Category Archives: travel

Planning Your Next Vacation

Winter in New York is harsh, but it makes you appreciate when the weather is warmer. As winter finally starts to die down and the anticipation of spring is becoming unbearable, it is time to start planning your spring/summer vacation.

Tropical climates might be cliche for vacation, but I personally need to warm my toes in the sand and absorb some fresh vitamin D.

If you’re planning your “break-free-from-winter” trip for the spring, it is advised that you avoid Florida and Mexico. Spring breakers can quickly turn a relaxing vacation into a trip you want to repress more than they do.

Here are a few places to consider:

·         Dominican Republic

o   Beautiful beaches and a culture to match, this place is one for the bucket list! Try to pick up The Rough Guide to the Dominican Republic 3 for many useful tips.

·         Phuket, Thailand

o   Thailand is full of dream-like atmospheres that will have you reconsidering if you really need to go home.

·         Bora Bora

o   Turquoise lagoons, plush sand and swimming with sea turtles is all that needs to be said.

·         Bali

o   If you’ve ever seen Eat, Pray, Love, you are probably already dreaming about your Bali trip.

·         Tenerife, Spain

o   The largest of the Canary Islands, this place has it all. Hiking and climbing for the adventurers. Yellow and black sand beaches for the beach bums.

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

Have you ever wished you had the Fairy Godmother skills to simply make something disappear? That’s how I currently feel about snow. I would love to bippity-boppity-boop and not hear from it for the rest of the season. Over the weekend, the city got 26.8 inches of snow – just 0.1 inches shy of reaching the record accumulation!

The issues snowstorm Isaac has cause are wide-ranging, and include public transit delays and the fact that people in Queens haven’t seen the local streets in days. Folks who have a risky time getting to work should take the day off. And if you can’t make it to the nearest store or market for dinner, I recommend ordering take-out. It’s more important than ever during these times to stay safe.

However, the unwelcome white stuff has also been causing some issues around the city more serious than frigid toes and occasional shivering. Five deaths have been reported across the city due to heart attacks induced by shoveling snow. If you have to shovel snow around your home, be very careful and have someone nearby to call for help if needed.

If you’re an active, young adult who still feels invincible against the snow, the city is looking to temporarily hire people to help clear snow from city-owned properties. Perhaps you could even ask if your elderly neighbor needs help – it may save their life.

Do NYC as the Locals Do

When vacationing, it’s often hard to get a sincere experience of the culture. In NYC, this is especially true. Times Square is lined with chain restaurants, tourists and overpriced hotels. If that’s what your dream NYC experience is, then by all means, partake in those staples of American life.

For travelers interested in pretending to be New Yorkers for a few days, I have compiled a list of tips:

  • If you want to see the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island Ferry.
    • The ferry gives you great views of the Statue of Liberty and the city. It’s also free, if you take the metro to the ferry.
    • Also, while you are waiting for the ferry, you have the option to purchase beer and drink it on the ride! How fun is that?
  • Buy a week/month long metro pass.
    • Sure it is more expensive upfront, but you will quickly learn that constantly refilling your metro card is both timely and costly.
  • Always carry cash.
    • You would think that in a modern city like NYC, credit cards would be king. Not exactly. Many restaurants have credit card minimums or simply only take cash. For instance, if you want to go to Tom’s Restaurant, the Seinfeld hotspot, you better bring cash or “no soup for you.”
  • Avoid Times Square.
    • This is unless, of course, you’re in the market for some overpriced “I heart NYC” boxers.
    • For a more relaxing time, try the Highline and the nearby Chelsea Market.
  • Walk quickly.
    • Keep up or risk getting run over. Walk the same block a few times if you want to marvel at its beauty. After all, you’re on vacation; you have time.

How to Travel in Good Health

As a healthcare professional with a penchant for travel, I strongly believe in the health benefits of traveling. Vacationing is a great way to relax, reduce stress and enjoy time with loved ones.

However, Harvard Business Review recently listed several risks to those who travel for business, including an increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, a correlation to unhealthy lifestyles, higher stress levels and sleep problems.

With all these added risks, it is important for travelers to maintain healthy habits while away from home, as I’ve said before. Whether your travels are occupational or recreational, here are some tips for staying healthy while you travel:

  1. Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is an easy way to keep your immune system strong while traveling. While drinking lots of water is an obvious solution, limiting alcohol intake is equally important. Stay hydrated and swap that glass of wine on the plane for a bottle of water instead.
  1. Sleep is your friend. Sleep is usually at the back of our minds on a jam-packed trip. Among obvious health benefits of adequate sleep, a lack of sleep can lead to feeling hungry even if you aren’t. Get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly to avoid overeating!
  1. Don’t overindulge. Many people look at travel time as a chance to overindulge in food and alcohol. While it may seem appealing at first, overindulging often leaves us feeling guilty and our bodies bloated. Order smaller portion sizes to eliminate the temptation to overindulge.

Traveling is not an excuse to completely derail a diet plan or sleep schedule. While traveling does disrupt daily routines, use the tips above to stay healthy on your next trip. You’ll leave your vacation feeling refreshed – not like you need a vacation from your vacation.

Pack Your Bags

If you’re like me, you start dreaming of your next vacation the second you get home from your last one.

There’s nothing wrong with a little wanderlust. And as the New Year rolls around, the endless travel possibilities of 2016 are being brought to light.

Here are just a few of The Huffington Post’s picks as the top travel destinations for 2016:

  1. Hawaii

Although this destination has always been popular, this year marks 75 years since the Pearl Harbor Attacks. This historic moment, which will be commemorated with special events, is sure to draw in a big crowd of history buffs, along with the regular wave of tourists.

  1. New Zealand

While many have only ever dreamt of visiting the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, travelers will be thrilled to know that this trip has become much more attainable for the new year. After American Airlines announced that it will offer a non-stop flight from L.A. that will begin in June, Air New Zealand immediately lowered their prices for the same route. (I know where my next vacation will be!)

  1. Brazil

With the 2016 Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is gearing up for a tourist-packed year. The usual American visa requirement has even been waived in preparation, which will take out some of the hassle for travelers. Bonus: the U.S. dollar has amazing buying power in Brazil!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look at flights. Safe travels and happy New Year!