It’s nothing new to hear that a little time away from the office is good for everyone. But when it comes to one’s ability to unplug on vacation, a new study claims that the more you make, the harder it is for you to truly be out of the office.
With a smartphone in everyone’s pocket, it’s no surprise that 59 percent of employees check their phone, make calls or answer emails at least once a day on vacation.
The chances of work interfering with your time off increases with your salary. Those who make under $25,000 annually never work on vacation while individuals who make between $180,000 t0 $200,000 are the biggest offenders. 47 percent of this category of people engage in work activities up to 5 times a day.
This ever-constant feeling that one needs to work, even on vacation can be attributed to the work martyr syndrome. It significantly impacts your ability to truly get away and reset from work, thus feeding into more feelings of burnout. And with the advances in technology, it can be even easier to tell yourself “just one email, just one phone call” before it becomes working remotely instead of unplugging.
To prevent this, enable the vacation responder on your work email and set that to automatically reply to emails for the duration of your vacation. The email will be in your inbox when you come home. We also recommend informing your business associate of your time away and strictly unavailable, to prevent work phone calls.
First and foremost, make sure you inform your bank of your travel plans. They will be able to place the appropriate alert on your cards so you won’t get declined on vacation. In addition, they can help alert you to any suspicious banking activity while you are on the go and focusing on having an enjoyable time rather than monitoring your charges.
Secondly, research the currency exchange rate and know the ballpark for a good exchange. Look for establishments that do not charge a commission- meaning they do not benefit as much financially from the exchange. Speak to your bank in advance and they might be able to get you the currency in advance depending on their policy.
Bring enough cash for the first 24 hours or until you have time to find an ATM. A good rule of thumb is some authentic and smaller businesses will not always be able to take a card, so be prepared and bring some cash.
Also, pay attention to foreign transaction fees for your accounts and know how much you will or will not be charged per transaction abroad. Some cards have transaction fees of 1%- meaning if you charge the equivalent of $100 USD, you will be charged 1% of $100 on the transaction.
But the most important tip I like to share is pay in foreign currency! When charging something, let say a meal at a small café in a foreign country and the wait staff ask, “would you like to pay in the currency of the country or would you like to pay in U.S. dollars?” always say the foreign currency. That allows your bank to choose the conversion rate of the payment and ultimately give you a better rate than if you had paid in U.S. dollars
Lastly, don’t only bring one card. Things happen and it is better to be safe than sorry. Put this second backup card in a different, hidden location and not in your wallet. You will be glad to have it if you happen to meet a sneaky pickpocket whilst traveling.
A recent report from the World Health Organization has linked a spike in measles cases in 2017 and connected it to “gaps in vaccination coverage.” This trend has continued into 2018 and 2019.
Recently, there have been an increase in reported cases in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and in Europe. Most notably there have been outbreaks in Brazil and India and smaller flares in France, Italy and Israel.
Measles is preventable. Through two doses of the vaccine, protection is at 97%, with one dose giving 93% protection. It is very highly recommended that you are fully vaccinated two weeks before any international travel.
The disease causes abut 110,000 deaths every year and is very serious and contagious. It can have debilitating or life-threatening complications like encephalitis, pneumonia, permanent vision loss and more.
For more information on the MMR vaccine that prevents measles click here.
Turbulence, or atmospheric disturbance is when the normal airflow is being affected by one of a couple of factors.
The factors include: rising hot air (creates thermal turbulence), jet streams (just like currents in a bodies of water), landscapes (mountains), the Intertropical Convergence Zone near the Equator (where the winds of the northern and southern hemisphere meet), and then there is clear air turbulence.
Clear air turbulence is the most dangerous because it is the kind of disturbance you do not see coming. For many people it is the scariest kind of turbulence because it can cause sudden jolts of movement and that is the affects inflight anxiety.
But to ease your mind, turbulence very rarely ever is the reason behind plane crashes. Studies have concluded that majority of plane crashes occur during the initial take off and decent and landing. According to author Ben Sherwood, “80 percent of all plane crashes happen within the first three minutes of a flight or in the last eight minutes before landing.”
If anything turbulence causes bodily injuries. It is estimated that only 58 people in the US are injured from turbulence due to not wearing their seat belts.
Tips on how to better deal with turbulence:
Americans spend nearly $2.8 billion on travel insurance each year, with the most common claim being trip cancellation or interruption.
Travel insurance allows for the peace of mind when you are away from home. But when not all insurance is equal or has the same coverage, things get complicated very quickly.
It is always important to read the fine print and ask questions to ensure the needs of your group are being met. There are plenty of stories available on the internet of less than pleasant experiences that all support investing in travel insurance.
Travel insurance is especially essential for groups traveling together because the world is not perfect. Bags get lost in transit, flights get delayed and occasionally people get sick. And with more people, there are more variables to account for.
Please let us know at Guardian how we can help your group travel plans go as smoothly as possible and what we can do to accommodate all of your needs.
Geotagging is a relatively new term. It has been generated as a result of social media and the internet. According to definitions, geotagging refers to attaching geographical data to an internet post like a photo, video, etc. In other words, it is the “add location” feature that many social media platforms have.
In essence, it is how many internet users let their followers know exactly where they took that amazing photo of that utterly untouched beach on vacation. And although it sounds harmless, the reality is tagging a geographical location in a post is the reason behind many natural environments are being exploited.
Once a photo is posted with a geotag it is becoming very common that humans going to extreme lengths to use the nature photograph to be featured in someone else’s post.
Un an article written by USA Today tells of the Super Bloom of poppy fields in Walker Canyon, California and how the increased foot traffic of thousands of visitors to see the blooming flowers forced officials to shut it down. The poppies were growing up and down the sides of the canyon, and many visitors did not wear appropriate footwear and slid down the steep terrain, loosening boulders and crushing the flowers.
Stories like the poppy fields are popping up more and more frequently and conservationists are asking nature enthusiasts to stop geotagging specific locations. Instead, they suggest just tagging the region. Thus giving the post the mystique and protection it deserves and it forces people to go exploring on their own and enjoy getting lost in nature.
Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a relatively young company. But in a few short years, Airbnb has grown from a small startup to a large rental giant. And in the past few years, cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and many others have seen the effects of overtourism influenced by the company and other travel trends.
Recently Amsterdam’s city council released a letter in a bid to get the attention of Europe’s top court to change Airbnb to a “digital service provider” and not an “accommodation provider.”
The court agreed with the Amsterdam officials.
As it can be more financially profitable to turn apartments and homes in cities into Airbnb’s to temporarily host travelers than to lease to the average city dweller, where affordable housing is increasingly becoming an issue. Part of the issue also stems from rental properties increasing the carrying capacities of cities to the point of unsustainability.
Efforts such as Amsterdam’s have followed suit to other cities asking for more transparency from Airbnb so they can better enforce local laws and regulations on the rentals and prevent overtourism and promote sustainable travel.
With a reputation for being one of the most stunning places in the world, Greece has recently been named one of the Safest Destinations in the World for travelers in 2019.
The Greek Archipelago includes over 6,000 islands, of which only 227 are inhabited, each offering a different experience. People visit Mykonos for the beach resorts, Athens for the ancient history and other islands for the wonderful Mediterranean cuisine, iconic whitewashed buildings and waterfront views.
According to Rolf Freitag, the CEO of IPK International, a company that provides travel data and studies travel trends, “Thirty-eight percent of international travelers currently claim that political instability and terror threats will have an influence on their travel planning for 2019.”
As it turns out, when traveling, safety and one’s perception of safety is the most influential factor for those looking to travel internationally. A study conducted by CNN found that safety is the number one factor for 67% of travelers, followed by 60% for the price, and 58% for the reputation of the destination.
It is no secret that vacation helps to decrease stress levels and improve your mood. In fact, traveling is known to have positive effects on people's health, making people who take more vacations happier and healthier.
After just four days, spent on long weekend vacation participants in a study experienced the benefits like lowered stress levels, reducing burnout and improved sleep quality to up to 45 days afterward.
Unfortunately, not everyone is taking advantage of these health benefits. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, 52 percent of Americans had unused travel days at the end of 2017. The participants in the study had used on average 8 of their 17.2 vacation days.
Some common reasons why people do not take more vacations are a dedication to work, fear of being seen as replaceable and the belief that no one else can do their job. But the most common reason is a fear of returning to a giant pile of work. All of this stems from the popular complex in the American workforce of being a work martyr where busyness is worn as a badge of pride.
With so many health benefits and plenty of unused vacation days, traveling is a great way for Americans to reduce their stress levels and get out of the office. What will you do with your unused 9 vacation days this year and how can Guardian Music and Group Travel help you get there?