Travel Medicines to Add to your First Aid Kit

Summer is now in full swing, and for many of us that means preparing for a journey abroad. When gearing up for a much anticipated trip you’ll want to take every precaution necessary to make the most of it. Unbeknownst to many, there are medicines you can stock up on in advance to stave off common travel-related maladies.

Jet Lag

Jet lag occurs when we take a flight that crosses different time zones, leaving our body’s circadian rhythm confused. Feeling extremely tired during the day or bright-eyed in the middle of the night can put a dampener on your trip, making it difficult to enjoy sightseeing and other holiday activities. You can combat jet lag using a range of different tactics, but you can also utilise melatonin. Increasing the level of this hormone in the body helps to normalise tiredness in the day and restfulness at night.

Travel Sickness  

Confusion arises in the body when vision tells the brain one thing and motion tells it another. This can result in nausea and vomiting, and generally make you miserable until the motion stops. Even if you’re not normally prone to it, travel sickness can arise when you take a form of transport you’re not used to, such as a boat trip or train ride. You can plan ahead for motion sickness by arming yourself with patches or tablets containing hyoscine or tablets containing promethazine.

Travellers’ Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can often occur when we consume bacteria that we are unaccustomed to. It can come on at the beginning of your trip or later in the journey, and can put you out of commission for an average of 2-4 days. If you’re on a short trip it has the potential to ruin the entire experience. Being prepared with an anti-diarrhoeal medicine and antibiotic to take on your trip can significantly reduce the severity and duration of a diarrhoea episode.

Altitude Sickness

If you’ll be climbing past 2,500 metres you’re at risk of altitude sickness. No one is immune to it, although not everyone suffers from it. You can mitigate altitude sickness by ascending slowly with regular overnight stops, and also by being prepared to descend when necessary. Although most trekkers do not need them (and should not take them), acetazolamide tablets can be used to prevent and treat altitude sickness. While not a substitute for acclimatisation, the tablets can be used to help people who have to ascend without being able to go through the proper acclimatisation process.

In order to be ultra-prepared, consider where your trip will take you and see if you might benefit from one or more of the aforementioned travel medicines. It could be the difference between a pleasant journey and one that is uncomfortable or even dangerous. Add a round of travel sickness pills or antibiotics for diarrhoea to your first aid kit, for example, and you may be able to rescue the trip for you or a friend!

You can request the medication from your doctor or have a consultation with a regulated online pharmacy. These travel medicines are low-toxicity substances that can often be prescribed through a simple evaluation to rule out contraindications. The prescribing doctor can then brief you on when and how to take the medicine.

Do check the country’s customs regulations to see which medicines you can bring in, and if you’ll need to present a prescription for them. Of course, it is also important to bring a good supply of any medication you may be taking for a pre-existing condition.

Finally, prepare for your trip by checking destination-specific information to ensure that you’re up-to-date with any necessary vaccines and to follow protocol for avoiding illnesses such as malaria and yellow fever.

Good Ways to Keep Your Vacation Booking From Going Bad

 

Vacation rentals are an excellent option for your accommodation, especially if you are going with a group. But things do not always go to plan, and careful planning can help to avoid the worst surprises.

No one likes to think about the risks of renting, but there are always a few risks involved, especially when you rent a vacation home overseas.

So how can you take steps to reduce the risks?

Research the Property and Owner

There are lots of tips for choosing a vacation rental, but the first rule is to do your research on the property and the owner, and this can prevent a lot of problems. Customer reviews are a good way to do this. You can find independent reviews on many sites, and these can provide you with a good overall impression of a place. If lots of people have left negative reviews, you may want to avoid it.

Always contact the owner or the company managing the rental accommodation. For example, if you are looking for Park City lodging and you find a good option, make sure you get in touch with the company managing the property and ask a few questions, then judge them based on their response.

Rent Through an Agency or Official Website

If you rent through a travel agency, this may provide you with more protection. Some websites may provide protection against serious problems that arise. For some management sites, the security deposit may not go directly to the host, giving you even more protection.

Another option is to rent a property that is managed by a major hotel chain or on-site company rather than renting directly from a private owner.

Check Out Photos and Maps

One of the most common problems when you rent a vacation home is that it does not turn out as you expected. The rooms are all smaller than described, the walk to the beach is more like a drive, and these can become major frustrations.

Check out the photos before you book anything, and always ask to see more if there are not enough available. Scrutinize them carefully because photos can also be misleading. Also check out the address on a map and work out the distances involved. Are the major attractions really just a walk away? Look on Google Street View as well so that you can see the property from the outside and get a feel for the area.

Use Your Credit Card

Be careful how you pay for your accommodation, especially if you find your property on a site like Craigslist. Always try to avoid sending any money by Western Union or similar, and instead try to pay by bank transfer or credit card.

Paying by credit card can provide you with even more protection because of the Fair Credit Billing Act. This means if you pay for a product or service you did not receive, the card issuer must remove the charge as long a you notify your bank within 60 days. This can provide extra protection against fraud and serious problems.

Avoid Problems with Your Vacation Rental

Vacation rentals are great, but it is always a good idea to follow a few simple rules to reduce the risk of problems occurring. The chances that you will encounter any problems on your vacation are small, but it does not hurt to plan properly and reduce the risks by following these tips.

Joyce Evans is an experienced travel consultant. She uses her extensive knowledge of the industry to provide helpful information online. You can find other articles written by her on a number of other travel orientated sites

Fun In The Sun, Four Things You Must Do In Australia

If you are heading to the land down under this summer, then you have come to the right blog. A trip to Australia can be a life-changing experience whether you are taking the whole family or exploring a new country by yourself. One thing is for certain; you do not what want to miss out on the different activities ahead of you. With that in mind, we have gathered together a list of some of the things you must do while visiting one the most exciting countries in the world.

Visit One Of The Seven Natural Wonders Of The World

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If you are going to Australia, seeing the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime opportunity you cannot possibly miss. The closest many of us will get to exploring this beautiful stretch of coastline is watching Finding Nemo on Blu-Ray. But if you are travelling near Queensland, you have got to check it out up close. We recommend hiring a boat or taking one of the organized cruises and going scuba diving. Although it can be seen from space, journeying under the sea is still the best way to view the landscape and its wildlife.

Lying Back And Enjoy Life

There are plenty of fun activities to do whilst holidaying in Perth, but if you are planning a day of relaxation, we suggest visiting Kings Park. Your children can run and play while you can sit back, have a picnic or paddle your feet in Swan River. Kings Park is the world’s largest inner city stretch of green and the scenery is picturesque. You will be amazed by how much calmer you feel as soon as you slip off your shoes and your feet sink into that lush, green grass.

See A Show Like No Other

The Sydney Opera House is a landmark that is recognised worldwide. If you have not seen it in the movies, there is no way you will not have spotted it on a postcard or in a painting. While the outside of the complex is dazzling, designed to look like billowing sails you will be missing out if you do not take in at least one show on your holiday. If you are feeling extravagant, you can also buy a backstage pass for a whole day of theatrical entertainment.

Nature At Its Finest

We love the outdoors, and if the Great Barrier Reef is the ice cream, the Karijini National Park is the cherry on top. The park hosts a whole world of wildlife including snakes, kangaroos and wallabies. You will be enchanted by the mystical looking narrow rivers that form breathtaking waterfalls. You may even be tempted to take a dip but do be careful because the park is as treacherous as it is beautiful. You must enquire where it is safe to swim and never enter an area without a guide. If you want an incredible view, you should climb Mt Bruce, one of the parks highest peaks.

But don’t take our word for it. Book your trip today and no matter where you travel in Australia you are guaranteed to have an exhilarating, one in a lifetime experience.

 

Top 3 Ways to Reduce House Moving Stress

Moving house is renowned for being one of the most stressful experiences of adult life, so if you’re planning to move to a new home soon, it’s no wonder that you’re feeling a little bit panicky. However, you will be pleased to know that there are a number of ways that you can at least reduce some of the stress caused by moving house, from making plans to taking supplements that help keep you calm and collected. Here are some of the best things to do if you’re stressed out about moving house and need to find a way to relax.

Write a Checklist

If everything’s in a massive pile and you don’t think you can keep up with everything that you need to do, you’re probably tearing your hair out right now. The best thing for you to do is sit down, breathe, make yourself a hot drink, and start writing a checklist. Laying out everything that needs to be done in an orderly manner will help to break it down for you, and looking at it as one small job at a time rather than one massive task will help you to stay calmer about the whole thing. As you complete each job, tick it off your checklist. You’ll probably find that it makes sense to put the more urgent jobs at the top, with the lesser, unimportant jobs at the end.

Supplements and Calming Aids

There are a number of supplements and herbal products on the market that can help you to stay relaxed and focused. If you’re unsure which one is the best for you, a doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a supplement for you to take that will help with stress. Herbal stress relief tablets can often work well when it comes to situations like house moving. If you find that you’re losing your motivation to get the job done, Modafinil or Modvigil are great for giving you an energy boost – you can sometimes get these on prescription from your doctor, but it’s also possible to buy Modvigil online AU.

Stay Prepared

The more prepared and organised you are when it comes to moving house, the less stressed you will be as everything will run smoothly. Something as simple as labelling boxes with what is in them can make loading and unloading the van so much easier, and ringing around to confirm things with others ahead of the moving day can help to keep your mind at rest that everything’s going to go just fine. Have a back-up plan in place just in case anything does go wrong, as knowing that if plan A fails, there’s always plan B will help to keep you calm and in control.

Have you moved house recently and would like to share with us what went right or wrong? Do you have any helpful tips or advice for people struggling with the stress of moving into a new home? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Melbourne vs Sydney: the eternal rivalry in numbers

Melbourne vs Sydney, it’s the eternal rivalry. With the rapid growth of both cities, the competition is only getting fiercer. Here we will compare numbers and attempt to answer the question: which city is the best? Will it be Sydney, with its amazing food, coffee, and bars? Or will it be its hip younger sibling, Melbourne, with its excellent public transport, live music, and arts?

 1. Size does matter

Do you thrive on the hustle and bustle of the city? Or, do you prefer chilling out in the suburbs? Sydney and Melbourne offer both. As of June 2014, Sydney had population of 4, 840, 600, while Melbourne stands at 4, 440, 300. Sydney has a larger population, but Melbourne does have a higher annual growth rate, as well as a higher population density. What does this mean for you? Basically, Sydney is a lot more spread out, with more outer suburbs than Melbourne. Being smaller, Melbourne is easier to get around, particularly because of its excellent public transport system!

 2. Weather

On average, Sydney has better weather than Melbourne does. While Sydney gets twice the average rainfall of Melbourne, it has double the number of clear days. The temperature in Sydney is also generally warmer than it is in Melbourne! Want to spend everyday on the beach? Sydney is the city for you. Prefer to spend your day with a good book, sipping coffee in a cosy cafe? You will love Melbourne. If you are visiting Melbourne, keep in mind that if you hate unpredictable weather, you might not enjoy Melbourne’s four seasons in one day!

3. Culture and Arts

Sydney and Melbourne both have fantastic cultural and arts scenes. While Melbourne is better known for its live music and arts, Sydney is renowned for its DJ and club scene and its film culture. According to statistics compiled by the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA/AMCOS), more musicians live in Melbourne’s northern suburbs than anywhere else in Australia. So, if you love watching bands and artists play live, you will fit right in in Melbourne. Melbourne also has a reputation for literature, just take a look at its literature events, bookstores, and writer’s centre and you will see why! In fact, in 2008 it became a UNESCO City of Literature. Sydney also has a diverse and unique cultural scene and is particularly well known for its film scene. In  in 2010, it became a UNESCO City of Film! While different in many ways, both cities offer a range of cultural festivals all year round, from the Sydney Mardi Gras and Sydney Film Festival, to the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and White Night.

4.  Food and Drinks

Did someone say ‘food’?! When it comes to food and drinks, it seems that Sydney has the upper hand. According to Australia’s Good Food and Travel Guide, Sydney has 80 award winning restaurants, whereas Melbourne only has 72. While eating out seems to cost approximately the same amount in both cities, it does appear that the average cup of coffee and standard domestic beer is more expensive in Melbourne.  Can’t decide between the two? Not to fear, you are guaranteed to find delicious foods in either city!

5. Nightlife

Would you rather go see a band in a quirky bar in the suburbs? Or dance the night away in a glitzy club? The first option is Melbourne through and through. With its thriving live music community, large number of music venues and bars, Melbourne is at the forefront of Australia’s live music scene. Sydney on the other hand is better known for its nightclubs and touring DJs.

So, which is better. With both cities having so much to offer, it’s impossible to decide. Still not sure whether you will like Sydney or Melbourne better? Check out HotelClub for more fun facts.

Top 5 Places to Visit In Australia after You Win the Lotto

We all want to visit the most exotic destinations on our tourist travels, but the one thing holding most of us back is money. Let’s say you’ve recently played one of your favourite lotteries, and all your lucky numbers matched up. You take a deep breath as the reality sinks in that you’ve just pocketed an absurd amount of money and your travel bug senses are itching for a fixing.

There is no need to travel across the world to fulfil your luxurious and exotic travel plans, the land from down under is a traveller’s dream!

1. Phillip Island

This island runs along Australia’s southern road near Melbourne and covers 10,000 hectares. Bass Straits is the most beautiful place with picture-perfect beaches. The terrain also has mangrove flats to offer as well as wetlands. Phillip Island’s beauty comes from the resident fairy penguins which walk from the sea to their burrows at sun down. The fur seals also give a show by sunning themselves on the island’s rocks. There is a conservation centre with countless birds and adorable koala bears.

2. Great Ocean Road

This highly scenic coastal road takes you from Torquay to Warrnambool in Victoria passing by many attractions including the famous Twelve Apostles – a series of limestone formations jutting out to the sea. You can visit the quaint fishing villages in Port Fairy, Apollo Bay and Queenscliff with Victorian architecture. There are also a range of activities you can partake in, like wine tasting and sea sports.

3. Sydney Harbor

This harbour is a beautiful man-made site where most tourists start and end their journey. The shoreline is 240km long and lined with parklands and gardens. It boasts bright blue water with white sailing boats afloat. It is truly a tranquil site from a ferry boat tour.

4.  1. Phillip Island

This is hands-down the most breath-taking coral reef in the world, definitely a must-see. Its 3000 reefs and coral cays are sprinkled with islands stretched across 300km along the Queensland coast. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, densely populated by beautifully coloured fish. The marine life also includes molluscs and turtles as well as dolphins. You can view it from a boat, go snorkelling, diving, and also view it from a small airplane if you’re brave enough!

5. Cape Byron

This is allegedly the most stunning place to visit in Australia. It’s the most Easterly point on the continent which protrudes into the ocean and is known for its historic lighthouse constructed in 1901. This location also has rainforests and parklands to offer. This isolated point is where Aboriginal and European history combine and where the sea meets land, creating heavenly views. If you time your visit right, you might even spot some whales.

If these places have tickled your travel bug awake, then you definitely need to have this place on the very top of your travel list. Now that we’ve helped you decide on the first place to visit after your lottery win, our work here is done. We guarantee it will be a trip you will never forget.

Free Apps for Traveler

Love traveling, but wish there was a way to travel quicker, smarter, and cheaper? These apps will help you hack your next trip.

1. Hopper

This app will predict the best time to get a deal on a flight. It does this by analyzing airfares every day and finding those moments when the price dips below average. If you have a flexible travel itinerary, use the color-coded calendar to figure out the cheapest dates to fly within a specific month. There are also a Watch a Flight feature, which will notify you when the price of a flight bottoms out.

2. Options Away

If you want to make your plans now, but you still want to cash in on savings, Options Away will help you with both. You can book your airfare up to three weeks in advance. If the price drops, you will automatically get the less expensive ticket. The service costs a fee, but it may be worth it if you end up saving a lot in the end.

3. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is used to rank hotels, sights, bars, and restaurants. Thanks to this, there is a list of an areas must-visit spots, and a lot of ways to learn more about staying in Spain. If you don’t have time to read long-winded travel guides, TripAdvisor is a great, fast reference. There is also an Offline City Guides app from TripAdvisor that will give you that detailed information when you are ready for it.

4. Localeur

If you are sick of tourist traps and would rather live like a local on your next vacation, Localeur is for you. You will get advice and tips from area residents, ranging from the normal to the unique and even sometimes the strange. For example, in Portland, there are a handful of photo booth bars, whatever those are!

5. Postagram

If you want to create a personal postcard, upload your shot to Postagram, type in a message, and the service will print and mail the postcard for you. It costs less than a dollar in the U.S., and only $1.99 worldwide.

6. Google Translate

There is a new Google Translate feature called Conversation Mode, which is perfect for anyone traveling to a foreign speaking country. Open the app, put your device between you and the person you are speaking with, and the service will translate the conversation for you in real time. There is a little bit of lag time and some mistranslations, but it is certainly a step up from trying to act out your conversation.

7. TripIt 

When you have confirmation information for various flights, rental cars, and hotels, you can easily misplace some important information. With TripIt, these e-mails will be put into a single itinerary. The app scans e-mails for reservation times and events, then adds them to your calendar, sorted chronologically. It will even pull up maps to help you navigate.

8. Gas Buddy

If you are renting a car, you will want to spend as little on gas as possible. With Gas Buddy, you can figure out the cheapest gas stations in your area. You can access driving directions, too.

Most people only use one or two travel apps during their trip. Using a combination of several apps, however, can really maximize your savings, time, and experience.

This article was written and provided by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the ultimate platform for all your travel needs.

The 8 Most likely people to meet in a house share

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Having lived in student halls and been travelling around Australia and staying in hostels I can certainly see where they are coming from with this infographic.

If I had to pick which one I am, I would say I was partly the Ghost Writer and partly The Very Tidy One. I have recently created  a bin rota for in my house as my house mates were not emptying the bin enough and it was always me that was emptying it. When I was in a hostel in Australia I also left some notes for the other room mates who were leaving the bathroom a mess!

If you are wanting to move out of your parents house and have more freedom then find a flat share on Gumtree! Just make sure you don’t end up living with anyone like the people in these stories!

How low will oil go, and what does it mean for Australian consumers?

By Patrick Foot, financial markets writer at IG

At one point on January 7, both US Light Crude (WTI) and European Light Crude (Brent) were both trading below $50 per barrel.

WTI hit $47 early in the morning after passing the $50 mark on the previous day. Brent briefly dipped below $50 at around the same time. Both then rallied, with the markets unwilling to let oil slide too far.

In the months since, those investors commodity trading in Australia have been allowed some brief relief; WTI is trading at around $60 and Brent $65.

That these prices were regarded positively is a stark reminder of how far oil’s stock has fallen. In July, US oil was still trading above $100, before making its first serious move south at the end of the month. Brent held out for another month, beginning September with the $100 mark still intact.

From October onwards, oil had a torrid time. In three dramatic months, both European and US oil slid almost 40%. That put them at levels not seen since the financial crash. From October 1 to December 30, Brent Crude lost 39% of its value; over the same period the Russian rouble – a ‘crisis’ currency against the dollar – lost only 3% more. Bitcoin, decried as the worst investment of 2014 in many quarters, lost 15%.

Perhaps even more worryingly, there are several signs that the rally may provide only temporary respite. Certainly, the cause for oil’s tumbling price has not gone away. As long as the USA continues supplementing its own supply by fracking for shale gas and China’s growth remains slower than expected, global demand for oil will remain depressed.

On the supply side, Opec nations have been unwilling to reach any agreement to reduce production in an attempt to redress the balance. Ali Naimi, the Saudi Oil Minister, has spoken out about his country’s oil production, stating that the $100 per barrel level may never be seen again and that Opec has no intention of reducing production: even if the value of oil halves once more.

That means that lows of $49 for Brent and $46 for WTI are likely to be tested once more. Further ahead, things get tough to predict. In late 2014, even negative articles concerning oil’s price in 2015 were talking of $80 averages. Now predictions range from $10 to $100. Much rests on China’s economy, the actions of major oil companies and the markets themselves.

So what effect does all of this have on the Australian consumer? In theory, the picture should be rosy. Economists predict that GDP in oil-consuming economies should receive a 0.75% boost from lower oil prices, as businesses save thousands on energy and petrol. For Australia’s mining industry, that effect could be even more marked.

For consumers to truly benefit, though, governments need to ensure that businesses pass on savings, with lower flights, energy bills and car travel the result.

In truth, the picture is more complicated. Lowering commodity prices can dissuade investment in Australia’s mining industry, as Chinese demand for raw materials lessens. Attempts to kickstart investment in other areas of the economy by lowering interest rates – are close to a dead end.

So whilst consumers may be celebrating the discount to their weekly shop, those in charge of Australia’s economy have yet another head-scratching problem on their hands.

Spread bets and CFDs are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed your deposits. The value of shares, ETFs and ETCs bought through a stockbroking account can fall as well as rise, which could mean getting back less than you originally put in.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. The material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

For the Real Taste of Australia, Hit the Pub

There is one thing that you should know about the bars in Australia. They aren’t like your standard pub. They have a very different history and they have a slightly different culture as well. It depends whereabouts in the country you go. The bigger cities are pretty internationalised these days and there won’t be too many surprises in there. But out and about, things can be a little different. The bottom line, though, is that pubs are still important places in day-to-day Australian life.

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by  QuinnDombrowski 

First and foremost, Australian pubs are entirely social places. Sitting on your own in a quiet corner with a half pint and the local paper is not really the way it’s done. In fact, there is a long standing tradition that drinking alone is not really the ‘done’ thing. So if you go into a bar, expect to be treated as part of the party. And relax – that’s a good thing!

One other thing you may notice that’s slightly different from home – apart from the facts that the welcome is warmer and the beer is colder – is the prominence given to what the Australians call ‘pokies’. Around the world they are more commonly known as ‘slot machines’, but they enjoy a very much more lively take up in Oz than they do just about anywhere else on the planet. As a country, Australia is pokie crazy. There are thousands of them (almost 200,000 at the last count). Australia is home to more than 20% of all the gaming machines anywhere. There is one machine for every 101 Australian.

Part of the appeal may be the size of the jackpots. You can win up to $10,000 on a single spin in bars up and down the land. That’ll probably not make you all that popular with the locals, but at least you’ll be able to stand them a pint or two to make up for it!

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by  mikecogh 

The pokies craze is even flourishing online. The Foxin Wins Pokie Game is merely the latest in a long line of games that have sprung up in the last couple of years. Wherever you look in Australia you won’t be far away from someone playing a pokie game.

There are, of course, plenty of other oddities and curiosities that will make your trip Down Under worthwhile. Beaches and wildlife, barbeques and Test matches are all very well, but there is more to the grist and the grit of life in Australia than just the stuff you’ll come across in your average tourist brochure. And getting down to the pub is, without a doubt, the best and the most refreshing way to discover that for yourself.