Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top 10 tips for Winter Travel

Getting there and away may be more complicated than you imagine during the winter months. Winter storms, ill tempers and heavy luggage stuffed with overcoats and boots are just a few details that can cause delays on any leg of your journey. While many airlines will allow a free change in your itinerary due to weather conditions, the simple task of changing a flight can take an hour or more on the phone. And your new flight may not be so pleasant (think jam-packed with travelers desperate to reach their destination after a canceled or delayed flight).

So why go at all during the winter? Outdoor activities, visiting family or just plain getting out of town can be an alluring reason to travel during the frosty months. If you've decided to take on the challenge of winter travel, here's a few simple tips to help keep your journey a smooth one.

1) Know the weather. It seems simple enough, but check the weather of your destination AND all of your connecting cities.

2) Check your flight status early and often. Also check for notices that the airline puts in their website. Often there are special offers to switch flights well in advance of an approaching storm.

3) Do NOT wait until the day of the storm to switch flights. Be proactive and take care of the details as early as possible.

4) Use the internet to do as much as possible. Wait times on the phone can exceed an hour during foul weather. If possible reserve your seats early.

5) Consider alternate transportation if you cannot reschedule. Trains or buses can be an excellent alternative.

6) Pack smart - bring your large overcoat on board with you. It makes more room in your luggage for other items, and you'll be prepared for weather when you arrive. You might consider wearing your bulkiest shoes for the same reason . .

7) Take advantage of free luggage services. If your airline offers free checked baggage, great! If not, ask at the gate if there is an option to "gate check" your luggage. The airline may offer early boarding as a reward for this convenient way to offload your roll-away.

8) Be prepared for the delays that may occur. Books to read, games for the kids, meals and/or snacks are all a good idea to bring. Remember you could be "stranded" at an airport for 24 hours!

9) Take your vitamins. Preparing yourself physically for your upcoming travel should be high on your list. Start weeks in advance so your immune system is in tip-top shape by the time your trip comes around. It is flu and cold season after all . . .

10) Inform your family or friends of any changes in travel plans or flight status. No sense in having others worry.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fit for Travel

Enjoy a Healthier Adventure!

For many people maintaining a steady weight while traveling is difficult -- location changes, sleep pattern disruptions, climate variations, and tempting foods can all help pack on pound after pound during a vacation.

Taking off a week from working out wont break the scale, but any longer than that may allow those dastardly fat cells to set up camp on that flat belly. Here are a few tips to keep you healthier on your vacation and help you avoid bringing back an unwanted souvenir.
  1. Rest. Your days can be packed with non-stop excitement, but leave plenty of time to get in 8 hours a night. You'll have energy the next day to experience even more fun!
  2. Limit alcohol. Not only are alcoholic beverages packed with calories, but studies show that chemical changes happen in your body that will increase the size of your gut.
  3. Water. Water will help you to feel full and might help you eat less. It also has no calories (unlike sugary sodas and "hydration" drinks).
  4. Ditch the "All You Can Eat" syndrome. Avoid piling your plate to the sky with food and grubbing down quickly so you can pack in a second helping. Instead think "All You Should Eat" and go easy on the serving sizes.
  5. Stay active. During long drives, do crunches, squats, push-ups or isometric exercises (contracting your muscles without moving). Make it a point to walk, hike or swim daily or as often as possible.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chasing Waterfalls ...

Yosemite National Park in California has the world's highest concentration!

June is a fantastic time to explore waterfalls. Warmer weather and sunny days encourage a dip in the pools below a waterfall, while the water flow is still high enough for some spectacular sightseeing. (The term "fall" is used to indicate a sheer drop waterfall; "falls" is used when there are multiple drops.)

Yosemite National Park in California has a highest concentration of major waterfalls in the world. From any point in Yosemite Valley, you can see a waterfall -- in some places you can view as many as FOUR!

Bridalveil, Vernal and Nevada falls are the most popular, while Upper Yosemite and Ribbon are among the world highest. At 2425 feet (739 m) from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall, Yosemite falls ranks 5th highest in the world!

Waterfalls form by erosion; centuries of fast flowing water carrying rocks and other debris, course along a path causing rocks to flake off and recede. With some of the most dramatic waterfalls, valleys and sheer vertical cliffs were formed by glaciers. The rivers run into these valleys and plummet to the valley floor below creating a breathtaking display.

With two- and three-day tours departing every week, getting to Yosemite is easier than ever -- just hop on one of our Yosemite adventures if you are in San Francisco, or contact us and let us help plan your trip.