How to Get The Best Deal on Travel Insurance

If you have ever had the thought before going on vacation “do I really need to get myself travel insurance?” The answer is a resounding yes and whilst it can be a pain to pay for something which you may very well never end up using, it is always, always worth having on hand should something bad happen whilst you are on your vacations. If you are robbed or have an accident abroad, this will of course stain your vacation but if one of these things takes place and you’re not insured, it will absolutely ruin your vacation. Getting travel insurance just makes sense, and so to does getting the best deal possible, and here’s how to do it.

Don’t Focus on Price

You should always pay attention the price of course, but this should not be where you place your focus, instead you should be looking into the types of cover which you need. Travel insurance differs from person to person and you need to make sure that the policy is tailored to your needs. For example if you, like me, have a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll need insurance which will cover those issues at a good price. Incidentally, a pre-existing medical condition does not always mean that the price will skyrocket and Canadians like myself can still get great deals of insurance despite existing medical issues. Understand what your needs are, and then find the policy that best covers them.

Compare, Compare, Compare

When it comes to getting the best deal on your travel insurance, the best way of doing so is to shop around, and make sure that you look at all of the best, and the second best deals. And with the magic of the internet, you can do exactly this in the comfort of your own home on any one of the many comparison sites which exist. These comparison websites take the hard work out of finding and comparing insurers and you can find the policy and price that you want in no time at all.

Try a Broker

Whilst the internet is the perfect place to look for great deals, you shouldn’t ignore the possibility of hiring a travel insurance broker. Brokers often have access to special deals and discounts thanks to their contacts which we couldn’t possibly find ourselves and you can often save huge money when you  book your insurance through a broker. Another benefit of having someone do this for you is that you can give them your exact specifications for the policy which you’re after and they will be able to fit your needs.

Don’t Get Caught Out

Your decision on which travel insurance company to go with should be dictated by the price, whether or not the terms meet your requirement, and finally, what the excess cost is. The excess is what you’ll pay on each aspect of the insurance should you need to claim and usually this will be high on cheaper policies, and lower on more expensive policies. The decision is yours but most recommend paying more on your premium, to save on the excess should the worst occur.

Always get travel insurance as it really could be a lifesaver for you as well as ensuring that your trip is as stress free as it should be.

How to Become a Travel Nurse

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If you ever wanted to travel and stay in the healthcare industry at the same time, you should consider a career as a travel nurse. Depending on its nature, the length of each assignment may vary, but generally, it’s around the 13 weeks mark. If you are willing to put in the necessary work, even international travel might not be out of question in the long run. Now, the question is how to become a travel nurse? Let’s find out.

The Necessary Education

As is obvious, you will need the proper education and for that, you will have to become a registered nurse first by completing an accredited college nursing program after high school. In case you are already a registered nurse, it is recommended that you complete your RN to MSN as well. While even BSN is not always a requirement for working as a travel nurse, it will most definitely help during appointment if you have the higher qualifications on your resumé. In case you can’t leave your job as a nurse at the moment, you can complete your MSN online because the program is much more flexible and economic when done on the internet.

Obtain Experience

Experience is another necessity if you want to be a travel nurse and although the requirements may vary, check out the following general requirements that usually apply in case of most jobs.

  • You must have the experience of being a nurse at a registered institution for at least a year or preferably more
  • You may also need to have specialization in certain fieldslike critical care, emergency and trauma, cardiac nursing, etc.

Licensing

Nursing licenses are necessary to practice in any location and in the US, a nurse practitioner’s license from one state isn’t valid in another. The good news is that you don’t need to apply for a license each time you change a state as a travel nurse if your home state is a part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). If it isn’t though, your employer will likely have to take care of the temporary licenses necessary for you to practice in a particular US state.

Tax Home

Tax free stipends are a big incentive for working as a traveling nurse, but you need to first understand how that works. Consider the points below to take full advantage of what’s in place.

  • You will have to establish and maintain a “tax home” first
  • You will have to establish that your office or place of employment is sufficiently distant enough for you to stay there overnight
  • If you do not have a tax home established, your stipends will become taxable

Basically, these four are all that you need to concern yourself with in order to work as a traveling nurse. However, just like any other job that is a bit out of the ordinary, there are a lot of other details as well, which you will come to know with time. Nevertheless, as long as you have your degrees, experience and license, there’s little that can stop you from becoming a travel nurse.

3 science objects used in various businesses

Businesses nowadays have to make a lot of effort to keep up with the technological advances and many developments of their competitors. Some areas are well-known for integrating science devices into their basic processes whereas others are only starting to implement them.

If you would like to find out more about how science manages to become an essential part of most businesses these days, just keep on reading. We have compiled a list of three items you might not have known prove their worth in specific industries.

  1. Ultrasonic cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaning is utilized in a broad variety of domains. One you might be aware of is that these devices are excellent for cleaning tableware and jewelry. Depending on the soiling level of the item that needs cleaning, such products can be used either with water or appropriate cleaning solvents.

While many ultrasonic cleaners are used in watchmakers’ establishments, jewelry workshops, as well as electronic repair businesses, maybe you didn’t know that these devices are also extremely useful in dentists’ offices. A plethora of dental practices utilizes ultrasonic cleaners on a daily basis in order to remove blood and saliva residues from instruments commonly used on patients.

While the capacities of most of the alternatives employed by professionals are larger, jewelry cleaners are on the smaller side of things. This sanitation method is safe and effective, as long as the instructions per every device size and components are abided by.

  1. Microscopes

Microscopy is used for a broad array of scientific purposes, but few people might know that it is exceptionally efficient in veterinary medicine. Many such devices with magnification ranges of 40x to 1000x can be found in vet practices. Some are equipped with batteries, which render them portable, and so the vet can take the microscope with them if an analysis has to be done on the field.

Even some USB microscopes, despite their simpler design and limited capabilities, prove their worth when it comes to making the difference between one type of external parasite and the next. Skin modifications can also be discovered and diagnosed with the help of a simple microscope.

  1. pH meters

Medical professionals probably know that pH meters, and strips, in particular, can be utilized for a variety of measurements such as testing the pH of urine, saliva, and even tap water. However, something that some individuals might not be aware of is that some pH meters, albeit different in design and capabilities compared to strips, are used for brewing purposes. Some digital choices can also be utilized for measuring other factors, such as the temperature of the liquid, its electrical conductivity, as well as the total dissolved solids.

Because of their handy design and features, brewing pH meters can also be utilized for checking the acidity and alkalinity of water in spas, pools, as well as aquariums and even fish tanks. Many models are outfitted with a waterproof case, and that of some units is very resilient, which means that they are capable of withstanding the test of time.

Taking Your Kids To Florida For The First Time

From the moment that we broke the news to the kids that we were heading to Florida for our vacations, we saw their eyes light up like never before, filled with joy, magic and excitement. In terms of family holidays, Florida is like the Mecca for kids, and parents alike with its sunshine, theme parks, beaches and action packed activities.

If you are going to go to Florida for your holidays, especially if it is the first time with kids, you need to make sure that you are prepared. It is often said that you’ll need a holiday after your Florida trip, because of the amount which you’ll be cramming in to your time there, and I can most certainly attest to this. I wanted then, to give you some tips on how to prepare to take your kids to the Sunshine State for the first time.

Itinerary

Most vacations we go on, we like to just go with the flow, see what there is around us and decide our activities once we got to our destination, with Florida vacations however, this doesn’t cut the mustard. Because of the sheer volume of tourists in Florida, and the amount of things available to do, you really need to be on your game in terms of planning. I would recommend having a meeting with your kids and show them the kind of adventures available, and make a decision as a family.

Early Booking

Once you know what your itinerary will be, it is time to get booking up for your park tickets, events and your accommodation. I would recommend that you don’t buy a package deal for your vacation as it works out much cheaper to book your flights, accommodation and tickets separately. This will take a little bit of extra planning on your part but it will save you a great deal of money.

Packing

When packing your suitcase you should of course pack as you normally would for a sunny holiday, I should note however that with Florida, you’re going to need a few extra bits too. The biggest recommendation that I can give is that you take a very strong and comfortable pair of shoes with you, especially for the kids. We made the mistake of letting our little girl wear sandals on the second day, and the blisters caused us problems throughout the holiday. You will be doing a lot of walking around, and it will be very hot. It is also a good idea not to fill your suitcase and you will find yourself buying a great amount of stuff in the US, and you need space to bring it home.

Flying

The flight to Florida from the UK is around 9 hours and so you’ll need to make sure that you have planned things to keep the kids entertained. Make sure that their phones or tablets are loaded up with music and movies, as well as making sure that you pack books and toys for them. We actually created a small pack for each child with a camera, a notebook and some other fun bits, so that they could document their own Florida trip, something which they absolutely loved doing and that kept them occupied for a long time.

Florida really lives up to the hype and you are going to have an amazing time there with your children.

6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Choose a Cruise in 2018

I long thought that cruises were for rich or old people, perhaps both in fact but last year I was forced to eat my words after one of the best vacation experiences of my life. My husband took a risk and booked us on a 2 week cruise last year, I accepted the gift with a forced smile, but I really wasn’t looking forward to it. Fast forward 3 months and I am having the time of my life aboard a Star Clippers ship, staring out across the ocean wishing that the trip would never end. There was so much to love about the cruise and here are my 6 reasons why you should join me, and book yourself on a  cruise in the coming year.

Destinations

I enjoy relaxing on a beach but I am a traveler at heart and I love to scratch beneath the surface of each destination that I go to. Thankfully on this cruise, I was able to see 9 destinations in a single trip. We had a day or two in each destination which forces you to be effective with your time on land. The result is that you jam in plenty of exploration and discovery, into a single vacation.

The Ocean

I have been on many boat tours as I love to sail away from it all, with a cruise, you could do this every single day. There is something thrilling and strange about being out there in the middle of nowhere, without another vessel in sight and it gives you a great opportunity for reflection.

The Boats

I don’t have high hopes for the living questers or entertainment on board the cruise ship, but I was miles off in my expectations. These days cruise ships are like moving shopping malls with cinemas, theaters and a multitude of bars and restaurants for you to enjoy. On board you’ll find swimming pools, jacuzzis, wave machines, sunbathing decks and just about everything that you could possibly think of to thoroughly enjoy your time on board the ship.

The Service

I don’t always like to mention good service as I feel that if you are in a  service industry, you shouldn’t be congratulated on doing your job well. With this being said however, my experience on the service which the staff gave us was absolutely exceptional and they really went the extra mile to ensure that we had the best time both on board, and on land.

The Price

Contrary to what I had thought in the past, the price of a cruise was far, far lower than I expected it to be. Now, I didn’t receive this as a gift but I naturally started doing a bit of digging and I was pleasantly surprised. If you are like I was, thinking a cruise was only for high rollers, I am here to tell you that this is no longer the case.

The People

And finally, my other fear, that the purple rinse brigade would be taking my sun loungers and giving me nobody new to talk to, absolute nonsense. There is a huge range of people who go on cruises from families to single people, the older generation and teenagers. This blend of people made for a great time on board and I really enjoyed the variety of people that I met.

Culturally Canadian – Why You Need To Check Out Canada Now

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If you’ve never been to Canada and you’re considering going for your next holiday abroad, you’re in for a real treat. This vast country is full of things to see and do along with a rich and unique colonial history which has helped to shape some of the most beautiful cities in Ontario and Quebec. Depending what you like to do and what sorts of things you’re into there is a whole host of options for you to get stuck into Canada. Here are just a couple of great tips.

Getting In And Around

In most cases from the EU or UK the flights you get would likely fly into one of the following cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, or Calgary. You can grab a flight to Toronto easily, and it’s got a nice relatively short flight time to and from the UK, meaning there’s no lengthy flights to be had which can leave you exhausted. General flight time is between 6-7 hours which is fairly decent for the length of distance being covered. Once in Canada, getting around can be a bit tricky due to the sheer size of the country. Renting a car if you’re staying around southern Ontario and Quebec is a great idea and will allow you to stop off in any of the towns and cities that tickle your fancy. If you want to head out West though, the only real viable way is by plane unless you have a lot of time at your disposal.

East Coast

The East coast of Canada is a unique mix of French, Scottish and Irish influences peppered with British in there as well. The city of Montreal is stunning and is one of the favourites for those looking to sample the Canadian national dish, poutine. Be sure to check out the equally gorgeous city Quebec for a step back into Canada’s colonial history as well as some truly awe inspiring architecture. In truth, this part of Canada is one of the cultural hotspots and is great for those who are looking to sink their teeth into Canada’s identity as both French and English. For the Scottish and Irish regions, check out Nova Scotia (literally ‘New Scotland’) and the island of Newfoundland. Be warned though – all who step foot on the island of Newfoundland seem to leave a piece of their hearts there. It’s easy to see why when you have food you won’t find elsewhere in Canada, rugged coastlines and friendliness of the locals so welcoming it would warm the coldest winter.

The West

We could honestly chat all day about all there is to see in the west. From Vancouver Island and its stunning scenery and coastline to the Badlands of Alberta, the west of Canada is ideal for those who are looking for an outdoorsy, nature-based adventure. British Columbia and Alberta are prime for those who love everything from hiking to mountaineering, camping, kayaking, white water rafting or purely just kicking back and enjoying the scenery from the balcony of your own cabin in the Rockies.

So if you’re coming to Canada, come well prepared to be blown away, regardless of which side of the country you pick. If you have a lot of time at your disposal, why not rent a car and check out a bit of both worlds? You honestly won’t regret it.

Western Winter Wonderland – Why You Should Check Out NYC In The Winter

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If you’ve been wondering where to head to for your winter getaway but you aren’t sure whether you want to face the weather in colder climates or head somewhere warm, why not consider New York City for a winter city break? With milder winter temperatures than many other cities and a whole host of things to see and do, it’s no wonder more and more people opt for a holiday to remember in snowy New York.

Tours Galore

If you’re looking to see the New York attractions but only have a short time in which to do so, consider booking yourself on one of the many tours that the city has on offer. Much like London and other major European cities, there are a number of tours of the city overall which you can join which will take you around all the major sights and tell you about each attraction in more detail. Tickets can be bought in advance online, which also saves you time and money, allowing you to get into the city and get right to sightseeing, so what are you waiting for? Get those tickets today!

The City

The city itself is comprised of several main tourist areas such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and more. The major attractions in the city include the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – immigration gateway to ‘the new world’. Climb the statue for some spectacular views around the area, and if you like the cruising aspect out to the island, consider booking a dinner cruise through the New York Harbour – a great way to catch the bright lights of the city by night. Times Square is a great sight to take in after dark when the snow is in the air, with all the bright lights reflecting off the white stuff, making it even more magical. Don’t forget to head to the likes of the Empire State Building as well as One World Trade to not only check out the observation deck, but also the massive memorial to the victims of 9/11.

Unique Things To Do

New York isn’t just all buildings and shopping though, and in the winter time there are several truly magical things to take in that take on an even more unique air in the winter time such as taking a Hansom Cab ride through Central Park, especially during the snowy twilight hours or by dark when you can snuggle up with your sweetie over a warm drink under a blanket and take in the city lights through the clickety clack of horses hooves. For those who love skating, be sure to stop off at Rockefeller Centre and take advantage of the outdoor skating rink they have set up in the winter months. A real treat, especially around Christmas when they have their enormous Christmas tree set up, sparkling away with its thousands of tiny lights.

So there you have a couple of amazing things to see and do in New York, especially over winter. With so many things to see and do year round though, it’s easy to see why it continues to be a favourite amongst travellers the world over.

 

7 Questions to Answer When Choosing a Family Vacation

Are you in the process of selecting a family vacation destination? Are you finding it difficult to make a final decision? Are you looking for answers in hope that it will provide you and your family with a trip that you will remember for the rest of your life?

Before you can pack for your trip, you need to get a few important details in place. It all starts with choosing a destination.

Using Expedia will make your life a bit easier, as you can compare the best family vacations online, which gives you confidence in every step you take.

If you’re on the fence and need a push in the right direction, there are a few questions you can answer. By addressing these, you’ll find it much easier to select a family vacation destination that makes sense for every member of your traveling party.

  1. What fits your budget?

It would be nice if you could afford any and every destination, but you know that this may not be the case.

For example, you may have your eyes set on the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami, just to find that it’s a bit out of your price range.

Here’s the good thing: with so many destinations to choose from, you should be able to find one that suits your budget. Once you have a number in mind, you can then begin your search.

  1. What works in regards to timing?

While some families have the ability to take a vacation at pretty much any time of the year, this doesn’t hold true for everyone.

Maybe you can only travel during the summer months. Or maybe you find that it’s easiest to take a trip during the holiday season.

You need to know what will work for your family in regards to timing, as this will help you answer a variety of other questions. For instance, taking a trip during the off-peak season will save you money.

  1. Where does your family want to go?

It goes without saying that you want to treat your family to a vacation they will always remember. For this reason, you need to answer this question a soon as possible.

If you’ve got an aspiring movie maker in the family, a trip to Iceland could be an inspiring trip for a young video editor.  Check out this blog from Square Ship to see why. On the other hand, a young artist may benefit from a trip to Italy’s art museums.

Once you know where your family wants to go, you can then begin your search for the perfect destination. You may find that your family wants to hit a local beach. Or you may find that they would rather to skiing in the mountains.

It’s not always easy to get to the bottom of this question, but once you do you’re in better position to move forward with booking your trip.

  1. What types of activities does your family like?

This goes along with the question above. Does your family like to swim in the ocean? Do they like to ski? Do they enjoy sightseeing?

Don’t be shy about asking your family for feedback on what they want to do on their trip. This will go a long way in putting you in a better place as you research a variety of destinations.

  1. Are you seeking a certain type of weather?

This doesn’t matter to everyone, but some people consider it a “deal breaker.”

Don’t be surprised if you hear from your spouse that they only want to vacation in a warm weather destination. Or don’t be surprised if your child tells you that they want to visit an area where they can play in the snow.

  1. How will you find a hotel with the right amenities and enough space?

Regardless of where you’re visiting, you should be able to find a handful of hotels that suit your needs.

You should begin your search with a list of amenities that you absolutely need. Along with this, make sure you can find a hotel room or suite with enough space for your entire family.

  1. Will you fly or drive to your location?

This is a matter of preference, but time and location may have an impact on your answer.

If you’re vacationing nearby, you may want to drive. This can save you time and money.

Conversely, if you’re vacationing in a destination thousands of miles away, you’ll want to think long and hard about booking airline tickets.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many questions you should answer when selecting a family vacation destination. There are other things to think about along the way, but these questions (and your answers) will put you in position to make a confident decision.

What steps do you take when booking a family vacation? Is there anything you try to avoid along the way? Is there anything that has allowed you to make the right choice in the past? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Should You Stay In A Hostel or Hotel When Traveling?

When you’re planning a trip, whether domestic or abroad, there are plenty of things to consider. One of the big decisions you’ll have to make is where you’ll stay, and there are quite a few options available to the modern traveler, but which is right for you?

Should you stay in a hostel or a hotel on your next trip? It’s a big question, and people have to weight the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

The following are some of the key things to consider are you’re deciding.

Cost

For a lot of travelers, the decision between hostel or hotel comes down to something incredibly simple: the cost.

A hostel is almost always going to be cheaper than a hotel, but you’re also going to have a sacrifice luxuries for this lower price.

Of course, if you want to save money there are still ways to make it happen, such as browsing Yatra hotel booking deals or signing up for email lists that will alert you when hotels have special pricing events.

Do Your Research

When you’re planning a trip, you’re going to find that there are lots of great hostels and hotels, but finding the right one boils down to doing your research. You want to read as many reviews as you can, and you might luck up and find a hostel that offers many amenities of a hotel at a fraction of the price.

Just because you go the hostel route versus a hotel doesn’t mean you have to give up all luxuries on your trip.

If you find a hostel and the price is right but you read reviews, and it seems like it’s far away from where you’ll be spending time at your destination or it’s dangerous, it’s probably not going to be worth the cost savings. You might be better off spending a little more and going with a hotel.

Speaking of security, while hostels can offer unique experiences, hotels are almost always going to be safer. Hotels have security and key cards as well as other protections in place to keep visitors safe, so bear that in mind.

Privacy or Socializing?

Every traveler has a different idea of what they’d like their trip to be like. If you value privacy and quiet time to relax when you’re done sightseeing for the day, you’re probably going to want to skip the hostel.

On the other hand, some people might prefer a hostel to a hotel, not because of the cost, but because it gives them a built-in opportunity to socialize with other travelers, meet friends, and just be around people.

Some people like this and some hate it, so it’s a personal preference. At a hostel, you might even be able to share a nightly meal with the other travelers.

If you’re traveling alone and want to meet people while you’re away a hostel can provide that, where a hotel probably isn’t going to.

Finally, think about additional costs that could come up depending on whether you stay at a hostel or hotel. For example, if you find an inexpensive hotel but it’s far from the city center, are you going to be spending extra money on transportation? If so, the cost of the hostel and hotel might ultimately balance out.

Don’t Overdo It: How to Properly Relax on Vacation

Are you one of those people who turn up at work on the first day after a vacation, saying “I’m exhausted; I need a vacation?” It may indicate that you have enjoyed your break, but has the vacation achieved its other purpose—to restore your energy? Perhaps you need to take a different approach to vacations, to enjoy them while relaxing more.

A Change Is as Good as a Rest

Relaxing on a vacation is not the same as doing nothing. You can keep quite active, but doing different things from your normal daily routine. So you can relax while hiking, playing tennis, swimming, or learning bridge. Engaging new parts of your brain helps the parts which usually work hard to ease off. Engaging your body more than usual stimulates the endorphins which make life feel worth living.

Drown Out Those Accusing Voices

Much of our working life is driven by a culture of both guilt and shame—guilt that we are not performing as well as we should, and shame that other people might notice. As a result, we tend to schedule every moment to prove our value.

Get away from that attitude on your vacations. The culture in which we live prizes activity and achievements and that often means we feel we must return from vacation with a good account of how we used the time. Wrong! You are not there to please anyone but yourself and the family or friends you are with.

Balance Things Out

A vacation is a time to get some balance back into life. Often that means following our instincts. Eat when you feel like it; sleep when you feel like it; run when you feel like it; dream when you feel like it.

If you love exploring a big city, do it on foot. Boston, for instance, is a wonderful place to walk around, and the walking pace is very good for you. But there is a lot to see, so have a comfortable hotel to retreat to when you have walked enough, the Boston Marriott Cambridge is well-placed and very relaxing.

If your vacation is more physically relaxing, then choose a hotel with a pool or a fitness center and treat yourself to a daily workout.

Work on Relationships

We are creatures whose welfare largely depends on our relationships. Observations of other primates indicate that a vital part of their relationship structure is what happens when they are chilling out. If you are away with family or friends, spend idle time with them and absorb other people’s ways of relaxing. If you are responsible for a family, understand that the kids need to relax in their own way, which seems pretty active to an adult.

Making the Most

“Vacation” comes from a word that means “emptying.” Getting the best out a vacation is not always a matter of squeezing in as much activity as possible. It is also about making space to refresh body, mind, and soul for the routine life that we must return to.