whipped out my map in the middle of a public square, stared at it slack-jawed, and started asking random passers-by where I was. A friendly local was happy to have a nice long conversation about where I was going — and his buddies were happy to rummage through my backpack while I was distracted.”

Plan ahead and carry along maps that make sense to you (yes, paper maps, something that doesn’t rely on charged batteries). If you have to ask for directions, ask a professional — someone working at the train station or airport, or someone working in a shop or restaurant. You’ve also got a better chance of finding someone who knows the area if you grab someone who is clearly comfortable there, like a bus depot worker.

5. Who Ya Gonna Call?

Probably not the Ghostbusters — unless you’re staying in a haunted castle in Scotland. If you’ve got an emergency when you’re abroad, you’ll probably need to contact that country’s police force or EMTs. But every country has a different way to respond to emergencies — did you know that in France when you’re injured, you call the fire fighters (les pompiers) even when your injury isn’t fire-related? So if you fall down the stairs at a restaurant and put your hand through a ceramic vase on the next landing, you’ll get stitches faster if your first call is to the pompiers. Pop quiz, how do you make that call? Don’t know? Supposing you do have a vacation security breach, getting in contact with the right emergency response as quickly as possible can improve the outcome and help bring your vacation enemy to justice! Do your research before you leave, or download an app like Help Call ($2.99).

6. Home Sweet Home

You want to stay in that haunted castle in Scotland, not return to a horror show. Protect your own personal castle while you’re away by keeping your whereabouts off of social media — yes, we know it’s hard, but you should be out enjoying your experiences anyway, not tethered to your phone! Letting the wide world know you’re away from home is a surefire way to invite a burglar in. Ask a neighbor to look in on your house, bring in your mail, and water your plants — that’ll make your house look occupied, even when it’s not (pro tip: bring sweets, wine and other delicious treats back as a thank you!). And don’t forget to install a home security system that can alert your local police to a security breach while you’re as far away from local as you can possibly be.

Have any travel horror stories? Share in the comments!

This guest post was written by Kevin Raposo,  a blogger for SimpliSafe Home Security Systems. He likes to feed the ducks in the local pond of his family’s home in the Azores, Portugal.

Four Beautiful Fall Foliage Tours for Motorcyclists

Foliage photo over the hills sunsetPhoto credit: ForestWander

 

Fall leaves are peaking all over the United States. The brilliant yellows, oranges and reds are in full swing from the Midwest, Central Plains, Northeast and upper Northwest, according to Stormfax.com. Here are peak foliage times for a few favorites:

  • Minnesota, Wisconsin and most of the Midwest peak in mid-October
  • Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and northern Arizona and New Mexico mostly mid- to late-October
  • Northern New England states from late September through mid-October
  • Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, Kentucky Tennessee and the lower New England states through late-October
  • Parts of Oregon and northern California, and a thin belt through northern Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia through early November

Here are a few favorites for motorcyclists:

Skyline Drive, Va.

Photo by Maisnam via Wikimedia Commons

 

This 105-mile stretch of road carves its way through the beautiful Shenandoah National Park. In the fall, the panoramic vistas are simply stunning. The only drawback is the weekend traffic in autumn is typically bumper to bumper. Avoid it by heading to the park early on a weekday, when traffic is typically lighter. Or, look at it this way: Crawling traffic allows you more time to enjoy the scenery. For info about attractions in the area check Skyline Drive.

Tunnel of Trees, Mich.

Photo by ellenm1 via Flickr

 

The beautiful Tunnel of Trees road, which skirts Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline, is a motorcyclist’s dream come true. It’s a narrow, two-lane 22-mile-long road surrounded — as the name implies — by trees that are simply stunning in the fall. This road offers some twists, but the speed limit is low for this pleasure ride, and not one meant to challenge your maneuverability. Start this ride in Harbor Springs, Mich. View the route here

Route 100, Vt.

Photo by Patrick via Wikimedia Commons

 

New England is still considered by many to be the ultimate leaf peeping destination. Mass Audubon reports that more than 1 million tourists descend on the area during the leaf-peeping season, which injects more than $1 billion into the local economy. Motorcycle.com says Vermont’s Route 100 is one of the prettiest roads that typifies all New England has to offer — colorful leaves, picturesque farmland and rolling hills. This 200-mile road stretches from roughly Wilmington, Vt. to almost the Canadian border. Take a virtual tour here.

Pig Trail Scenic Byway, Ozark, Ark.

Photo by mabecerra via Flickr

 

Located in the heavily wooded Boston Mountains in the Ozarks, the 19-mile Pig Trail is one of the best rides in the South. In some sections, you will find yourself riding through a tunnel of brilliantly colored foliage. Legend has it the trail got its name in honor of University of Arkansas Razorback fans and students. Read more here.

Before You Head Out

  • StormFax has a list of fall foliage hotlines to help you plan your trip.
  • Book hotels as soon as you can; they fill up quickly during the fall. Use an app like TripAdvisor for alerts about sudden weather changes.
  • We know you know this, but give your bike a once-over before hitting the highway. You can find high quality, cheap motorcycle tires that won’t take a big bite from your travel budget.
  • Motorcycle Tours offers guide-led tours, if you’d prefer to ride with an experience foliage fan.
  • Check the weather and be prepared for severe temperature changes, especially in mountainous areas.

Perk Up Your Holidays With Fiji Tour Packages

savusavu northern division fiji bula vista vacation rental

Planning a perfect getaway can sometimes be a very demanding task.  You have to make sure everything gets done — from packing up your clothes to booking flights online and looking for great accommodation.  You also need to sort other things like vehicle hire and travel insurance. Organizing everything can be quite overwhelming. Thus, stress starts to sink in even before the journey has begun.

However, the existence of package tours takes all the stress away and makes holiday preparations convenient.  There are already a variety of package tours available that delight many travelers.

When in Fiji, why not avail of a package tour so you and your friends can indulge, relax and have a well-earned vacation? If you’re still on the fence about it, then read on and discover why tour packages work.

Rentini cheap vacation in Fiji  Photo credit: under Creative Commons license

A Stress-free Vacation  

Want to take the hassle out of planning your itinerary, booking a hotel and getting affordable flights? Be stress free, avoid the burdens of tour preparations and settle for tour arrangements. The booking staff and tour operators will take care of all your needs. Just pay your travel fees and you and your buddies are on the way to a great holiday adventure.

Save More and Enjoy!

Probably the biggest benefit to travel packages is cost saving. Worry less on spending lots on airfares, hotel tariffs, entrance fees to breathtaking spots and other recreational activities. The bigger your group, the more you will be assured of paying a lower cost.  Hence, ease your budget concerns for you will absolutely save more!

Have Plenty of Options

Choosing from plenty of tour options is one big advantage of tour arrangements. Package tours come with different inclusions so choose one that suit you and your friends’ needs to maximize payment. You can also negotiate with the tour operator if there are certain activities and tourist spots you want to include. With fun-filled Fiji holiday packages, you may even have the chance to visit places unknown to many and tread on a road less travelled by some.

Guarantee a Safe Trip

Since there are plenty of awesome things to do in Fiji,it is best not to compromise your safety. With a package tour, the staff will do everything to assist you in any way possible. They will give tips and guidelines on what to bring for different activities and guarantee a safe journey for you.

Delivers Great Service

The great thing about a package tour is getting the finest service. Get the best out of your money and enjoy the delights of bathing in the swimming pool, having a comforting spa and sauna, relaxing with a good cocktail in hand while watching the sunset and using other hotel facilities. With fantastic Fiji holiday deals, be assured that your escapade is worth remembering.

Fiji is one exciting holiday destination that attracts tourists from different parts of the world. If you seek thrill, fun and adventure, avail of Fiji package tours and make your travel unforgettable. Who knows, this may turn out to be a trip of a lifetime.

DebraBy Debra Wright who enjoys a multi-hyphenated identity. She is an online marketing specialist, writer, cat lover, and aspiring cupcake critic. Wright’s articles about traveling draws on her passion for learning and dedication to share her discoveries to others. Get updated on what she’s discovering now @debrawrites

The Minimalist Guide To Your Next Family Getaway

happy family playing with dog on beach

Ah, family vacations and the happiness and tribulations that come with them. As parents, we work extra hard the whole year round to provide for our families and of course, indulge in little luxuries. As much as we would like our family vacations to be entirely relaxing, we all know that it’s going to be a major effort doing that. Dealing with travel agents, figuring out which places have child friendly accommodation and trying to predict the weather can all take a toll on us. I asked several seasoned jet-setting parents and got some valuable traveling advice. Here they are.

On Packing

Parents tend to over think and in the process, over pack. You’re probably thinking, “But anything can happen! I think it’s a pretty good idea to bring along this and that.” Well, think of it this way. This and that can add up to a hefty extra luggage fee or an aching back.

  1. Bring travel-friendly gadgets along for entertainment. Kids generally get bored during a long road trip or flights. A tablet or an MP3 player can keep kids of all ages occupied. Make sure that you installed kid-oriented apps to keep them busy and stop them from asking, “Are we there yet?
  2. Pack a first-aid kit that can fit in your handbag. Use a flat plastic container to put essentials like adhesive bandages, adult and children’s paracetamol, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial ointment and sting reliever.
  3. Instead of lugging around a big nursery bag, pack a change of your child’s clothes in a large Ziploc bag and place it inside your handbag.
  4. Keep your activities in mind when packing clothes. If you’re planning for a farm stay in Barrington Tops, you won’t need your formal evening clothes obviously. Bring clothes you can easily wash too, especially if you plan to stay longer.
  5. Remember that carry-on bags are supposed to make travelling convenient and hassle-free, not filled with unnecessary things that you think you absolutely must bring.

With these tips in mind, get rid of those “what ifs” that can weigh you down significantly. Pack only what matters the most.

On Traveling and Planning Activities

Traveling in a group is never easy, so is planning and scheduling the activities for everyone. It’s going to be extra challenging if you have a multi-generation group (grandparents, you and the children), plus pets. How exactly are you going to do this? Read on and find out.

Pet Friendly Accommodation NSWPhoto source: Image author owned
  1. Search for a pet-friendly accommodation. Most hotels and resorts do not allow pets and it’s sad for pet owners who can’t leave their furry friends behind.
  2. Schedule free time. Anyone can do anything they want to do during that time and it’s an absolute must to keep your sanity, given the different levels of interests. However, it’s also necessary that no one should go off alone to be on the safe side.
  3. Do your homework. Unplanned trips are fun, but when you’re going on a trip with kids and pets, it’s going to be a disaster. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to search far for information on how to get to your destination or what to expect there.
  4. Just enjoy. Accept the fact that anything can happen and it’s usually out of our control. From heavy rains to delayed flights, those situations can certainly dampen our day. Cheer up! Most accommodations have DVDs and Wi-Fi. Watch a movie or brag on Facebook about your family getaway.

Conclusion

Family with kids on vacation

You planned a family vacation because you want to make memories, catch up with your grown kids or reconnect with your parents. If you feel that things are getting a little nasty, remind yourself to focus on your goals. If you have the right attitude (yes, I’m talking about letting go of negative thoughts), you’ll definitely be reaping the rewards.

Debraby Debra Wright who is a creative and innovative blogger and online marketing specialist. She uses her wordsmith skills to share her ideas, thoughts, and tips to other people about topics that fascinate her, such as giving tips when traveling with kids. Follow Debra on twitter @debrawrites

Best Advice For Women Traveling Alone

Woman traveling aloneIt has to be said that any woman wanting to travel on her own is certainly entitled to do so and will probably be already well-aware of the pitfalls and perils that lie in wait out on the open road.

A woman on her own is twice as likely to get approached in a bar and even a restaurant so in order to ensure traveling isn’t an ordeal then paying heed to a few tried and tested tips is obviously best practice.

Below are just 5 pearls of wisdom that will no doubt stand any solo female traveler in good stead and all that’s left to say is best of luck and fortune favors the brave – you can do this!

Carry an alarm

There’s no need to beat around the bush and if you’re packing the sort of alarm that’s going to ring out and put the fear of god into an attacker then do not be afraid to carry and use it. Best advice is to carry an alarm that still transmits noise even when dropped and carrying 2 is certainly a sensible option. Stick to crowded areas and try to avoid secluded, shady spots off the beaten track but if you just have to then make sure your alarm is working, in reach and carried at all times.

Learn the lingo

It may sound like your being pestered or even that your getting some abuse but if you don’t know what a local is saying then you may not be able to react until it’s too late. Get yourself a phrase book and spend some time reading over likely gestures and shouts that may just be related to cultural nuances. With internet learning a foreign language became so much easier. Also, in some countries knowing religious and cultural traditions expected of women will give you enough knowledge to adapt and fit in whilst respecting the norms and rules.

Read the signs

Putting yourself into a situation where you’re not sure of what’s going on is definitely not advisable if you’re a woman traveling alone. Being able to read body language and understand when a situation is starting to turn uncomfortable is exactly what you should teach yourself to do if you want to stay safe and getting a book on non-verbal communication is a great idea before you set off on your travels.

Play it safe

If in doubt, get right out and from avoiding too much alcohol to going to places that are far away from your hostel or hotel, if you don’t feel safe then do something about it. Traveling alone as a woman is one of the most liberating and exciting things that you can do just make sure you play it safe to ensure your trip is truly memorable for all the right reasons. Keep in touch with those back home and always make sure you keep your wits and alarm about you at all times.

Stay with a group

Being comfortable within your own skin is an amazing feeling and if you like to simply read, photograph or walk on your own then you’re going to have an amazing time away from home. Of course, just because you’re traveling alone doesn’t mean that you can’t meet anyone else and from couples to other single female travelers, there are plenty of positives about making new friends. Staying with a group or even undertaking an organized small group tour are both great for feeling secure and meeting new people but with the added bonus of if you get bored you can always escape and continue to travel as you wish.

Chris has been traveling on his own many times and has been truly encouraged and motivated by the strength and the happiness that comes from meeting a female counterpart.

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