Tag Archives: Christmas

How to lighten your suitcase when travelling

 

The holiday season is upon us and somewhere right now, some how,  many of us have our empty luggages waiting to be filled up and carried off to that amazing Christmas destination!

If you are a chronic over packer like most people out there, you would be thinking of what to put in or not put into your suitcase to avoid making it unnecessarily heavy and full of items you don’t actually need for your trip. Relax over packers, you’re also covered!

To begin with, being at the airport with an over-weight suitcase heavier than an elephant is an annoying and costly experience, especially when you’ve tried your very best not to over pack. Airlines have a baggage allowance policy for each passenger and exceeding the baggage allowance costs extra money.

Here are some tricks to help you organise your luggage with just what you would need for your next trip and still stick to the allowed baggage policy.

 

1)      Forget about the just incase outfits : Many travellers, both female and male, usually have this urge to put in extra outfits in their suitcases for the unexpected occasions that may turn up. This particular packing habit needs to be dropped as you will most likely pack up a lot of clothes you do not need and most likely will not even wear during your trip.

2)      Arrange your travel wardrobe: Before heading out on a trip, research on how the weather will be in your intended destination and also the most likely events or spots you would visit. This will help you plan out what type of outfits to pack up for your trip and keep away the unneeded items.

3)      Always include neutral outfits: These are outfits that have basic colours that practically goes with and looks good on any other colour. Black, grey, nude, white etc. This is reasonable, because it frees up the space of packing up 6 or 7 different outfits, when one neutral outfit could be packed and rhyme with every outfit you pair it with!

4)      Pack less shoes: This won’t be easy, especially for the ladies but packing less shoes is important. Apart from the fact that shoes have a lot of weight, you definitely won’t be needing so many pairs. Two to three pairs of shoe should serve for your trip, hence you need to plan what shoes would go better with your already selected outfits. Anne McAlpin, a packing expert, says “people often over pack shoes, but setting a maximum of three pairs will help you pare down your wardrobe and avoid over packing.”

5)      Use packing cubes: Using compression cubes or bags are becoming more popular with travellers. Compression technology is so vital to travel as it will assist to keep you organised and also save up space in your bag.

6)      Don’t be a last minute packer: A lot of people are guilty of this, packing just a night before your trip can be crucial and chaotic. Asides from packing a lot of item you do not need, you may also forget a lot of item you actually need and end up with a pretty heavy luggage.

 

Is flying first class really worth it?

 

Flying first class most likely means luxury seating on a plane, preferential treatment in services rendered, more comfort and most importantly, the very pricy flight fares! The kind of ‘exclusive’ flight fares that makes you wonder, if it’s really worth it?

On all occasions, when you get on a commercial plane, there are always the first-class passengers who are a limited number of passengers (usually not more than 10), who are seated towards the front of the airplane enjoying more space, comfort, service and privacy.

       

First class is categorized as airplane luxury. Different airlines provide different services and special treatment for first class passengers ranging from private suites, fast in-flight WiFi, access to exclusive lounges to even on-board showers. In turn, first-class flyers pay an expensive flight fare, which is way more than any other class of flyers.

 

First class travel experience includes being the first passengers on board the aircraft, averting the long waiting lines at the gates, extra large seats with enormous carry-on space, complimentary gifts from the airline, first class bar with champagne and all the other wonderful things you can think of. It’s arguably clear that the benefits of first class play in even before your flight takes off. Amazing, isn’t it?

Other flight classes include the business and economy. Business class is above economy class. Flying business class also offers a premium experience in flight with upgraded amenities and even before boarding, there are separate check-in for them and business class lounges that offers showers and nap rooms. The main difference between business class and first class is the seat type, as some first class seat types are generally bigger, having a private space or suite and may rotate or even turn into a bed unlike business class seats.  Also the price difference stands out between a first class and business class traveller. In most cases, a first class traveller is expected to pay about 60-200% more than a business class traveller.

What about the economy class travellers? Economy class is also known as standard class, which many travellers make use of.  Generally speaking, compared to the other cabin options of business class and first class, the seats in economy are smaller with less legroom. Also the level of service, flight entertainment, type of tv screens and food options are limited and surely you can not keep asking for more champagne. A lot of people argue that economy class is just a way of travel, comfortable enough to get you to your destination and the extra travel fuss is not needed. However, Ralph Waldo Emerson says “it’s not the destination, it’s about the journey.”

 

It is important to note that all seat types and options of in-flight service depends on what airline you are flying, as different airlines sets different service standards for their passengers.

 

Flying is a fun experience for many, however who wouldn’t love an extra luxury added to that fun?  It is said that ‘fly business class once and you’ll never be happy in economy again’.  The benefits of flying first class are so many, but we will leave it to you to decide in the comment section if it’s really worth the money or not?

 

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.

An Indoor Christmas to remember

Saying it has been a crazy year is an understatement for the year 2020. Although we do not like to be reminded of all we can’t do, one of the realities to face is Christmas this year would be unlike any other. 

My sister grumbled when we couldn’t make it for Christmas Carol. With new restrictions taking effect in Nigeria (and in countries all over the world) to curb the second wave of the Coronavirus, Christmas Carol would definitely not be the only thing that would be missed this December.

The phrase ‘Detty December’ this year simply serves to remind us of all the ways Christmas and all other days in December would not be spent in an effervescent manner. Minimal nightlife, next to none concerts to attend, zero Christmas vibes, smaller budgets, and everything else we are slammed with in December this year has made it a very ‘Clean December’.

But, Christmas is Christmas. It is the merry season where budding hopes and dreams burst in full bloom, and we are excited over everything. It might be different this year but here are some tips to keeping the Christmas Spirit up.

  1. Christmas Lights 

When you walk down a street or drive past countless buildings drizzled with sparkling lights hanging from walls, trees, and fences; it ticks off something warm and fuzzy in the back of your mind. 

One of the great markers of Christmas is Christmas lights twinkling everywhere you look. Boost up the holiday spirit with lights wrapped around your Christmas tree, hedges outdoors, and make it a moment to remember by involving your neighbours and turning it into a fun collaborative activity.

If you don’t have a tree to decorate for Christmas, making a wall Christmas tree is equally as fun. Nothing spells Christmas like laughter over sparkles.

 

  1. Christmas Movies 

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is watching Christmas movies. Spending the Christmas indoors will be more fun when you usher it in good vibes. 

Make Christmas Eve the day the entire family gathers in their Christmas sweater or pyjamas and binge watch Christmas themed movies all evening long. Stock up on the classics like ‘Home Alone 2’, ‘Elf’ or any shared movies to revive Christmas memories for the family. 

Amp it up a notch by having ice cream and cookies or games. A simple game is to hang a Christmas hat on the television and any time a character wears the hat, you take turns doing a pre set dare.

 

  1. Christmas Carol

If you missed attending carol in church this December, don’t be sad. Although in Nigeria Christmas caroles doesn’t involve door to door singing, it is still a big part of the Christmas activities.

Recreate the Christmas carol experience in your home, holding lit candles and involving the entire family. Practice sessions before it is particularly exciting if you have young ones in the family.

‘Family Guy’ Christmas Carol

It’s okay for it to be off pitch, what is important is echoing the Christmas spirit as a family by singing as one.

 

  1. Christmas Dinner

I am and always will be for the food. There is something about Christmas rice and chicken that puts all other kinds of food to shame on Christmas day.

It is the atmosphere where you are seated on the same table with family members you haven’t seen in years that makes rekindling bonds feel magical. Make it intimate and cozy, with everyone gathered to enjoy Christmas delights with food, drinks, dessert, and a jolly good time.

Commemorate the day with pictures. We can’t have the Kardashians Christmas style cards, but it is nice to look at pictures and remember we are among the people who are making it out of 2020 alive.

 

  1. Christmas Gifts 

The fact that most people might spend Christmas indoors is a motivating factor to make Boxing Day a reality. 

In Nigeria, it’s Christmas Eve, Christmas and the end. I didn’t know Boxing Day is the day for unveiling Christmas presents until I was in Secondary school. This year has taught us to be grateful about the little things, and gifting is a wonderful way to make others feel loved.

Go through the motions. Create a list for Secret Santa for the family. It doesn’t have to be a big buck spender, but something that can be wrapped and kept under the tree for Boxing Day. Open up the gifts together as a family and watch as the Christmas Spirit lights up the way to New Year.

5 Ways to spend Less During the Holiday

It’s December, and Christmas is around the corner. It is also the time you start to realise there is a lot left unplanned; Christmas dinner is missing Grandma to star in it and all the hotels are booked too close to the main day, prices of flight tickets have skyrocketed, and you haven’t gotten gifts for all the family members.

Breathe, before it gets to this stage, these tips would help cut out some excess amount added on things during the jolly season.

  1. Plan for the Holiday

As random as this sounds, this is one foolproof way to secure your spending during the holidays. Having a plan mapped out means you know what activities are to be set up, key persons required for it, items needed, and so on.

Once you have all these penned out, it becomes easier to start out early. Accommodation crisis can be avoided and secured well ahead of time, and  items needed can be bought before they reach their peak prices. 

Trust me, last minute details cost a lot.

  1. Have a Budget

I know you want it fun and have the whole house lit up like a gingerbread house from a fairytale, and you might have a picture of the perfect holiday in your head that makes it really easy to overspend. Let’s not forget the new year comes with its own expenses.

The best way to keep a tight rein on your spending is to have a budget. With a careful plan drafted out, you can tag up the amount you intend to spend on each section to tally up with the specific budget you have in mind to spend for the holidays. 

From there on, it is discipline. Resist the urge to buy that thing you are looking at because it is on sale for the holiday unless it is in the plan.

  1. Book Hotels before the Holidays

If you have family or friends coming over, or you have planned for a trip for the holidays and would need to stay in a hotel, book them well beforehand.

A lot of hotels know the holidays are peak periods and you run the risk of your preferred hotel being completely booked. Also, close to the holidays, there is a hike in price for the ones you find available and you will be too desperate to be picky. 

Save yourself the trouble and book hotels way before the holiday season. This also gives you time to compare prices on various booking sites as well as take advantage of discounts that come your way. 

  1. Group Spending

This works both ways as you can easily overspend or underspend; and here is how to stay on track. 

If you have an activity planned with a group of friends, the first thing to do is bring them onboard your spending plan. Holiday outings are the best; you get to see new places or old places look brand new with the colour of the holiday spirit, and it can be pricey during the holidays.

Get your friends together and set a spending budget for your outing. The bigger the crowd, the more the fun, and discounts accessible. It is also an easy way to have a pinch of everyone’s meal and the only way is by ordering platters for the tables. That way you individually spend less.

  1. Secret Santa Gifting

If you have a big family or a lot of friends, holiday gifting is a nightmare. It means you have to buy gifts for everyone and that is pretty pricey.

The best way to save money on gifts this Christmas is going through the secret Santa approach. It not only makes it more fun, and keeps the anticipation levels on high, it also helps trim a ton in the pocket areas.

If you do decide to send out personal gifts, try the homemade gifts.

5 Places to visit in Lagos this Christmas

Tis the season to be merry, and as Christmas draws closer the crisp Harmattan weather is setting the stage for the festive mood. 

A lot of people cannot wait for the actual celebration, and the search for sweet spots to visit this year has begun to take the center stage in the minds of many.

Lagos is one of the best places to visit this December with the sheer size of buildings lit up with festive lights and the number of Christmas parties, concerts and shows planned; it is a month guaranteed to be fun.

Here are five places to add to your bucket list to visit with your family this Jolly Season.

LEKKI CONSERVATION CENTER

This is one of the most renowned Nature Preserves in Lagos state. It boasts of the longest canopy walkway in Africa where nature in the form of trees and wildlife envelopes it in a scenic display.

One of the favourite spots there is the floor Games Family Park. Human-sized chess board pieces are set on black and white boxes which serves as one of the picture landmarks of the center.

Above all, the wetlands harbour a numerous array of wildlife that promises your entire visit would be spent in awe.

 

BOGOBIRI

If you love Live Performances, this is the spot for you. Bogo as it is popularly referred to is one of the homes for Live Performances of Afrobeat, Jazz, Neosoul, Hip Pop, and even spoken word.

There is a certain kind of beauty a Live Performance holds, and this Christmas has even more for you to feel the atmosphere of creativity.

 

ZENITH BANK CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY

You can’t miss this display if you are spending your Christmas Eve in Lagos. Ajose Adeogun-Eko Hotel Roundabout on Victoria Island becomes more than a street on Christmas Eve.

Source:WeekenderHQ.com

Courtesy of Zenith Bank, the entire street is transformed into a fairytale wonderland with thousands of glittering lights forming castles and shapes to light your way into Christmas.

There is no way you can resist the urge to make a picture souvenir with this display of the Christmas Spirit.

 

HOME RUN GETAWAY BY TBAH

One definitive factor of an invigorating outing experience is a Spa or Resort activity, and what better way to enjoy your December than having both experiences combined in one?

At the Clear Essence California Spa & Wellness Resort, we have raised the bar this December with a package tagged ‘Home Run’.

The beauty of this trip is an addition to fun activities for children. Parents can enjoy the jolly season with accommodation for two nights inclusive of extensive spa treats, dinner, fire chats, games, goodie bags, and constant care of their children by minders. This leaves room for couples to create more beautiful memories, and reminisce on happy times together while parents enjoy all these with ample time for themselves. Friends can also air up to enjoy this fun and relaxing event.

 

TEJUOSHO SHOPPING MALL

This is one of the prides of Lagos Mainland during the festive season. 

Asides from the constructed glowing Christmas Tree towering as high as the three-story building shopping mall itself, it is peppered with a variety of food kiosks and stores that would make you spin round in amazement.

In Tejuosho mall during Christmas, you can taste the Christmas season in the delicacies offered and thrive in the spirit with the glow of lights all around.

So, if you are still thinking of what to do this Christmas, you have a filled day mapped out already with these places.