Tag Archives: Holiday

Travel and Passports

Passports are issued by a country’s government and it confirms a person’s identity and nationality for worldwide travel.  Passports basically contain information like the bearer’s place of birth, name, date of birth, photograph, signature etc.  When planning to travel out of the boarders of your home country to any other country, the first thing you would need to process is your international passport and have it ready before any other thing. You don’t need a passport for local flights or trips within your country of origin.

   

In Nigeria, passports are usually issued by the Nigerian immigration service. They are not processed immediately and may take a duration of weeks to be ready. The standard Nigerian passport consists of two categories, a 32 page passport with a 5 year validity and a 64 page passport with a 10 year validity. The 32 page passport has 33 usable pages for visas, stamps or stickers. Frequent travelers go for the 64 page passport, as it has more usable pages.

There are also different types of passports based on purpose of travel and they include

Emergency passports: These types of passports are issued temporarily in urgent situations like when you loose your passport or have it stolen and do not have time available to apply for a new one, upon contacting your embassy, you would be issued this passport. This passport is just for the moment to get you to your destination on emergency grounds, hence you will have to process a new and valid passport on arrival to your destination.

E-passport : These are also known as electronic passports which are also available in Nigeria. This type of passport booklet has a electronic chip in it which helps prevent passport fraud.  This electronic chip on the front of the passport booklet holds the same information that is in the passport data page and also has a bio-metric identifier. It makes it way too difficult to impersonate another person.

Official passport: This type of passport is meant for government employees, entering another country for official purposes. The official passport doesn’t come with any special privileges.

Diplomatic passport: This is a special type of passport meant for diplomats sent to foreign missions, representing their home country for official purposes. This passport comes with special privileges and immunities, like exemption from taxes or prosecution.

While travelling out of the country you need to actually present your passport several times at the airport and even at border checks while travelling by road. A passport should have at least 6 months validity before using it to travel. The Nigerian passport is ranked 82nd in the world by the 2022 passport index, with access to 48 nations without visa.

It is important to be a law abiding citizen especially while leaving your country and representing where you are from in a foreign land.  The Nigerian presidential committee recently deactivated 200 Nigerian passports as they were Covid-19 test defaulters. They were found to posses fake vaccination cards and fake PCR tests.  The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi  stated “It has come to the notice of the State Government that certain returning passengers present themselves at the airport either with fake COVID-9 PCR tests or fake vaccination cards or registering as children under 10 years to bypass the National guidelines or providing false COVID related information.”

“These acts will not be tolerated as they represent the main catalyst of all the four waves which have had a major impact on the State public health systems and the economy.”

“We have submitted the first 200 names of individuals who have failed to present themselves at the mobile courts to the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) and their passports have been deactivated for a period of one year”.

Passport Hack: Always have a soft copy of your Passport backed up in the cloud in case of loss of belongings  or theft, to enable easy access at borders.

 

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.

 

The Eiffel Tower 

France’s Eiffel Tower is one of the country’s top tourist spots and just taking a picture beside this astonishing Tower is the signature clue that you are in Paris, without even having to tell anyone!

Believe it or not, at 1050 feet, this structure was the world’s tallest building for over 40 years before it was overtaken by the Chrysler building in New York in 1930. Also, it was initially built as an entrance to the World Fair Exposition in 1889 to mark the 100th anniversary of the French revolution.

 

It took roughly two years and two months to complete this stunning structure, which was from 1887 to 1889. Three hundred steelworkers and well over 17000 metallic parts, 40 tons of paint, and 2.5 million rivets are what it took to birth the glamorous Eiffel Tower. 

An amazing fact about this great structure is that it moves while also being able to withstand the heaviest winds, and never sway more than 4.5 inches! In 1913, a renowned expert on aerodynamics named Eiffel published “The Resistance of the Air.” He and his team actually designed the Tower never to sway more than 4.5 inches and have heavy wind resistance.

 

Eiffel Tower is named right after the talented genius who brainstormed and designed this structure, Gustave Eiffel. France remains top of the list of most visited countries in the world.

Paris, the capital city of France is definitely on so many travellers’ must-visit list for a reason, the popular French cuisines, wine, croissants, cheese, baguette bread, historic monuments, friendly locals and so much more.

France is a globally loved nation, also famous for high-end fashion shows, skincare products, and designer perfumes. 

The Don’ts for Creating the Perfect Holiday Experience.

As a child, the thought of looming holidays gifted me unexplainable joy. It was better when celebrations fell on weekdays, and I didn’t have to go to school. Those were days spent ignoring homework and lounging around the house like a cat or spending the day with my family in places I didn’t get to visit regularly.

Now, holidays are a headache and the best part of it is the days off work. The streets are packed with an added number of bodies that would otherwise have been at work. All fun places are turned into madhouses with little space to sit and children wailing at the top of their lungs. Vendors take perfect advantage of the opportunity by elevating the prices of products and services. It is a nightmare.

I wonder how our parents did it. How did they balance all these factors and still make the holidays the time of our lives? I do not have all the answers to this, but I do know some of the things they didn’t do.

 

Plan for the Holiday last minute.

As an adult, you know this concept is an impossibility if you want to get anything done. Our parents definitely called restaurants or funhouses beforehand. They either made direct contact or went through their website to find out about the opening and closing hours as well as any other information they needed to know.

Do not make reservations minutes before the actual outing. It is doubtful that you’ll get an opening where you prefer.

 

Go out all the time.

Sometimes, I wondered why my parents didn’t take me to certain places, but compensated by throwing a house party. Of course, parties for us then simply meant lots of food and drinks, music, games and a party dress. Decorations weren’t so important to us then. As long as our friends were invited, I was happy.

I found out later on that sometimes in order to cut the holiday budget especially specific holidays like Children’s Day, my parents had an arrangement with our neighbors and friends’ parents. They each had a budget in mind and when all these funds were pooled together, it served for the house parties. It was twice the fun, twice the crowd; and the next year someone else could host it.

 

Have no Budget.

Sometimes, I remind myself that something is not on my budget when the shopping ads flash through my phone. Other times, I shrug, search for the best price with the details I have archived and buy it. The difference is the budget. Holidays are the same.

Sometimes my parents took my siblings and me to certain places and other times they didn’t. This is because they had a budget on the amount to spend per child, and that pizza house might be above it. Having a budget set earlier in the month for the holidays helps plan the kind of holiday it will be.

 

Be Monotonous.

My childhood was fun. This was because weekends were different from holidays. On some weekends, I could predict where my dad would take us, but holidays were always a delight. This is because I knew we are going to do something we didn’t do the last time, and it was the perfect coercion card my mom played.

If you wanted to be among the lucky children to go to the ‘super special’ place this holiday, you’ll do your laundry, homework so well you’d get good grades. And because we knew it wasn’t something we had experienced before, we conform.

 

Be Self-Centered.

Although we knew better than to slight the Big Bosses at home, we also knew we had an open space to drop ideas without being scolded or dismissed. For me, I always wanted to go to places with food, and if my classmate told me about a place her parents took her to, be sure I’ll bring it up when my parents asked for suggestions of where we wanted to go.

It gave me a feeling of pride when we went somewhere I suggested and everyone had a good time. It also made me unafraid to explore. Give your children room to air their preference of how they want to spend their holidays; it makes it more appreciated.

 

Water Fun

Water is truly a gift to mankind and daily we make use of water to do multiple things, like cooking food, washing clothes, cleaning the dishes, brushing our teeth, and very importantly drinking it to quench thirst. The list can go on and on, but have you ever imagined using water for fun activities?

There are lots of amazing sports and activities in the water that are so amusing! More interestingly many holiday destinations with beaches always have a larger number of tourists. 

Beach destinations are always known to be attractive and enjoyable for almost anything, from taking lit pictures to sunbathing, to various water sports! 

Day by day holiday locations surrounded by water or close to the ocean coast gain more popularity and the focus on making more water fun activities to win over tourists is on the rise!

 

“Water-full” destinations like Seychelles, Maldives, Goa beach, Inagbe beach resort in Lagos, Labadi beach resort in Ghana, etc have introduced multiple water engaging sports to keep visitors entertained. 

 

The ideal vacation spot needs to be different from what we are used to every day and that explains the concept of some people preferring a serene environment, tall trees, and clear blue water over mountain spots or snowing destinations.  Some Countries go as far as creating man-made beaches in a bid to beautify their environment and attract visitors, for instance, Palms island in Dubai, Sentosa island in Singapore, Camden beach in London are all man-made beaches!

 

palms, Dubai
Seychelles

When next you plan to set out to the beach, these are simple ways to enjoy yourself:

 

i) Water bucket relay:

In this game, there are two teams and two small empty transparent buckets placed behind each team. Each team member will have a big plastic cup while standing in the line of their teams. The teammates first in line will rush to the ocean and fill their cups up with water, then run back to the line and pass the water in their cups over their head to the next teammate’s cup without looking back. In the same manner, each teammate would do the same till the last team member pours what’s left in their cup into the transparent bucket. When this is done the last teammate rushes to the ocean, gets water, and continues the same process till the agreed time is up or in some cases, till the transparent bucket is filled up. The team with the most water in the transparent bucket wins.

ii) Building sandcastles:

Getting dirty and playing in the sand is a must when visiting the beach, especially when there is so much water to clean up afterward. Making sandcastles is lovely as you get to explore your creative nature! This involves using sand, water, and an empty bucket to mold up a castle of your choice from the mud.

iii) Parasailing:

One of the most popular water sports which does require a bit of bravery! Just imagine being connected to a parachute, in your swimwear and life jacket, then flying high above the ocean like a bird in the sky. 

parasailing

iv) Jet-skiing:

Any vacationer seeking fun would have this sport at the top of their list! This water vehicle is just like a motorbike on water, and the ocean waves make the ride on a jet ski unforgettable. 

jet skiing

v) Kayaking:

This is an exciting water sport that’s also like a form of workout because you would move most parts of your body. It simply allows you to move on the water in a flatwater vessel while paddling with a double-bladed paddle.

vi) Water gun:

This is an enjoyable outdoor game that can be played at parties, the beach, in a swimming pool, and definitely by adults too! It involves the use of a water gun and has different ways to play.  One of the ways to play this game is having a water war between two teams while trying to capture a flag or a water balloon from the other team. They go after each other, usually, when touched by water from the gun of the opponent team, you will freeze for few seconds before continuing to play or can be released when tagged by a fellow teammate.

It could also be used to play a beach ball race, where each player uses the water gun to push off their beach balls to the finish line, the first to reach the finish line is the winner.

Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a calm sunbather, there is something fun for everyone to do at the beach. This list of activities can go on and on! Which one would you try on your next visit to the beach?

 

Egypt the land of attractions!

 

Africa has tons of amazing spots filled with scenic views, wildlife parks, beautiful beaches, ancient monuments and so much more, proving to be some of the most exciting tourist attractions in the world! However, so much of the World is unaware of this, unaware of how captivating Africa can really be!

 

When Rietha Matthee, an expert travel agent visited Egypt, she stated “It was a life-changing experience. All the things we saw and experienced were amazing and we fell in love with the country and would love to return.”

 

Egypt is an undeniable beauty to behold in the African continent. It’s found in northeastern Africa and arguably, it’s also home to the longest river in the world, the River Nile.

 

Egypt is a breathtaking destination with lots of wonderful attractions. This North-Eastern African beauty boasts scenic mountain landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, dazzling deserts, ancient pyramids, temples and so much more to explore.

                                                       

 

It’s worthy of being on every traveller’s bucket list because there are so many things to do and places to visit! If you want to relax by the pool or gleaming beaches or even prefer to tour the ultra-modern cities, exploring the ancient temples and pyramids, Egypt has it all!

 

Popular spots to visit in Egypt include the famous Ras Um Sid Beach and the beach at El Gouna, North of Hurghada filled with top-rated tourist attractions from cafés, Kayaking, windsurfing, Snorkeling, etc.

The Most Famous Beaches in Hurghada 2020 – Hurghada Beaches 2020

 

Other top attractions include exploring the great pyramid of Giza, Valley of the kings, diving into the Red Sea, White Desert National Park, Luxor temple, Egyptian Museum, etc

 

It is important for more people to explore the incredible African continent because there are lots of untold mesmerizing attractions in various African countries waiting for you to behold! It’s time to change the unpleasant narrative of Africa.

 

Book your next trip within the African continent and be that person to tell the world of just how blessed and attractive Africa is! 

 

Which other countries in Africa have you heard so much about and would love to visit?

 

Out of office and in for a staycation!

A few days ago was international workers day, a time to appreciate workers and their contributions to society and also a time for workers to reflect on their lives, careers, and happiness. The importance of mental and physical health to keep up great work ethics can never be over-emphasized. One of the best ways to keep the mind, body, and soul healthy is taking time off. Yes and that includes taking time off work.  

 

The purpose in life is definitely not just work. Being dedicated to your job is a beautiful thing, however, turning yourself into a workaholic with little or no time for yourself is not right.

Most times, life flies by so fast and we realize too late how much time we’ve missed. We can’t get back time and that’s why time needs to be well spent. Creating time to spend with your loved ones should always be a priority and setting aside special dates for a quick holiday or dinner outings makes life a splendid ordeal!

 

Most people do not have pictures together with their close family or friends, because we see them every day and at some point forget how important they are and how time is slipping away. Planning out a staycation once in a while and having precious memories to hold on to with our dear ones is priceless. Staycations are short-distance holiday destinations, usually within the same country you reside in for 1 or 2 nights.

 

Research has proven holiday getaways are the best spots to refresh and de-stress. The mental health benefits are endless and those who have tried this method of a break from work claim when returning to work they are filled with motivation, inspiration, creativity, and more focus for work duties. 

 

Subsequently, with more people understanding the importance of travel, a lot of establishments are now including vacation packages for their employees who meet set targets as a way to increase competition and motivation among staff. 

 

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, states that visiting a foreign place and immersing yourself in their local environment increases your cognitive flexibility. 

As a worker, whether you are an employer or employee, it is necessary to set aside and save a certain amount of money from your monthly income for exploring new places with your loved ones. Make an annual holiday budget and keep to it. The truth is we should all aspire to be happy and make others happy! Do not allow life to pass you by as a worker, always work, save, travel, and repeat!

Turbulence

 

Yemi Bankole is a long-time friend of mine. His friendly and calm nature makes him a perfect fit for his job as a flight attendant with a reputable local airline, which he has been doing for the last five years.

Just yesterday, he called to tell me he had the most terrifying flying experience ever.

 It was extreme turbulence.

Turbulence can be very frightening and uncomfortable. The mere experience of being 37,000 feet above the ground and being violently tossed from side to side in an aeroplane cabin is nerve-wracking for anyone. The interesting thing is that turbulence is no cause for alarm and even severe turbulence is hardly dangerous. 

 

Turbulence is just like a bumpy ride in the sky. It may be regarded as an unsteady or violent movement of air that causes the aircraft to bounce or shake.

 

Why turbulence?

 

Turbulence occurs for a number of reasons, which include a change in the airflow, jet streams, hot rising air usually from thunderstorm clouds, landscapes (objects near the plane like mountains or skyscrapers). It is not because the aeroplane is faulty. 

What to expect during extreme turbulence?

 

Actually, for a moment, the aeroplane may be out of control. You may feel severe shaking of aircraft, a noticeable strain against your seatbelt, and even objects and luggage not properly secured away may even fall or be tossed around.

Mild turbulence may even go unnoticed by passengers. Extreme turbulence happens once in a very rare while. Just like Yemi who has been flying every day of his life for the past five years just experienced extreme turbulence for the first time.

 

What is the first thing to do if turbulence occurs?

 

Keep calm and buckle your seatbelt immediately. If you happen to be in the toilet or standing, rush to your seat and buckle your seatbelt. Do not panic and try to reassure other passengers seated next to you. The most likely way anyone would sustain an injury during turbulence is if your seatbelt is unbuckled, the force of the turbulence may hit you against an object and injure you. 

 

Most times, pilots already know when they are going to hit turbulence from weather and radar reports. Turbulence is completely normal and many of us have experienced mild turbulence while in flight without even knowing. 

 

Can Turbulence cause a plane to crash?

 

“it is rare and the industry has worked over the years to reduce the risk,” says American Senior Aviation Consultant Adrian Young.

Turkish tea

 

 

Most mornings when I wake up, my favourite way to start the day is with a hot cup of black tea with a Turkish blend.

Don’t look at it as your regular tea mix because it’s famous around the globe, rich in ingredients, tasty like none other, and has great health benefits! Whether or not you’ve visited Turkey, you most likely must have heard about Turkish tea. 

 

Turkish tea is made with black tea and is drank differently from how the British take theirs. Turkish locals take their tea black without milk or lemon but with sugar.

Turkish tea is produced in Turkey, in Rize province, and is actually prepared as black tea however it is world known for it’s rich red colour. The unique tea came about to be in the late 1930s, from a plant called Camellia Sinensis and a fascinating feature of the tea is that it’s produced without any additives or chemical substances.

 

Traditional Turkish tea is usually made in a double teapot, the bigger pot is used to boil up water, then it’s poured into the smaller teapot containing the tea and it’s allowed to brew for 15 minutes before drinking. 

This tea remains special and has stayed popular because of its many health benefits. One of the many ingredients in Turkish tea include flavonoids which have antioxidants and can help prevent high cholesterol, heart attacks, weight gain, stroke, high blood pressure, etc 

 

According to British dietician, Lesley Reid~ “The common cuppa is well-known anecdotally for its stress-relieving properties, but scientists have found that it can actually reduce anxiety levels by up to a quarter. Research has also shown that black tea may even help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in adults with mildly high cholesterol levels.”

Modern-day Turkish tea bags can easily be found in local supermarkets around you but any day you find yourself in the beautiful country, Turkey, be sure to try out a nice cup of traditionally made Turkish tea. 

 

Virtual Tours by Concept3D

Technology will blow you away and catch you right back. Waking up to a new reality every day is amazing and in a special way, it gives us hope for a better tomorrow. Picture walking through hotel pathways, restaurants, resorts, bars and so much more without being physically there! Pretty fascinating, isn’t it?

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it somewhat difficult for travel agencies, tourism, hospitality, and so many more companies to find a reasonable balance in revenue.

Concept3D is a world-known company famous for it’s online success with virtual experiences via it’s 3D modelling techniques. A digital leader in creating interactive maps and virtual tours for it’s clients,  so their audience can have an intense feeling of being present in a particular destination or place without actually being there physically.

With so much travel and movement restriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these virtual tours and maps are quickly becoming essential power tools for professionals in the hospitality, theme parks, educational, travel, and tourism industries, as it serves as a virtual trip advisor for travellers who are yet to visit a place and want to have more detailed information about their destinations before visiting. 

Concept3D was founded in 2006 with the main aim of optimizing virtual sales success. This software was designed to make realistic virtual experiences, so people anywhere on the globe can view and learn about their destinations in realistic form, helping them to make clear decisions and plan ahead.

 

Gordon Boyes, the CEO of Concept3D stated  “With people staying home and unable to travel, the tourism and hospitality industries have been hit hard, and we’re hopeful that this offer and our software can help make a difference as hotels, resorts, restaurants, and many others are doing whatever they can to bounce back,” 

“If a virtual tour or interactive map of your grounds and facility would help, our team is ready to make it happen.”

This means good news to companies in the hospitality, aviation, and tourism fields hit badly by the on-going pandemic, as Concept3D has announced they will be offering their software free of charge to assist such companies in these trying times! This will run throughout the month of December 2021.

For further details on this offer visit their website.