All posts by Jane Anyaoha

How to avoid or deal with a travel Nightmare

Every single trip usually involves nothing less than an hour to a couple of hours of patiently sitting till you finally arrive at your destination. Whether it’s by land, water, or air, you most likely would have to sit for a period of time before getting to your destination. Imagine being in discomfort, having a stomach upset, or feeling nauseous and having to vomit all the way.

This is exactly what happened to me and it remains my worst travel experience ever. I was on my way to Imo state for my sister’s traditional wedding. 

The night before my trip, I went to bed early right after having a nice bowl of spicy goat meat pepper soup. The next morning I was up before dawn and left for the bus terminal to kick start my journey. Once we hit the road for the long trip, my mind wandered to how I would sit for almost 8 hours before I got to my destination.

A few hours later, I began to feel a discomforting cramp-like pain and a burning sensation in my stomach. It was an unusual feeling, my tummy kept rumbling and I had to use the restroom immediately or else I would have had an unpleasant accident.

I basically had to plead with the driver to pull over at every fuel station that came in sight and he pulled over many times. That goes to show how many times I had to make these embarrassing stops to use the restroom

Finally, we pulled over to a pharmacy along the expressway and I was able to get anti-diarrhea medication and regain my sanity. At this point, other passengers on the bus began saying sorry for my sudden health condition and asking me what I had eaten. Then it clicked in my mind, the spicy goat pepper soup must have caused my stomach upset.

Plan your pre-travel meal

One amazing fact I learned the hard way is what to eat and not eat before a trip. Meals like beans, moi-moi, carbonated drinks, alcohol, spicy food, and fried food should be avoided before travel trips. It’s better to stick with water, bananas, greek yogurt, sandwiches, and salad. Be mindful of what you eat and drink a day before your travel. This will enable you to be in the best of shapes for anything your journey may present.

Professional dietitian Edwina Clark says that bringing a water bottle is a great way to guarantee you’re staying hydrated while travelling.

Medical Travel Kit

Always have a mini first aid kit with you for emergency medication, while travelling which should contain pain relief pills, aspirin, anti-diarrhea, bandages,inhalers, spirit, cotton wool, etc. It’s better to prevent certain unpleasant events from occurring while travelling. However, in cases, you cannot do so, be prepared for the outcome. It’s always great to be few steps ahead and planning for the unforeseen always comes in handy.

Comfortable clothing

Always make it a point of duty to dress comfortably in loose clothing while travelling. This is to ensure you are well relaxed, blood circulates freely without undue pressure from tight waistlines, belts, or too clingy outfits. Take for example if I was wearing a clingy play/jumpsuit that I need help to remove, then it would be extremely hard for me to relax plus an emergency visit to the rest room could end in disaster.

Back up for  phones 

This is to avoid touching stories, you never know how pressing this is until you are in a dilemma. Always travel with your own charger and probably a power bank if you live in Nigeria! This is to ensure you are always connected during the trip and prevents being stranded especially if you need to reach out to a contact person on arrival. 

Little Cash 

As much as society continues to go cashless we always need to have some amount of cash on us while we travel, not necessarily for spending but for unplanned situations that may need us to spend additional money.

 

For instance, on a road trip what if the vehicle you are in breaks down on the way and you have to board another vehicle or lodge in a hotel overnight? That why it’s advisable to have cash on you, as ATM Cards, cheques, and banking transfers may not work in all situations.

Reminder— why you should Travel!

  • Side view of young African-american woman relaxing in a hammock on the beach

Seeing the world from a different point of view is one of the most remarkable things in life. Travelling can be one of the most impactful life experiences you could ever have. Picture yourself setting foot in a foreign land, where everything looks different from what you are used to, the excitement to explore and learn new things in your new travel destination is immeasurable!

To begin with, travel changes the way you think, your general understanding of people, culture, religion, and life becomes broader.  Travel remodels your life by improving your general well-being and health, it also changes your mindset as it gradually exposes your brain to new languages, tastes, smells, sights,  and creativity. Travel makes it less likely for you to suffer from depression, as it lowers your stress level. It improves your mood, it recharges you and it changes you for the better.

Travelling is related to making social relationships and opportunities to learn and grow. Each time we hit the road for a new trip, we are faced with new obstacles and day to day issues we have to resolve by ourselves, this makes us more independent and builds our problem-solving skills.  When we travel we have the chance to be truly engaged in an activity, to discover new things, and to develop in a positive way. We learn more about ourselves and in most cases find out hidden talents we never knew we even had.

Travel is the ideal place to test yourself; it pushes people to their limits and gets them outside their comfort zone. You’ll discover how resourceful and efficient you are when you’re exposed to new places, people, and experiences. It gives a  deep sense of satisfaction words cannot quite explain. 

Take back priceless memories.

There’s always a reason to travel, don’t wait for the perfect getaway, seize any travel opportunity that comes your way, it could be for a friend’s wedding, birthday party, baecation, honeymoon, vacation, a holiday group tour, a concert or even a business seminar. Whatever the occasion is, make sure to explore your new destination, live in the moment, and take back priceless memories with you!

Therefore travel is highly recommended for everyone, despite your age, gender, culture, or financial status. It is something we all need in our lives! We can all make use of that unique travel exposure that makes us richer in so many ways and changes us never to remain the same again.

 

 

7 Visa-free Holiday Destinations for Nigerians

We never know how much beauty the world has to offer unless we set off to see for ourselves! Travel remains one of the fastest and best ways to learn more about international culture, cuisines, and history. It is also a great way to develop foreign connections, whether it’s business-related or mutual.

Do you ever want to just pick up your bags and hit the road to a foreign destination to relax and unwind, but your international passport is telling you otherwise?

To travel internationally as a Nigerian passport holder is rather challenging and has never been easy, as securing a visa to the Country of your choice is in most cases a big deal!

Nigeria has a low ranking passport that can only get you access to about 54 countries. A lot of countries require that as a Nigerian passport holder, you should have visited other countries and have a reasonable travel history before your visa application would be granted.

The back and forth, the visa hassle, the rejection at Embassies is more than enough to make about anyone frustrated.

Before you lose hope of visiting foreign destinations, here is a quick guide to Countries you do not need Visa to visit as a Nigerian passport holder.

1. Barbados

It’s a Country found in the Eastern Caribbean Islands and it’s a visa-free destination for Nigerians for up to a period of 6 months. This island is well known as the land of tropical beaches and flying fishes!

2 . Cape Verde

This country is also called the Republic of Cabo Verde, a lovely island country off the West Coast of Africa. It is gaining popularity as one of the hottest tourist spots around the globe. It is visa on arrival for Nigerians.

3. Cote D’ivoire

This tropical sub-Saharan nation is found in West Africa and it’s visa-free for Nigerians.

4. Dominican

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country noted for its clear blue waters and stunning beach resorts. It’s 21 days visa-free for Nigerians.

5.Ghana

This West African Country is just next door to Nigeria and has lots of fascinating tourist spots. It is visa-free for Nigerians.

Maldives

6. Maldives

The famous paradise islands, Maldives, made up of a chain of about 1200 islands are found in South Asia and are visa-free for Nigerians.

7. Seychelles

It is visa-free and is located in the Indian Ocean, east of the Africa Coast. This country also has arguably some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Christmas means adventure to me

Get your mind off the perfect Christmas expectations and explore the opportunities to create unforgettable memories! Many times I have a good number of people ask me what Christmas means to me?

As a Christian, it is definitely the time of the year when we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ and celebrate his coming to earth as a man. Christmas falls in a unique period of the yearly calendar, which is a few days to the new year and it makes it mean so many more things to me. It is a time for bonding, togetherness, giving, appreciation, and the best time to explore fascinating places with your loved ones and create incredible memories that would last a lifetime.

This time of the year is such a special period because there would be worldwide public holidays to mark the festive season and people everywhere around the globe would be travelling to see loved ones they haven’t seen in a while or even visit news places for vacation.

Any way you look at it, it is a time for adventure and bonding. That moment you want to try out new things and visit places you couldn’t go all year. During the Christmas holidays, I always write out a list, which I most likely would never follow because other impromptu activities may take up the day.

This year I followed my Christmas tradition of writing out a list again to plan out my holiday break and it includes:

(i) Visiting the orphanage

(ii) Family reunion dinner party

(iii) Family photo-shoot

(iv) Two nights staycation in a Lagos beach resort

(v) Christmas carol karaoke with family

(vi) Trip to a public park

(vii) Giving a gift to someone I don’t know and putting a smile on their face.

No matter the amount of fun you want to have this Christmas do not forget the reason for the season. Make it a priority to create as many sweet memories as you can.

I feel blessed and grateful to God to be able to experience such a lovely festive season every year! That remains the reason why I always make the most out of such opportunities, let go of unrealistic expectations, and make golden memories with my dear ones.

Covid-19 friendly places

On my birthday, November 17th, I visited cakes and creams at Adeola Honeywell Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, to get a cake and the Covid 19 procedures left me in awe.

At the door, there were security officers that made sure everyone coming in made use of hand sanitizer. Inside the confectionery, there were social distancing stickers on the ground indicating where each customer should stand, which was almost 10 cm apart from each other. The process was orderly and I appreciated the safety measures.

It’s no lie that we were all taken by surprise with the impact of the dreaded Covid 19 pandemic. In a blink of an eye, life went from normal to fearfully unusual, with so many restrictions and protocols in a swift response to preserve life and prevent the spread of the virus.

In times like these, it is important to be positive and hopeful for better days. Also, it’s a time to explore new ways of living out our daily lives safely. Now with all the restrictions on where to go and what to do, we often wonder when will this be over? Where is safe? How can I keep safe? What can we actually do?

The main goal is to keep safe and healthy before anything else. The good news is that there is still a lot we can actually do, according to infectious disease expert, Ph.D., MD, MAS, and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UC San Francisco,  Kristen Bibbins-Domingo,  “This doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.”  Yes, we can still travel, visit places, see loved ones and socialize but with limits and caution.

 The World Health Organization (WHO) has publicly concluded that the Covid 19 pandemic may not go away anytime soon and advised countries safely to reopen their economies. We as humans also have to come to terms with the new normal in our lives and adjust to it for the time being

Lagos state having one of the highest cases in Nigeria, makes one wonder how careful do you really need to be and which places observe covid 19 preventive measures?  Schools, banks, restaurants, cinemas, and workplaces have slowly reopened and had lots of people roaming in and out in their numbers. While few of the places may have thrown away their covid 19 protective measures, most public places still adhere to these measures. Most banks, eateries, and public gatherings enforce the use of face masks, sanitizers, and temperature checks before allowing customers to have access to their facilities

For those planning to travel, go for events, weekend getaways, and much more for the festive season here is what to keep in mind.

(1)    Make sure the Airline or Bus you are using to travel, enforces the use of face masks and temperature checks for all passengers.

(2)    If you are having dinners or drinks at restaurants or public bars, go for the option of sitting outdoors or by the poolside as this is safer than staying in an enclosed setting.

(3)    Visit hotels, resorts, restaurants, and bars that have outdoor sitting spaces and observe Covid 19 preventive measures.

(4)    Choose places that have the right Covid 19 gathering sizes, like remote beaches resorts and keep away from crowded events and places.

(5)    Stay clear of buffet services at restaurants, where many people may have touched one utensil. It’s best to order from the menu list or use sanitized towel papers to hold onto those serving spoons and pickers.

(6)    If you must lodge at a hotel or resort, be observant to identify if the hotel you are about to use has social distancing signs in the lobby and common areas.

(7) Make use of your face masks always.

How to save up cash to fulfil your travel dreams

Show me someone who doesn’t like to travel and I’ll show you a flying elephant. We all love to travel, the golden opportunity to visit new places, meet new people, learn another culture, taste new cuisines, and most importantly create memories that will live with us forever!

Indeed, travelling has so many benefits, whether it’s for official purposes or leisure! However, lots of people find it difficult to fulfil this passion because of the financial aspect involved.

I would like to point out that travelling is not an expensive hobby as many people think it to be and putting together the funds needed to make a trip is way easier than you imagined! Let’s start off with the right mindset knowing within yourself, you can actually achieve your set goals is important, as this will boost your courage and self-discipline.

Get your figures and create a budget

Planning ahead and getting all the information you need for your dream vacay is essential. Make enquiries with Airlines, travel agents, and hotels on estimated prices for certain travel dates. When you add up all the estimated costs involved, make a clear budget for yourself.
Put down an estimated figure of the money needed and then make another list of how much you earn and spend monthly or even weekly.

Source – Dough roller.net

Consider other factors

Taking time to think about where or how many places you would like to visit is valuable. Asking yourself practical questions like what you would like to do on your trip or how many days you would like to spend, gives you a chance to properly plan ahead.
You need to consider the fact that a trip to France or Greece from Nigeria would cost you more than a trip to Ghana or within Nigeria. Also, activities like zip-lining, scuba diving, water motorbike, etc, would cost more than visiting the museum or public park. All these factors will help you know how much you need to save up.

Source – eslactivity.org

 

Source-Tourscanner.com

Cut down your spending

This involves having a close look at your expenses over a certain period of time. Placing them in order of priority and cutting off unnecessary expenses.
Avoid clubs, parties, or lounges where you spend a lot of money or better still relax at home and watch the television. Try as much as possible to cut on your utility bills, like electricity, gas, and water.

Separate your savings

When you save up money for travelling and other needs together, it tends to look bigger than usual. If you have ₦50,000 saved up and ₦40,000 is for future travelling, while ₦10,000 is for unforeseen expenses. You may see a lovely shoe or bag on sale and you quickly take out ₦20,000 from your savings and tell yourself you will replace it.
That’s how it starts and in most cases, the money is never replaced. This is where self-discipline comes in.
It is advisable to open a separate savings account for your travel plans that you do not have withdrawal access to for a period of time. That way there will be little to no temptation on spending it.

Keep rent low

For those of us who are not landlords and do not stay with our parents, rent can eat a big chunk of our income. It is wiser to stay in an apartment where rent is at a minimal amount or better to get a flatmate to split rent and other bills with you.

Get a side hustle

Look for flexible part-time or remote jobs/businesses that you can generate extra cash from. This may include taking online surveys, virtual assisting, marketing products and so much more. You may also work extra hours at work if it would come with overtime pay.

Sell out what you don’t need

We all have items around us that we do not use and most likely do not need. It could be a microwave, fridge, rug, or even books. Dust them off and sell them online or to interested buyers.

Source -Nerdwallet.com

These are smart tactics to get yourself visiting new places in no time. It is a gradual process and requires a lot of determination, however once you can pull this through, you are good to go anywhere!

Hacks for booking a great hotel room

In most cases, hotels come hand in hand with travel, from holiday cruise to business trips, festivals ,events  and so much more. Hotels are a major part of our society because they add to the economic value of a nation and increase tourism-related development.
Choosing a hotel room needs attention to details, or else you will make some costly mistakes that could have been avoided.
Making the right decision on booking a suitable room is very much to our own advantage. It may become a terrible experience if you choose a faulty room and there are no rooms available for upgrade.

Here are the key factors to look out for when booking a room, especially if it’s your first time lodging at a particular hotel.

Location

Where a hotel is located is very important. No one wants to lodge in a hotel that’s in the middle of nowhere. An accessible location is better. It is also nice to consider hotels that are closer to airports or train stations or even situated in the centre of town. Helen was traveling with family including little children and found herself in a dilemma, this particular choice is indeed unlucky for her. The location was way out of town and ended up being a stop over hotel close to the trailer park so you can guess the kind of market they cater to.

Source – departures.com. New York hotel room overlooking the city.

Neatness

Take note of the level of hygiene, right from the reception of the hotel. How tidy is the front desk? How neat are the staff? Does the reception smell fresh? All these are what you should consider before you proceed to preview the room. The room should be clean, with no smell, insects, stains, growing molds, or dust as finding any of this would be a red flag. Helen booked  a room from a popular hotel chain on booking.com, her card was charged already and getting to the hotel, the smell of the lobby was not inviting and should have been a no except she already paid in full and no chances of a refund.

Source – Elite Hotels

Staff

Staff that are welcoming, exuding warmth, kind and hospitable have a way of making guests feel at home and even when there are faults in the room, service, or food provided, their manner of customer service may help you overlook certain things. Good customer service is a key factor.

Source -Menlynhotel.com

Relevant information

Finding out as much as you can about the hotel online, reading reviews  and inspecting in person goes a long way in obtaining full satisfaction and value for your money.  Get information on the types of rooms available, room rates, discounts available, room service charges, amenities available, and all you are entitled to. Not all staff at the front desk give you full information on what you have access to, therefore it’s better you make your findings.

Comfort

Go for a place that has a cozy bed for ultimate relaxation and good food! Having a chef that delivers mouth-watering food is a necessity. Delicious food makes your stay enjoyable and will keep you visiting more often. A hotel that has fun facilities like a swimming pool, gym, snooker tables, casino, and massage parlors will definitely be a pleasant place to stay.

Living in a coastline city

I have spent a few years in Lagos, the most populous city in Africa, Nigeria. A well-known city all around the world. Lagos is truly the city that never sleeps, by 4:00 AM I can already hear loud car honks outside my window, from people rushing off to work.
Some mornings I wake up asking myself why I am in this city and other mornings I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Aside from being such a famous town, Lagos is also the smallest state by landmass in the country at only 3,345 square kilometers. It also boasts of the longest bridge in Africa, which is the third mainland bridge. Lagos is located by Nigeria’s coastline, hence this vibrant city has lots of scenic beaches. Also, there are so many beach resorts to choose from and have a remarkable experience.

Resorts are far more than just a room to lodge in. It stands out from a regular hotel room as a resort has more space, entertainment, privacy, sports, recreational activities, and even shopping stores within its premises.

The city of Lagos has a number of charming beach resorts with breathtaking facilities to choose from, which is why I’m still trying to decide on which to visit this Christmas! I had to speak to a few friends to find out their experiences when they visited some popular beach resorts in Lagos.

INAGBE GRAND RESORT

This breathtaking beach resort is one of the most trendy resorts in Lagos. It is a tourist hotspot and is located on Inagbe Island, which is a 15 minutes boat ride from Victoria Island. I happen to know a guest who lodged here earlier this year and I learned that the staff are very welcoming, the food is okay and the environment is serene. However, she experienced insect bites, poor cellular network, and had to pay additional money for horse/boat rides on the resort.

WHISPERING PALMS RESORT

It’s one of the most talked about resorts in Lagos, situated at Iworo/Ajido Town, Badagry. The resort has a lovely ambiance for a refreshing staycation. As stated by a visitor, “it’s quite pricy and one has to go with deep pockets to enjoy your stay. You pay for everything you want to use despite lodging there.”

JARA BEACH RESORT

This resort remains one of the top attractions in Lagos. The Jara beach resort has a blend of Nigerian cultural outlooks and modern-day designs, which makes it stand out from other Resorts. I’m told the staff are attentive, rooms are spotlessly clean, delicious meals are served and it’s the type of vacation spot, you would love to take pictures all day long.

JAYBEE BEACH CAMP AND TARKWA CAFE

Jaybee Beach Camp is found along Tarkwa Bay Island and proves to be a stunning vacay spot. I’ll give it a thumbs up in relation to the experience my friends had there last year, lovely, affordable, neat, and calm. The room cabins have a great beach view and more amazingly, there are cooking utensils available, so you can definitely bring foodstuff. It was also suggested going in a group would make the trip more entertaining.

LA CAMPAGNE TROPICANA

The beautiful and famous La Campagne Tropicana is a well-visited resort in Lagos. It is a notable beach resort, as it proudly shows off African beauty in an extraordinary way, making it a unique getaway spot.
From visitor reports, this resort sure knows how to treat guests like royalty, welcoming you/waking/knocking with talking drums, Yoruba attires, and a special salute to top it off! Also visiting with a stash of cash or on a group tour would make it more enjoyable. There is something for everyone, lots of fun activities including bunk beds for the children.

Escaping to a beach resort for a quick holiday is one of the best decisions anyone could make. The cool ambiance, fresh atmosphere, and change of environment to the coastline can have a positive impact on your mind, body, and soul.

Have you visited any of these resorts before? What was it like for you?

Getting over flight fear

As much as most people love the magical experience of flying on a plane, a lot of others panic at the mere thought of it.

Yes, the mere thought of being on a man-made flying machine, filled with fuselage and controlled by one person is enough anxiety to make anyone panic. Flying is a very common fear among the world population.

However, air transport remains the fastest and safest means of transportation. Due to the evolution of our society, the chances of you being on a plane often is on the high side.

If you usually have a strange feeling of panic whenever aboard a plane, now is the time for you to review your emotions and let go of such feelings. These flight anxiety tips will help you to relax and enjoy your flight.

It is important to know that proven research has found air transport to be one of the safest means of transportation on the globe.  Ian Savage, a professor in economics, found that there are just 0.07 deaths per one billion passenger miles. You better believe the chances of something going wrong while you are in flight are very slim and the likeliness of dying in an aircraft accident is 1 out of 205,552 possibilities. Coming to terms with and defeating flight fear takes bravery, knowledge, and a positive mindset.

Acknowledge your phobia 

Many who have a phobia for flying already know that flying is safe, but feel it’s still scary. It’s important to identify what sparks off your fears while flying. For different people, It varies from bad flight experiences, images, thoughts, sensations, turbulence, claustrophobia, and even fear of heights. 

Knowing what triggers off your feeling of fear is always a good start for overcoming it, as you would be able to expose yourself more to these fears, rather than distance yourself from it. Soon, it would no longer be frightful but something you are used to.

Get all the education you need

           Educating yourself about air transport is very essential. It helps you reduce anxiety as you replace assumptions with verified information. Learning about the safety features on a plane and emergency procedures set aside for flight operations will give you more confidence while in flight.

Pre-flight simulator classes

These machines are plane-like models that have similar features to a real plane. An instructor will simulate different flight scenarios to help you ease your fears. You will hardly notice you are not in a real plane. People with extreme fear of flying are advised to go on flying lessons in these machines. This will help reduce nervousness while flying. There are classes available in Lagos Nigeria.

 Therapy

            Seeking the help of an expert can play a major role in your mental well being. A medical procedure known as cognitive behavioral therapy helps extremely anxious passengers.

Focus on other things

While in flight, paying attention to other things to push aside your phobia, works like magic. It may not be easy but it sure does the needful. You may play a game, watch a movie, listen to music or podcast, write or even sleep. These activities will help distract your mind from the fact that you are even on an aero plane.

Daydream about your destination

Think about where you are headed to, the new environment, people you will meet, or even meals you would try out when you arrive at your destination. However, if you are headed back home, focus on your home, family, and friends.

Source- quora.com

Do it more often

Facing your fears is the best-known way to conquer them. Do not cancel your flight at the last minute and rush to use the train or bus to get to your destination. Keep getting on that plane, fasten your seat belt, and hold your head up high! Exposure therapy always brings about great improvement.

Getting over any fear is never easy, it is a gradual process. However, with a positive outlook and self-effort, you will be a conqueror sooner than you expect!