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Traveler's Tips

  • How to Fight Jet Lag and Win

    World Time ZonesDo you know what humans have in common with fungi? We both operate on 24-hour, or circadian, rhythms. While this is of little concern to a portabella, it can really mess up a human who travels across more than a couple of time zones. Left unaddressed, jet lag can take your body and mind several days to adjust to a different time zone, wreaking havoc on your vacation plans. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to fight jet lag and win.

    Start a few days ahead of your trip by nudging your schedule forward or slowing it down to sync up with your destination’s time zone. If you’re heading east, get up and go to bed earlier than usual. Reverse the sequence when flying west. Just a couple hours’ of readjustment can make a big difference. If it’s morning at your destination, a few hours’ shut-eye on the plane will be a big help. You might look into booking an overnight flight, especially if you’re heading east, such as from the U.S. to Europe. Continue reading

  • Voluntourism: A lasting, positive impact

    With everyone from ex-presidents to movie stars getting involved in voluntourism, travel to underdeveloped and emerging nations isn’t just about seeing remote and exotic parts of the world. Today more and more travelers want their visit to have a more lasting impact than just dropping a few dollars into the local economy.

    Opportunities to do a little good (or a lot) on your vacation range from rehabbing Montana trails and New Orleans flood-affected areas to bringing fresh water and sanitation to remote areas of Asia, Africa, and South America. Travelers young and old are finding voluntourism as a means to immerse themselves into local cultures in ways more meaningful than the typical sanitized tours and safaris.

    You can find excursions that match your interests and skill levels, travel time, and budget. There are opportunities for teachers, medical pros, carpenters, and engineers to spend anywhere from a few days to several weeks helping on a huge variety of projects. Seniors are welcome, too. Hands Up Holidays is one of several voluntourism organizations that offer 4-5 days of volunteer work as part of longer “upmarket” luxury trips including ones tailored to the needs and interests of more mature travelers. As you browse the variety of voluntourism options, you will notice that several of these tours bring travelers to orphanages that lack even the most basic caregiving resources, so sometimes all that’s needed is a willingness to help for a few days. Continue reading

  • Travel Enriches Life: A wealth of experiences

    Photo Courtesy: Ron Stern, Magellan's Travel Contributor Photo Courtesy: Ron Stern, Magellan's Travel Contributor

    Travel can make us a better and more interesting individual: a better businessperson, leader, parent and citizen. Travel creates experiences we otherwise wouldn't have had if we stayed in our familiar backyard – experiences that can broaden our outlook on life and make us more effective and valuable to others.

    The simple act of witnessing how things are done by other cultures can lend new perspective to a wide variety of interactions, from everyday matters to sensitive issues in the workplace or community activities. So what’s the best way to make your travel experiences count? It all starts with planning and an open mind.

    Start by deciding what’s important to you. Where do you want to go and what do you want to be sure to see? Learn as much as you can on the Internet or in guidebooks before you leave. Talk with people who have been-there-done-that and ask questions. First-hand experience beats sanitized promotional material. But do consider the source: it may be that your co-worker’s goals are different from yours; or leisure and relaxation take the back seat when compared to your lust for culturally-diverse interaction. Continue reading

  • Traveling with Kids: Make it enjoyable...for everyone


    Worried about traveling with kids?  Enjoy the en route time with your family with tips from today's guest blogger, James Sullivan, a Magellan's team member.

    Christmas is coming, and so are a lot of travel plans.  For some of you, that will involve traveling with kids, a task that isn't always easy.  I have traveled around the world and have experienced many things: I have skied the Jungfrau Region of the Alps; spied over the Cliffs of Moher on Christmas Day; cruised on a moped with my wife on the Island of Mykonos; snorkeled the reefs of Bora Bora; viewed the palace of King Kasyapa on the top of Sigiriya. But all the travel experiences in the world can't prep you for the unpredictable things kids will say and do when traveling.  In all the adventures with my 8-year-old, 5-year-old and 3-year-old I have learned a few important tips that just might help you through your holiday season travels.

    Be Creative with Games

    In the airport, there are many games that you can play to pass the time while waiting for your flight.  I have installed line tag on many decorative airport floors.   The same decorative tile or carpet can also be used as an A to B game where my kids have to get from one side of the airport to the other while facing many obstacles and only touching selective colors or patterns. Continue reading

  • Tips and Tricks for Packing a Jacket

    Overstuffed baggage isolatedThere are two things travelers need to know about jackets – you need one, and they can be a real pain to pack. Short of learning origami, how do you pack a jacket? Magellan’s polled our veteran travelers for ideas, and they came up with some great solutions to the travel jacket dilemma.

    Number one on the list wasn’t much of a surprise – don’t pack it, wear it. Jackets have pockets, and pockets hold a lot of stuff you want to keep handy when you travel. They’re simple to slip off and on at security and make a comfy and warm blanket or pillow in-flight.

    If a jacket is too warm to wear when you leave, but you may need it on the plane or when you land, fold your jacket and tuck it into a pouch in your carry-on or lay it on top of the bag’s inner contents for easy access. The jacket pockets can be loaded with things you might need onboard or when you arrive like gloves, a cap, sunglasses, tissues, lip balm, small change, and a map and driving directions to your destination. Continue reading

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