When Your Vacation Goes Wrong

It is so upsetting when you have saved all year for your vacation and then something goes wrong. What do you do and how do you salvage the rest of your break?

Of course, it depends what the problem is but there are things you can do to try and be prepared for some disasters, but not others.

Make Sure Your Health Insurance Covers You

You might be perfectly happy with the healthcare policy you have while you are at home, but many of them do not cover you while you are abroad or when you travel. You need to check this out and either add it to your existing policy for the duration of your vacation or take out a policy that is specifically for sickness or injury while you are away.

When you are in a foreign land it could be something as simple as the water upsetting your stomach or you could fall down some stairs and be injured. A visit to the doctors or hospital will cost you a lot of money. There are some countries where they will refuse to treat you unless you pay upfront or have insurance.

This situation could be even worse if you are injured in an airplane accident, for example, and need the assistance of aviation lawyers. However, that is very rare, so be prepared but don’t worry!

Losing Your Luggage Or Wallet

Losing your luggage can be very annoying. Hopefully, it is found and sent to you within a couple of days but that is not always the case. It is not quite so bad if this happens on your return journey, as you will have more clothes at home.

However, if it happens at the start of your vacation it can be more than just a little frustrating. It will have all your clothes in and probably your toiletries and other things too. What are you supposed to wear until it turns up? What if you are traveling while on vacation, how will they get your luggage to you?

There are insurance policies that will cover these situations and as long as the travel operator will confirm that your luggage has been lost, they will send you emergency funds to buy the new clothes you may desperately need.

Of course, this takes a few days to happen. Pack one change of clothing in a bag you carry with you, so that at least you do not have to wear the same things until it is all sorted.

It is not just losing your luggage that could be a problem though. What if you were to lose your wallet with all your documents in? It is wise to take a paper copy of everything you keep in there before starting out and keep those copies in a totally different place. A second copy left with a trusted friend or relative is also a good idea.

There are somethings that traveling is very difficult without, such as your passport if you are going abroad, but these things are much easier to get resolved if you have a paper copy of them.

Any credit or debit cards should be blocked straight away too. Most card providers will get a new one to you very quickly, no matter where you are in the world.

Canceled Flights

Canceled flights seem to be in the news more than ever. It depends on the reason for the cancellation as to how the operator will behave. If the flight is canceled because of a technical problem or staffing issues, they have an obligation to provide you with food and accommodation until they can fly you to your destination.

If, however, the flight is canceled because of bad weather, for example, then you are on your own when it comes to amenities.

When this happens, the best thing to do is to approach the re-booking desk to see if there is another flight they can put you on when the weather calms down. Some airlines are a part of the same group and if this is the case, they will often do this for a very small charge.

If a flight is delayed more than once, there is a good chance it will be canceled and all the passengers will be queuing to try and sort something else out. You could try calling the airline themselves, but there will be many people doing this at the same time and you have to be prepared to listen to music for a while till you get to speak with someone.

Most vacations happen with a hitch, but sometimes things will go wrong. Although it is often easier said than done, the best thing is to stay calm, as letting yourself get stressed will only make matters worse.

Planning Perfection: Taking the Stress Out of Travel

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Travel is all about opening your mind, having new adventures and making memories. Most of all it’s meant to be fun- a chance to take a break from your mundane routine and indulge in good food, entertainment and interesting sights.

However, there are some elements of travel that can be a little stressful, so planning ahead and being organised is key. Here are some of the ways you can go about it.

Create an itinerary

Sometimes it can be nice to just turn up to a destination and let it all be a surprise. Go with the flow, and see where the trip takes you. However, in many cases it’s actually better to do some research and at least have a loose plan in place.

It enables you to visit the places that are of the most interest to you, and ensures you get the best out of your time.

Around a month before you jet off, do some googling and find out exactly what your destination has to offer. Decide which way round you’ll do things, based on their location and getting there.

Book tickets and make reservations ahead of time

If you’re planning on visiting a number of tourist attractions or very popular destinations on your trip, you’ll need to think ahead.

Some places will require advance booking, and in the case of some restaurants, certain shows and attractions they can be booked up weeks ahead of time especially during busier periods.

Once you have your itinerary in place, you can then start making firm plans and buying the tickets you need. When everything is planned ahead, the tickets are booked and as much as possible is paid for in advance, it can really help things to run smoothly.

It’s less for you to budget for while you’re away, and you don’t need to waste precious holiday time standing in long queues buying tickets, or being on the phone making reservations.

Utilize your smartphone

For some people, a holiday is a chance to get away from it all and disconnect for a while from their phone. But think twice about turning it off and leaving it at home, as it really can be a great asset while you’re away.

From online airport and hotel check in saving you time, to keeping documents and important information in one place. You can enjoy the many benefits that Netverify offers by having your documents and ID securely checked for things like taxis, vacation rentals and much more.

Your smartphone can also be a great source of entertainment while you’re on long plane, train, bus or taxi journey getting to and from your destination. Download some movies or a TV series to watch, some games and some e-books. It can make any tedious journey go much more quickly!

Your smartphone can be used to translate in countries that don’t speak English, and can help you to navigate the place you’re visiting. It’s something you should definitely consider bringing with you.

The South Carolina Chocolate Shop Road Trip

If you’re a chocolate lover I bet you never thought to take a road trip based on chocolate. Or a chocolate road trip through South Carolina.

I personally have never encountered a piece of chocolate I didn’t immediately fall in love with. If you’re like me and have a weakness for chocolate, then this road trip is made for you!

Below, you’ll find seven old school chocolate shops and a great road trip that connects them all. What a great way to see some of South Carolina too!

Photo: OnlyInYourState.com

You’ll want to start in either Fort Mill (near Charlotte) or Hilton Head. Although the actually driving time is do-able in one day (7.5 hours) I recommend enjoying the trip over at least 2 days.

Chocolat Boutique – Fort Mill

The Chocolat Boutique is located at 1012 Market Street, Fort Mill, SC and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Photo: Chocolat Boutique

Chocolat Boutique is a gourmet chocolate store with an on-site kitchen where their chocolatier and small team creates handmade truffles and confections.

They have developed their own range of chocolates as well as offering freshly made bonbons imported directly from Belgium and Switzerland.

Vaughn Russell Candy Kitchen – Greenviille

You’ll find the BEST unique and specialty chocolates at 401 Augusta Road, Greenville, SC. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. 

Photo: Vaughn Russell Candy

Vaughn Russell is family-owned and operated from a single location in Greenville, South Carolina. The Vaughn Russell specialty is gourmet chocolate. They offer a wide range of chocolate covered nuts, caramels, cream centers, truffles, and more, with a signature trademarked Mint Pecan.

Chocolate Reigns – Columbia

Chocolate Reigns is located at 4920 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Photo: Chocolate Reigns

Chocolate Reigns is a women owned and operated business dedicated to customer satisfaction and hospitality. The business started as a party and event planning enterprise. They specialize in fresh and delicious berries, cupcakes, and treats that will delight and please the sweetest of sweet tooth’s. All items are made with love and covered in chocolate!

Kilwins – Charleston

Kilwins is located at 59 S Market Street, Charleston, SC and is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. If you would like to add in an additional stop on your road trip, Kilwins offers another location in Myrtle Beach.

Photo: Kilwins

The sweet scents of pecan pralines, fudge, waffle cones, home made caramel, corns and brittles entice market goers. You can just follow the sweet aroma to the front door.

The Chocolate Tree – Beaufort

The Chocolate Tree is located at 507 Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Chocolate Tree is Beaufort’s one-stop-shop for fine chocolates and other confections made right on the premises! You can also have your candies shipped anywhere in the world.

Chocolates by the Sea – Hilton Head

Chocolates by the Sea is located at 24 Palmetto Bay Road., Hilton Head Island, SC and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Chocolates by the Sea has been established as having Hilton Head Island’s finest confections. Winning awards each year, locals and visitors travel to come to taste the delectable hand dipped chocolates, signature barks, and specialty items.

Kilwins – Shelter Cove, Hilton Head

Kilwins is located in the Shelter Cove Shopping Center. The address is 112 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC. The hours are Sunday through Friday, from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Kilwins Hilton Head offers a variety of ice cream, cased chocolates, hand paddled fudges, caramels, corns and other confectionery creations.

Are you ready to pack your bag for a chocolate lovers road trip? I am!

Do You Know How to Stay Safe on a Road Trip?

Photo: Dino Reichmuth via Unsplash

When it comes to travel, you’re always going to have your own way of doing things, that’s for sure. Because we’re all creatures of habit, as much as we might want to think otherwise. It’s super easy for us all to think about going to the same places when we vacation – or the same kinds of places, at least. And we probably do the same kind of activities too. Eat at the same places. And it can all get a little repetitive – whether you realize it or not.

So sometimes, it’s fun to shake things up. This is often why we all think about heading out on a road trip. It’s a way to just have a little fun. Yet, this kind of travel involves a lot of transport and risk too, so it’s essential that you can stay safe.

Let’s consider how you’re going to do this.

  1. Check Your Vehicle

First of all, you’re absolutely going to want to make sure that you’re checking your vehicle out.

You really don’t want to embark on a road trip with a car that isn’t cut out for it. So make sure that you’ve checked the engine and that you’re all good to set out. This will keep you safe.

  1. Pack Well

As much as you might not actually have a weight limit when you’re driving, you still want to be comfortable. So taking too much stuff with you really isn’t going to cut it.

Instead, you need to make sure that you’re packing carefully. Only take what you need so that the car isn’t overloaded.

Photo: Pietro DeGrandi via Unsplash

  1. Drive Carefully

Then, when it comes to actually being on the road, you absolutely need to make sure that you’re driving as carefully as you can. Because, yes, you can learn when a truck accident lawsuit may occur, but isn’t it better for you to be able to stay safe? You’ll want to drive carefully for this very reason. And, make sure that you’re wary of other road users that perhaps aren’t being all that vigilant at all.

  1. Plan Properly

Next up, it’s also a really good idea for you to think about planning for your road trip as well as you can.

Sure, it seems spontaneous to just hit the road and see where you end up. But it can be risky too. By planning your stops, you’ll know when you get to have a break, you can plan out places to eat, and it’s generally a lot safer to do things this way too.

  1. Be Vigilant

And finally, it’s then incredibly important for you to think about being aware when you’re on the road and when you’re making your stops.

As much as you might not want to let certain things get to you, or fear from stopping you from living your life, you definitely want to be secure. So stay alert. Watch out for anything that doesn’t seem right. Keep your belongings safe. And be aware on the road. As long as you’re vigilant, you’ll be able to safe.

Drawing Up A Plan Of Action: Travel Tips For Adventurers

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If you’re an adventurous type, there’s nothing more exhilarating than organizing a trip that enables you to try new things and experience and embrace the adrenaline rush provided by life in the great outdoors.

When it comes to al fresco pursuits and adventure breaks, it’s always wise to plan ahead to make the most of the time you have available and reduce the risk of unwanted injuries and accidents.

Here are some tips for your next jaunt.

Creating an itinerary

Adventure vacations often offer up a wide range of activities and excursions, and many outdoor hobbies require a degree of pre-planning and preparation. While in some cases, it is possible to turn up at a lake with a kayak or to scale a mountain without extensive planning, it is wise to design an itinerary for your trip, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.

Figure out how you want to spend your time, take a good look at what kinds of activities are available, and make sure you’re aware of restrictions. If you’re going to a national park, for example, you may need to pay a fee, you might need a permit, or you may have to join an organized tour.

If you are thinking of booking excursions with tour operators, read reviews and testimonials to compare different agencies and get an insight into what different trips entail.

Planning in advance will help you to make the most of the time you have available and ensure that you’re ready and raring to go.

Packing the right kit

Packing for a vacation in the outdoors is very different to getting ready for a beach break.

If you’ve got specific trips or pursuits in mind, make sure you’ve got everything you need before you travel or ask your tour operator or the companies running individual trips about renting equipment. If you’re planning some solo adventures, you might need to take your own kit.

If you’re going climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing or canyoneering, take a look at what you’ve already got and browse online to add to your collection before you jet off. You’ll find everything from walking boots and outdoor clothing to canyoneering gear & apparel online.

If you’re joining tours, there’s a good chance that kit will be provided, so check before you go out and spend money. When you’re shopping, always bear the conditions in mind. If it’s going to be cold and wet, for example, invest in thermal layers, a warm, waterproof jacket, and thick socks, hats, and gloves.

Staying safe

Adventure sports carry risks, but there are ways of lowering the chances of being involved in accidents and picking up injuries. Always listen to safety briefings, go with a guide if you’re inexperienced or new to the area, and make sure you’ve got the right equipment.

Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmistur/5954139786

Plan routes in advance, stick to designated pathways and take a first aid kit, snacks, and plenty of water with you. Check the weather forecast before you go hiking, climbing, biking, or sailing and listen out for advice from the authorities.

If you’re an adventurer by nature, there’s nothing more thrilling than taking a break in the great outdoors. Hopefully, these tips will help you plan an unforgettable, action-packed break.